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Pink Ivory wood from Griffin Exotic Wood
(rhamnus zeyheri and also berchemia zeyheri)
Pink Ivory wood, a sacred wood of
Zulu chiefs in Southern Africa, has long been treasured as a rare wood.
At one time, it was said to be rarer than diamonds. The wood
grows in various parts of Africa, and takes hundreds of years to reach
a size suitable to make a bowl blank. It has a very fine grain and
takes as high a polish as you would like to give it. Finishes that
block UV light can be advantageous, since sunlight will gradually darken
the wood. A fantastic ornamental turning wood also. Very
hard and heavy, with the ability to take very fine details. Most of our Pink Ivory is dried (will be marked on the item if dried, except pen blanks which are always dried). This is no simple process. The logs are allowed to dry for 5-10 years and they crack profusely during the process. We then get an average yield of 18% from each log that is free of defects and has good color (good color is less then half the usable wood) to make the pieces we sell, and mostly we get pen blanks. Many logs can't produce a single 1.5 x 1.5 x 6, and larger is truly rare. Selling wet pink ivory is very different and has far lower costs. To dry a piece that is 2 x 2 x 12 from the wet/waxed state will take at least 3 years (usually 4) of constant humidity above a certain level and a fairly constant temperature using the right techniques. It takes years of monitoring and occasional adjustments to dry a piece of wet pink ivory if you can provide the right conditions. For that reason, the pieces not marked dried are far cheaper since there is about 75% less labor to produce them. Truly dry Pink Ivory is so much trouble to produce that it is rare on the market in these defect free pieces we make. Be aware of some vendors false claims of dry wood, it seems to be a very common claim for many woods we have tested to be completely wet after we buy a piece to verify claims of dryness.
Primo: best pink to red color over 95%
before turning. No more than one tight knot under 1/8" that is light in
color, usually knot free (burl eyes are not knots).
Excellent quality: has good color over
part of the piece after turning round, might have a tiny (max of 3/16" )knot
or two that is black and some off color wood .
Good quality: Has off color wood even after
turning, some pink to red though and is still a good piece. Small tight black knots up to 1/4"
Seconds: Have some (50-100%) off colors and
may be as short as 4.75 " if a pen blank.
Figured: has some curl figure as well as at
least excellent grade.
Order online, or call us
Monday through Friday 970-241-2827
International callers and all
Questions: (USA country code)+970+241+2827
Note that everything on this page (photos too!)
are copyrighted and may not be used
without written permission. Copyright
2006 by James Griffin. If you are a customer
and desire to use some of our photos on your
website, call us with your request.