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Exotic Wood Information

Wood You Know provides you with some interesting facts about the different types of exotic woods we use for our Coin Displays.  As fingerprints of our world's forest, the colors and grains may vary.

Wood You Know provides you with some interesting facts about the different types of exotic woods we use for our products. We hand select each piece of wood to give you the best possible color and grain possible. As fingerprints of our world's forest, the colors and grains may vary.

 

African Padauk

Common Name(s): African Padauk, Vermillion

Distribution: Central and tropical west Africa

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood color can vary, ranging from a pale pinkish orange to a deep brownish red. Most pieces tend to start reddish orange when freshly cut, darkening substantially over time to a reddish/purplish brown to nearly black.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, but can sometimes be interlocked. With a coarse, open texture and good natural luster.

 

Black Cherry

Common Name(s): Black Cherry, Cherry, American Cherry

Distribution: Eastern North America

Tree Size: 50-100 ft (15-30 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a light pinkish brown when freshly cut, darkening to a deeper golden brown with time and upon exposure to light. Sapwood is a pale yellowish color.

Grain/Texture: Has a fine texture with close grain. The grain is usually straight and easy to work—with the exception of figured pieces with curly grain patterns.

 

Black Walnut

Common Name(s): Black Walnut

Distribution: Eastern United States

Tree Size: 120 ft (37 m) tall, 3 ft (1 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is pale yellow-gray to nearly white. Figured grain patterns such as curl, crotch, and burl are also seen.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Has a medium texture and moderate natural luster.

 

Coyote

Common Name(s): Coyote, Macacauba, Macawood, Hormigo, Orange Agate

Distribution: Central and South America

Tree Size: 65-80 ft (20-25 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood color can be highly variable, ranging from a bright red to a darker reddish or purplish brown, frequently with darker stripes. When the wood is referred to as “Hormigo,” various suffixes are used to describe the heartwood color: “Hormigo Negro” for darker pieces or “Hormigo Rojo” for orangish red pieces. Clearly demarcated sapwood is yellow to white.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to interlocked, with a medium to fine texture. High natural luster.

 

Eastern Redcedar

Common Name(s): Aromatic Red Cedar, Eastern Redcedar

Distribution: Eastern North America

Tree Size: 100-115 ft (30-35 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a reddish or violet-brown. Sapwood is a pale yellow color, and can be appear throughout the heartwood as streaks and stripes.

Grain/Texture: Has a straight grain, usually with knots present. Has a very fine even texture.

 

Ipe

Common Name(s): Ipe, Brazilian Walnut, Lapacho

Distribution: Tropical Americas (Central and South America)

Tree Size: 100 ft (30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood can vary in color from a reddish brown, to a more yellowish olive brown, to a dark blackish brown; sometimes with contrasting darker brown/black stripes. In certain species, there are powdery yellow deposits within the wood. Ipe can be difficult to distinguish visually from Cumaru, another dense South American timber, though Ipe tends to be darker, and lacks the subtle yet characteristic vanilla/cinnamon scent while being worked.

Grain/Texture: Has a fine to medium texture, with the grain varying from straight to irregular and/or interlocked.

 

Jatoba

Common Name(s): Jatoba, Brazilian Cherry

Distribution: Central America, southern Mexico, northern South America, and the West Indies

Tree Size: 100 ft (30 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood varies from a light orangish brown to a darker reddish brown, sometimes with contrasting darker grayish brown streaks. Color tends darken upon exposure to light. Sapwood is a light grayish yellow, clearly demarcated from the heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is typically interlocked, with a medium to coarse texture. Good natural luster.

 
Maple

Maple

Common Name(s): Hard Maple, Sugar Maple, Rock Maple

Distribution: Northeastern North America

Tree Size: 80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of Hard Maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from nearly white, to an off-white cream color, sometimes with a reddish or golden hue. The heartwood tends to be a darker reddish brown. Birdseye Maple is a figure found most commonly in Hard Maple, though it’s also found less frequently in other species. Hard Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns.

Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture.

 

Purpleheart

Common Name(s): Purpleheart, Amaranth

Distribution: Central and South America (from Mexico down to southern Brazil)

Tree Size: 100-170 ft (30-50 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: When freshly cut the heartwood of Purpleheart is a dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple.

Grain/Texture: Has a medium texture with small pores. The grain is usually straight, but can also be wavy or irregular.

 

Quinilla

Common Name(s): Quinilla, Bulletwood, Massaranduba

Distribution: Caribbean, Central and South America

Tree Size: 100-150 ft (30-46 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a medium to dark reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Pale yellow sapwood is clearly differentiated from the heartwood, though not always sharply demarcated.

Grain/Texture: Grain straight to interlocked or wavy. Fine uniform texture with low natural luster.

 

Sapele

Common Name(s): Sapele, Sapelli

Distribution: Africa

Tree Size: 100-150 ft (30-45 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a medium to dark reddish brown or purplish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quartersawn boards, Sapele is also known for a wide variety of other figured grain patterns, such as: pommele, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback.

Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked, and sometimes wavy. Fine uniform texture and good natural luster.