Macassar Ebony is known for its typically striped appearance, with usual colors typically dominated by deep browns although green, yellow, burgundy, red, orange and even peach secondary colors can highlight more spectacular pieces. Sapwood can range from a dull tan to a light golden brown, or sometimes even a muted orange, peach or light pink. In addition to its constant demand with veneer mills, it is highly-prized by guitar luthiers: its great density gives the wood tremendous resonance, making it ideally suited for acoustic guitar back-and-sides or fretboards.
Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Veneer, high-end cabinetry, billiard cues, musical instruments, turning, crafts and other small specialty items.
Comments: Macassar Ebony is noted for its striped appearance, although finding long, consistent grain patterns can be difficult on longer pieces. Usually its stripes are fairly large and bold — often with twists and overlaps — although occasionally (more desirable) pieces with fine, tight-knit, consistent striping can be found.
Like many woods of comparable density, it can be difficult to work and hard on blades, but that is of little concern to those who have experience with this regal ebony species. Southeast Asia produces some astounding exotics; Macassar Ebony is, most certainly, one of its renowned, trademark species.