Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jacarandá do Pará

This wood sample is jacarandá do Pará (Dalbergia spruceana). I'm told that this is one of the most expensive woods leaving the Amazon, around US $3000 a cubic meter by the time it reaches its destiny - in Frankfort, Germany. There is a German based sawmill in Santarém that deals almost exclusively in this trade. I suspect that jacarandá do Pará is being over cut throughout the Amazon but I haven't seen any statistics to prove it. Its cousin, jacarandá da Bahia (Dalbergia nigra) is certainly listed by CITES as an endangered species. Both Dalbergias carry the English names of Brazilian rosewood. Some people refer to jacarandá do Pará as "Amazon rosewood". The sawmill in Santarém exports exclusively to Frankfort, Germany, where it's used in the musical instrument industry. The wood is a favorite for the expensive guitars, veneers for pianos and organs, necks for string instruments and so on. If you do an internet search for Dalbergia spruceana, you'll find many references for guitar backs. Some of those little pieces of wood go for $3000! The attached image is a wood sample given to me by a friend who worked at the German sawmill some years ago. It's an end-piece, which had been cut off from the finer export wood but at least it gives you an idea of the colors.

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