Most expensive wood – Top 10 in the world

Wood has been utilized by humans for centuries, and its value hasn’t diminished one bit. You can use wood to make a plethora of things, including but not limited to furniture, flooring, crafts or even used for their unique scents. Some woods are more luxurious for a variety of reasons. Here are the ten most expensive kinds of wood in the world:

bocote wood

Table of Contents

Most expensive wood

Technically, first-grade agarwood is the most expensive. It can cost as much as 100,000 USD per KG! Agarwood (largely produced in Vietnam) is a dark resinous wood that forms in Aquilaria trees when they become infected with a certain type of mold. The resin is incredibly dense and has a strong, unique scent. It’s used in incense, perfume, and herbal medicine.

Overview

I actually think this is quite an interesting topic to cover as there are hundreds of different wood types that exist all around the world with different properties and uses. It would be difficult to cover all of them in one article but I think a top 10 list would suffice. I’m also curious to know what the most expensive wood is myself so this is will be an interesting one to cover.

Just remember the value all depends on where you are in the world. Teak, African mahogany, black walnut, and other different kinds of wood are by far the most expensive if you were to live in Northwest US for example. Generally, it all depends on what kind of wood grows naturally in your area and how arduous the process is of obtaining it – this can oftentimes, dictate the price.

Agarwood

Argwood known as the “The Wood of the Gods” is something that is truly exceptional. First grade Argwood can cost as much as $1000 per gram kilogram making it not only one of the most expensive words but one of the most expensive raw materials in the entire world.

Aquilaria malaccensis is a tree that is found in South East Asia and is the tree that Argwood comes from. Aquilaria trees possess heartwood that is pale, odorless, and valueless until the tree becomes infected with mold. The infection is called “Phialophora Parastica”. The Aquilaria’s defense to this attack is to produce a stress-induced aromatic resin called “aloes”. Over the years the aloes will fossilize and harden inside the Aquilaria tree.

The tree is then cut down, and the Argwood is taken out. The quality of the Argwood is dependent on how much resin was produced by the Aquilaria tree. The higher the resin production, the more valuable the Argwood will be. If a tree produces little to no resin, it is not used for commercial purposes.

rare wood

African Blackwood

African blackwood is a very dense wood that is native to parts of Africa. It is so dense that it is actually heavier than water! This makes it very difficult to work with as it sinks in water rather than floats. It is also one of the rarest woods in the world as there are only a few trees per square kilometer.

This wood is mostly used for musical instruments as it has a very unique sound. It is also used for ornamental carvings and turnings. Even though it is very dense, it is still a very popular wood for use in furniture due to its unique color and grain pattern. It is also one of the most expensive woods in the world, with a price tag of $13,000 per cubic meter.

valuable wood

Ebony

Ebony is a dense black hardwood that comes from various tree species in the genus Diospyros. Ebony is highly prized for its very fine texture and its jet-black color. It is used in making handles for knives and swords, musical instruments such as piano keys, pool cues, and inlays in fine furniture.

The term “ebony” describes several different dark-colored hardwoods. The most valuable of these is African black ebony, which comes from the diospyros crassiflora tree. This tree is found in Gabon, Cameroon, and the Congo Basin. The wood is so valuable that it has been referred to as “black gold”.

Bocote

Bocote is a tropical hardwood that is native to Central and South America. The wood is characterized by its distinctive figure, which is often compared to that of a zebra. The sapwood of bocote is yellowish in color, while the heartwood ranges from golden brown to dark brown. The grain is usually straight, but can be wavy or irregular.

Bocote is used for a variety of purposes, including furniture, cabinetry, veneer, inlay work, and turned objects. It is also becoming increasingly popular for use in musical instruments such as guitars and drums. Due to its high density and hardness, bocote is not an easy wood to work with.

bocote per board foot

Sandalwood

Sandalwood is debated to be the second most expensive wood in the world and is fragrant that comes from various species of trees in the genus Santalum. The most valuable sandalwood is Australian red sandalwood, which comes from the tree Santalum spicatum. This tree is found in the arid regions of Western Australia.

