In this article, we will talk about a very beautiful, unique and magnificent wood called “Purple Balsam” or “Rosewood”. This tree is originally native to India and is considered one of the most important elements in the economy of this country. If you read this article carefully, you will get acquainted with the characteristics of rosewood and its applications, and you will understand why the existence of this tree is of economic importance for India.
What is Purple Balsam or Rosewood
As mentioned, rosewood or purple balsam is originally native to India. A magnificent deciduous tree that is about 18 meters high. It is interesting to know that this tree, in addition to its high-quality wood, is also a great option for green space in terms of beauty, which is why it has been used in green space in the United States.
Purple balsam trees that also grow in Brazil and Madagascar are of excellent quality. It is interesting to know that the diameter of this tree is 6 meters.
In a nutshell, there are three common types of this wood, including Indian, Brazilian, and Madagascar. The color of Indian wood is purple and it is mostly used to make musical instruments such as guitars. But Brazilian rosewood is of a much higher quality and on the other hand is more scarce than Indian purple balsam, so it will be more expensive. Since Madagascar rosewood has a greater fragrance than other violet types, it is illegal to cut it. Now you know why purple balsam is also known as rosewood because its Madagascar species smells exactly like roses.
Characteristics of Rosewood
- It seems that one of the most important reasons that have made this wood very popular in the world is its color range, which can be seen from dark to light colors. Purple balsam is mostly reddish-purple, but some varieties are also available in brown and orange. On the other hand, there are very dark streaks on the trunk, which makes beautiful patterns on the wood and increases its beauty.
- The color difference between the inner and outer wood of the purple balsam tree is another important feature. The inner wood is dark in color and the outer layer is a pale yellow, which looks like a border between the outer and inner parts.
- Those who work with Rosewood believe that this wood is very fragrant and even when it is used in the manufacture of wooden tools, its smell will remain in the space for many years.
- If we want to talk about the texture of purple rosewood, we must say that the rosewood is one of the straight, scattered vascular trees, with a completely uniform texture. If you look closely at the wood of this tree, you will see that there are large and medium holes in it.
- Purple balsam wood is considered in the group of hardwoods, but fortunately, it is very easy to polish it, but depending on the final purpose, there may be a little difficulty in the polishing process. For example, making some tools will require more delicacy, and as a result, this will increase the difficulty for the carpenter.
- The paintability of Rosewood wood is very high, but due to the very beautiful colors that are naturally present on the wood, it is better to let the wood have its natural color. In this case, the equipment made with it or the façade that is designed with this wood will have a remarkable beauty.
- As the last feature of purple balsam, we must say that due to its oily texture, it dries later than other woods. For this reason, this issue must be considered in the manufacturing process. Carpenters and artisans, on the other hand, must keep this in mind when drying wood, so that the process will take place without damaging the wood.
What Does Rosewood Look Like?
The color palette of rosewood is as extensive as the list of countries it originates from. Grenadilla has a dark brown to nearly black color, whereas Honduran rosewood exhibits a pinkish-red hue, which is quite unusual for this type of wood.
Sheesham, another variety of rosewood that originally grew in India but has been cultivated in large plantations in Pakistan and Bangladesh for a long time due to high demand, is a dark wood that can even take on a purplish hue.
What Can You Do with Rosewood?
Anyone mentioning rosewood automatically brings to mind “musical instruments” and “furniture.” Rosewood is highly prized for its density and hardness when it comes to crafting musical instruments, and it’s used in xylophones, for instance, due to its acoustic properties. Rosewood can also be found in the backs of high-quality guitars and, for example, in speakers.
The furniture industry, in its own right, values rosewood for its hardness and solid characteristics. This leads to the creation of unique, real wood furniture that proves durable and resistant, especially against fungal attacks and termites.
But that’s not all. High-quality knife handles, for instance, can also be crafted from rosewood, and wooden jewelry is occasionally made from rosewood. At Hörner, you’ll find a high-quality pen with a barrel made from rosewood.
The most important uses of purple balsam or rosewood include making furniture and musical instruments, building flooring, making cabinets, modeling, doors and windows, making all kinds of decorative items, marquetry and other items.
