Scientific name: Diospyros crassiflora Hiern

Origin: Equatorial West Africa

Other names: African Ebony, Cameroon Ebony, Ébano

Average density: 60lbs/ft3 – 955kg/m3

Uses: Fingerboards, bridges, headplates, tuning pegs

Heartwood is usually jet-black, with little to no variation or visible grain. Occasionally dark brown or grayish-brown streaks may be present. Its grain is usually straight but can also be interlocked. It has a fine and even texture with very high natural luster. West African Ebony has been a standard fingerboard wood for factory guitars in Europe and America. It is often preferred because it is easier to plane and is more stable than other Ebonies. It is rarely pure-black, but now this is largely accepted in the marketplace. African ebony is among the most expensive of all available lumbers, usually about two to three times more expensive than most species of Rosewood. The small size of the tree and its demand for ornamental work, may contribute to its high price. Today, most of the commercially available ebony is sourced from Cameroon. All of our stock in the highest quality grades is very dark, almost black, with narrow and straight dark brown grain and no knots. Its texture is especially fine, but resistant to wear, which is why it is used for fingerboards. It is also used for bridges, headplates and tuning pegs.

Madinter’s ebony comes from Crelicam, our ebony sawmill in Cameroon. Learn more about the Crelicam project.