The heartwood of sandalwood is very dense and heavy, and it has a fine, even texture. The color of the heartwood ranges from yellow to deep red. The wood is highly prized for its pleasing scent, which has been used in incense and perfume for centuries. It is also used in woodworking, carving, and furniture making.

Sandalwood is on its way to becoming extinct due to the high demand for its wood and fragrance. The tree takes anywhere from 15 to 20 years to mature, and it is not uncommon for a single tree to be worth over $100,000.

Sandalwood

Pink Ivory

Pink Ivory, also called Red Ivory, is a type of African wood that grows in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and parts of South Africa. The heartwood of the tree is a deep red color, while the sapwood is a pale pink. The wood is very dense and hard, and it has a fine, even texture.

Pink Ivory is used for a variety of purposes, including inlays, turned objects, and jewelry. It is also becoming increasingly popular for use in musical instruments such as guitars and drums. Due to its high density and hardness, it’s meant to be highly resistant to decay. Pink Ivory is claimed to be even more valuable than diamonds in South Africa which might explain why it’s so expensive!

pink ivory wood

Lignum Vitae

Lignum Vitae is a tropical hardwood that grows in the Caribbean and parts of Central and South America. The name “lignum vitae” means “wood of life”, and it is aptly named due to its many medicinal properties. The heartwood of the tree is a deep green color, while the sapwood is yellowish. The wood is very dense and heavy, and it has a coarse, uneven texture.

Lignum vitae is used for a variety of purposes, including inlays, turned objects, and furniture. It is also used for making boat propellers and other marine applications due to its resistance to rot and decay.

Unlike other wood varieties, this one is commonly sold by the pound instead of board feet because it is very difficult to work with. It also has a tendency to blunt blades, making precise cuts more challenging.

Lignum Vitae

Dalbergia

Dalbergia is a tropical tree that grows in regions such as Central and South America, Africa, South Asia, and Madagascar. The wood of the Dalbergia tree is mostly used for high-class furniture, railway sleepers, and sports goods.

What makes Dalbergia so popular is the presence of fragrant aromatic oils in the wood, which gives it a unique scent. The heartwood of Dalbergia is a deep brown color, while the sapwood is a pale yellow. The wood is very dense and hard, and it has a coarse, uneven texture.

Dalbergia is one of the most expensive woods in the world due to its rarity and unique scent. It is also difficult to work with due to its density and hardness.

Dalbergia

Brazilian Rosewood

Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) is a tropical hardwood tree that grows in South America. The heartwood of Brazilian Rosewood is a deep brown color with irregular black streaks. The sapwood is a pale yellow color. The wood is very dense and hard, and it has a coarse, uneven texture.

Brazilian Rosewood is used for a variety of purposes, including inlays, turned objects, and furniture. Due to its recent popularity in musical instruments and the restrictions placed on harvesting to prevent endangerment, this wood is very expensive.

Due to its high density and hardness, Brazilian Rosewood is difficult to work with but the results are worth it, making this one of the most expensive woods in the world.

Brazilian Rosewood

Bubinga

Bubinga is a tropical hardwood tree that grows in Africa. The heartwood of Bubinga wood is a deep red color, while the sapwood is a pale yellow. The wood is very dense and hard, and it has a coarse, uneven texture.

It is famous for producing high-quality furniture and tools, which makes it costly. It is also known for being very durable and resistant to termites and marine borer attacks.

Bubinga

Conclusion

The woods discussed in this article are some of the most expensive in the world. They are prized for their beauty, rarity, and durability. While each wood has its own unique qualities, they are rare! Let’s summarise the 10 most expensive in no particular order:

  • African Blackwood – $13,000 per cubic meter
  • Ebony – 10,000 per kilogram
  • Bocote – $39.99 a board foot
  • Agarwood – $100,000 per KG
  • Sandalwood – $200 per KG
  • Pink Ivory – $80 a board foot
  • Lignum Vitae – $8 per pound
  • Dalbergia – $9 per pound
  • Brazilian Rosewood – $4500 per set
  • Bubinga – $24.99 a board foot
Agarwood smoking
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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