The Price of Rosewood
It will definitely be costly to purchase items made with rosewood, especially if Madagascar purple balsam is used. Also, the price will be different depending on the amount of wood used in the device, the amount of delicacy to polish it and the market price at the time of importation.
Color and appearance: Brazilian rosewood can be seen in different colors. It varies from dark chocolate brown, light red-brown or light brown with purple tones. Brazilian rosewood has a uniform and slightly rough texture. There are medium-sized holes in the texture of this wood.
Color and Appearance: Amazon Rosewood is reddish brown or orange in color with darker veins. The outside of the wood has a light yellow color and it is completely distinguishable from the inside of the wood. Amazon rosewood is very similar to Brazilian rosewood. It has a uniform and slightly soft texture with pores and apertures
What Makes Rosewood Truly Special?
Without a doubt, it’s the high durability and resilience that set rosewood apart as a genuine quality wood. Even oak, which is almost revered in this country, can’t quite match this status, as some types of rosewood are 50% harder.
Furthermore, the biodiversity among Dalbergia trees offers an almost endless array of grains and colors. So, every piece of furniture and every product made from rosewood is unique, reflecting a lifestyle statement for the owner who appreciates it.
Rosewood isn’t a passing trend, but it has long been recognized as a durable and high-quality wood. Tropical tree properties speak for themselves: high density, hardness, incredible color variety, and natural resistance to pests make it truly exceptional.
Another plus is its dark base color, allowing rosewood to blend seamlessly with environments featuring other dark woods like mahogany or oak. The Legno pen with beautiful rosewood branches ensures that your solid wood desk looks excellent!
Why is rosewood so expensive?
Rosewood, primarily found in rainforests, is a tropical wood species that is currently endangered. According to the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, rosewood is heavily protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) due to its endangered status.
Rosewood and other tropical woods play a significant role in tropical ecosystems, and their conservation is vital for preserving nature and biodiversity in rainforests. Despite stringent protections for rosewood, as stated by the Environmental Protection Organization “Save the Rainforest,” they are illegally harvested in countries like Ghana or Senegal and then exported. Processed into high-end products, especially in China, rosewood fetches high prices in the market. Because of its exceptional quality, it remains one of the most sought-after tropical woods.
Some species of rosewood are currently endangered, and under the agreement of endangered species, it is prohibited to cut them down. Certain types of rosewood are only threatened by mass trade. These rosewood species are only suitable for sustainable economic use. When purchasing rosewood furniture or products made from rosewood, it is important to be cautious: there are various wood certifications and labels that identify products produced sustainably and environmentally friendly.
For example, look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification for sustainable forestry and also check for CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) certificates. Unfortunately, not all quality certifications are reliable and recommended. In our certification guide, you can find more information on the quality and reliability of these labels.
If you want to protect rainforests, you can purchase products made from local wood species. This means avoiding long transportation routes and reducing your own carbon footprint.
Why is rosewood so valuable?
Rosewood is an endangered tree species. For this reason, this wood is more expensive than other woods. This wood is used in the furniture industry and making musical instruments. If you want to know the types of wood for guitar body, I suggest you read this article: Best Wood For Guitar Body
Which country has the best rosewood?
Brazil, Honduras, Jamaica, Africa, India and South China. You can order this valuable ornamental wood from our collection. It is interesting to know that Madagascar has banned the export of this wood. Both CITES and Madagascar have banned the export of rosewood and ebony, but there appears to be no end to the illegal trade, and the fate of nearly 40,000 illegally-exported rosewood logs seized in Singapore, Kenya and Sri Lanka in 2014 is still uncertain.
It is interesting to know that South China has extremely valuable species such as rosewood. This wood species is very valuable because of its red color.
The quality of the chosen wood for furniture, interior decoration and exterior application, not only determines its durability, but is also very important from an aesthetic point of view.
Finland Wood Company with a team of experienced specialists in the field of recognizing different types of wood, are ready to offer you a variety of wood products. For consultation from our experts, you can call the company numbers or use the online chat service of the website.