When you think of commodities that have value, you may consider precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. We understand that various gems like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds have values. Unless you are into furniture making or high-end wood crafting, you may not give much thought to the fact that woods have values. Sure, we may understand that a rich cherry desk or a mahogany dining room table will be more pricey than that of ones made of pine or oak, but those just scratch the surface. While metals are sold by the ounce, pound or ton and gems are often sold based on carat weight, wood is priced by the board foot. Whether it's a wood headboard or a wooden footstool, its price will be affected by its board foot price.

Factors Affecting the Price of Wood

The board foot price of wood is affected by factors similar to that of other commodities. These include:

  • Rarity
  • Durability
  • Beauty
  • Versatility

What is unique about wood, however, is that it is unlike other commodities, a wood's oils and aroma can add to its value.

Some of the World's Most Expensive Woods

Maple, mahogany, cherry? You're barking up the wrong tree when it comes to the world's most expensive woods. Here are some of the priciest.

  1. Bubinga. This African wood is not only beautiful and expensive, it s fun to say. It ranges in color from pink to a deep purple that is almost black. It is hard and can be tough on saws; contributing to its expense. Bubinga (go ahead and say it out loud) will cost you about $18 a board foot.

  2. Ebony. This rich, hardwood is valuable in part because it is nearly extinct. It can be found in the construction of fine musical instruments and is so dense, it will sink when placed in water, unlike most other woods. It has a large Paul Bunyon sized price at about $19 a board foot.

  3. Agarwood. This wood is so old it was mentioned in the Bible. It has a fragrant oil and is near extinction. It is so valuable it is most often only sold in chips at a per kilogram price.

  4. Lignum Vitae. This is an extremely heavy and hard wood with a price that is hard to swallow. It ranges in colors from greens to browns and blacks. Found in the Carribean and South American, it is expensive in part, because it grows slowly. You'll have to go out on a limb and pay about $30 a board foot. By the way, Lignum Vitae is Latin for “wood of life”. We think it means “HOW much???”

THE Most Expensive Wood on the Planet

You axed for it so here it is. The worlds most expensive wood hails mainly from Central and South America is called Bocote. Besides that, it carries a hefty $34 per board foot price, here are three facts about Bocote that may surprise you.

  1. Bocote is not exceedingly rare. Its value comes from the fact that it is exotic, strong, and workable. It is hard but versatile and easier to work with than some of the other woods mentioned.
  2. It comes from a flowering plant. This contributes to its fragrant smell that makes it a popular choice for furniture and flooring.
  3. It darkens over time. While Bocote starts out as a light wood, it will darken over time, giving it a personality of its own.

That's the fact lumberjack. If you're pining fir expensive wood, those are some choices. We hope you weren't board.