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Pink Ivory

Berchemia zeyheri
Also known as |
Red Ivory
Pink Ivory Lumber @ Rare Woods USA

Pink Ivory remains one of the most elusive, coveted and highly desirable of all the world’s many exotic woods. Despite being indigenous to Southern Africa, the wood is rare throughout its home continent. What isn’t exported abroad is said to be hoarded by rich, hierarchical families throughout Africa, as the wood is considered to be on the same level of value as diamonds and emeralds.

Its reputation in the US is that of being one of the most elusive, difficult-to-source of all exotic woods, and one of the “holy grail” exotic tonewoods in the eyes of many guitar builders.

Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Why We Love This Wood

In addition to its dazzling colors, texture and overall supremely regal appearance, Pink Ivory possesses great density (3230 lbf, on the Janka Hardness scale), making it well suited for a variety of applications. It is very popular with wood carvers and turners, alike, although it can be difficult to work and has reputation for dulling saw blades.

The Wood Database lists trees as growing to maturity at heights ranging from 100 - 130 feet, and trunk diameters of 3 to 5 feet. This, however, is inaccurate as trees rarely grow past 35 feet in height with trunks around one foot in diameter. The tree is protected and sustainably maintained in South Africa, only felled after the issuance of very limited permitting by respective state government environmental authorities. Given this, it's little wonder that finding any Pink or Red Ivory beyond small craft-sized pieces has proven a very difficult task in the US.

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    Pink Ivory Lumber @ Rare Woods USA,John Brengelman
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    Vital Statistics
    Main Color GroupPink
    Grain Pattern Even
    Avg Dry Weight - LB/BF5.4
    Avg Dry Weight - KG/M31035
    Janka Hardness - LBF3230
    Janka Hardness - N14370





    4/4 -12/4 Live-edged boards

    4/4 – 12/4 Live-edged boards


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    Other Species


    Gorgeous colors and grain patterns have resulted in the exploitation of this beautiful species for use in production of “Hongmu” furniture.  It looks similar in appearance to Kiaat/Muninga, another member of the Pterocarpus genus.  We only have a few hundred BF of this endangered species left and don’t expect to get any more when it runs out.

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    Osage Orange - Argentine

    This South American species is closely related to the domestic Osage Orange. 

    The lumber it yields is typically a bit cleaner with less defects. 

    It is pretty hard and dense making it tough on tools, but it turns and finishes well.

    Common Uses:
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    Tamarind - Spalted

    Spalted Tamarind comes from South East Asia.   The decay/spalting gives the wood awesome spiderweb type patterns that add character and excitement to its appearance.  The spalting is most prevalent in the sapwood which is prone to attack from bugs and fungus which cause it.

    It is moderately difficult to work, but turns and finishes well.  Sometimes the rot is more endemic than is obvious from looking at the surface of the lumber result in some wastage (lost pieces).

    Take care to use good dust collection and a dust mask, as the fungal spores add more to the air than dust alone.

    Common Uses:
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    Chakte Viga

    This vibrant Central American wood can features primary colors ranging from orange to golden brown (with gold, red and sometimes even green accent coloration). It is thought to be the closest relative to Brazilwood (famous for its use in stringed-instrument bows), and Chakte Viga shares many of the same acoustic properties. Grains are straight, but sometimes interlocked — otherwise, this wood works easily, and finishes well. It has a fine texture and excellent natural luster. Sap is a pale off-white to pale yellow.

    Chakte Viga is a wood that has been starting to emerge from relative obscurity over the last decade or so, being one of the lesser-known and -demanded woods from the tropical Central America region. We feel it has a huge untapped potential as a guitar tonewood, as well as in fine furniture production in the US. The wood has some very subtle aesthetics, sometimes exhibiting a 3D-like shimmering chatoyance after being finished with clear lacquer.

    Common Uses:
    fine furniture, furniture, inlay, turnings
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    Longhi is an African wood with similar working properties to its more well-known cousin, Anegre. Its color varies from a greyish-white to beige to pinkish-brown color, which slightly darkens with age and UV-ray exposure. Its generally light appearance makes sapwood difficult to distinguish. Its grains are typical straight (though occasionally interlocked) and its texture ranges between fine and medium-fine. It can sometimes possess mottled or subtle tiger-striped figuring.

    The wood must be carefully dried, as it is susceptible to fungus. It is considered to be moderately durable, and moderately stable. Longhi has a solid strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it a popular choice for flooring and decking.

    Common Uses:
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    Birch - Yellow

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    Common Uses:
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