Top 15 most expensive wood species in the world (2023) unveiled

Top 15 most expensive wood species in the world (2023) unveiled

From Asia to South America, the most expensive woods command top dollar due to their beauty, rarity, and unique properties. Whether you are a collector or a craftsman and appreciate the finer things in life, these woods are sure to impress.

most expensive wood species
Pink ivory and Ebony. Photo: @Forest2Create, @Custom Country Woods on Facebook (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Some of the world's rarest and most coveted wood species are Bubinga, Holly, Purpleheart, Bocote, Black Ironwood, and Sandalwood. These woods are highly sought after and prized for their use in high-end furniture, musical instruments, and speciality items.

What are the top 10 most expensive woods?

Here is a list that includes some of the most valuable woods in the world and their costs. Let us know your favourite type!

1. African blackwood: $100 per board foot

African blackwood, also known as Dalbergia melanoxylon, is the most expensive wood in the world. It is commonly priced at a minimum of $100 per board foot and can fetch up to $13,000 per cubic square meter, making it one of the most expensive types of wood.

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2. Sandalwood: $20,000 per kilogram

most expensive wood for furniture
Sandalwood chips. Photo: Lew Robertson
Source: Getty Images

Sandalwood is among the rarest types of wood and is known for its fragrant scent and medicinal properties. It is mainly found in southern India and Southeast Asia and can be purchased for craft purposes at around $85 per 100 grams or $70-$250 per kilogram for wood chips.

3. Ebony: $100 per board foot

The sleek, jet-black Ebony wood has been revered for its richness and beauty for centuries. It is harvested from several species of trees of the genus Diospyros that grow throughout the tropics. Though it costs at least $100 per board foot, it is used to craft piano keys and statues.

4. Agarwood: $10,000 per kilogram

most expensive wood species
Chunks of Agarwood. Photo: @AynFaa on Facebook (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What is the rarest wood in the world? Agarwood, also known as aloeswood, eaglewood, or gharuwood, is a rare and beautiful hardwood found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. It is used for making perfume, incense, and small wood carvings. It costs as much as $10,000 per kilogram.

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5. Pink ivory: $80 per board foot

Pink ivory wood is a unique and expensive wood native to southern Africa, predominantly Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. It has a range of colours from pale pink to deeper red, making it a beautiful wood for various uses. At $80 per board foot, pink ivory is relatively common.

6. Brazilian Rosewood: $70 per board foot

This wood is native to South America, costing $70 per board foot and is known for its dark chocolate brown colour with a rose-like scent. It has a straight grain pattern and is easy to work with. What is Brazilian rosewood used for? It is excellent for furniture and musical instruments like Vintage guitars.

7. Macassar Ebony: $65 per board foot

This wood originates from Indonesia and has dark heartwood with brown streaks and broad stripes of yellow and red-brown. It is named after the Indonesian port city Macassar, is endemic to Southeast Asia, and costs $65 per board foot.

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8. Koa: $62 per board foot

Koa, also known as Hawaiian Koa, is a beautiful medium-sized tree that grows up to 100 feet tall and is native to Hawaii. It comes in various colours, primarily medium golden or reddish-brown, similar to mahogany. Though it costs $62 per board foot, it is used for musical instruments like guitars.

9. Ziricote: $60 per board foot

Ziricote is a rare one from Central America native to southern Mexico. It has unique dark brown colour and a spider-webbing pattern. With its price of $60 per board foot, it is famous for use in expensive wood furniture, musical instruments, and decorative touches around homes.

10. Holly wood or Holly tree: $60 per board foot

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is the whitest tree, with different types like British holly and American holly, the state tree of Delaware. Its hardwood is dense and of high quality, and it is often stained and polished for furniture and engraving work. It goes for $60 per board foot.

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11. Cocobolo: $55 per board foot

rarest wood in the world
Logs of Cocobolo wood. Photo: @tehcarlsbad, @GlobalWoodSource on Facebook (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood that grows in Central America and belongs to the genus Dalbergia. The tree's heartwood, which takes on a reddish-brown hue with darker traces that add texture, is used to construct high-end furniture, musical instruments, and other luxury items.

12. Purpleheart: $40 per board foot

Purplewood is commonly found between Mexico and Central America, particularly in Brazil, costing $40 per board foot. It is typically utilised for constructing bridges, creating load-bearing columns, and heavy outdoor constructions.

13. Black Ironwood: $40 per board foot

Where does black Ironwood come from? It is derived from the iron tree and has three main subspecies, including the Lebombo ironwood (Androstachys Johnsonii), which originates from Madagascar and South Africa. With at least $40, anyone can get board foot.

14. Bocote: $27 per board foot

Bocote, or Cordia spp, is a hardwood with a yellowish-brown colour and brown to black stripes. It is commonly used in fine furniture, flooring, cabinetry, veneering, boatbuilding, and musical instruments or gunstocks.

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15. Bubinga: $24.99 per board foot

most expensive wood for furniture
A drum made with Bubinga wood. Photo: @juancarlitomendoza, @incrediblesolutionsco on Facebook (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Bubinga, or Guibourtia spp., originates from Equatorial Guinea in Africa. It is pinkish-red to dark reddish-brown.

What is Bubinga used for?

It is commonly used for creating musical instruments, furniture, cabinetry, turnings, and other specialised items. A board foot costs around $24.99.

What are the top 10 most expensive woods?

Despite the availability of many quality kinds of wood at varying prices, some woods can be costly. The top 10 most expensive ones are:

  1. African Blackwood - $100 per board foot
  2. Sandalwood - $20,000 per kilogram
  3. Ebony - $100 per board foot
  4. Agarwood - $10,000 per kilogram
  5. Pink ivory - $80 per board foot
  6. Brazilian Rosewood - $70 per board foot
  7. Macassar Ebony - $65 per board foot
  8. Koa - $62 per board foot
  9. Ziricote - $60 per board foot
  10. Holly wood or Holly tree - $60 per board foot

Which tree is the most expensive?

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The Agarwood tree or Aquilaria tree is the most expensive in the world. Its fragrant resin is highly prized for making perfume, incense, and traditional medicine. Agarwood can cost several thousand to tens of thousands per kilogram, with the most valuable fetching up to $100,000 per kilogram.

What is the most expensive wood for furniture?

Pink ivory is reportedly the most expensive and luxurious wood for furniture. Agarwood and lignum vitae follow closely behind.

What is the highest wood quality?

The highest quality wood depends on several factors, including intended use and personal preferences. But, teakwood is often considered one of the best due to its exceptional strength, durability, and resistance to moisture, rot, and insects.

What is the most expensive wood in Africa?

African Blackwood and Pink ivory are among the region's most highly valued and costly woods. African blackwood can cost up to $30,000 per cubic meter, while Pink ivory can cost up to $35 per board foot.

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Despite being endangered, the rarity of the most expensive woods in the world only adds to their value and mystique. These prized species offer beauty, uniqueness, and luxury to any project or collection. These woods remain highly sought after by collectors and artisans worldwide.

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Source: Briefly News

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