Indian Rosewood vs Brazilian Rosewood

Brazilian Rosewood is more expensive and rarer than Indian Rosewood. But if we compare stability, then Indian Rosewood is more stable than Brazilian Rosewood. Brazilian Rosewood is prone to cracks, so guitar makers prefer Indian Rosewood. Another main reason for choosing Brazilian Rosewood is that it was banned in 1992, making it difficult to find.

There are about 30 species of Rosewood, belonging to the genus Dalbergia. Some popular rosewoods are: 

  • African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon)
  • Madagascar Rosewood (Dalbergia spp.)
  • Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii)
  • Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo)
  • Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra)

In this blog we will share the difference between Indian Rosewood and Brazilian Rosewood.

Indian Rosewood

Indian Rosewood, also known as East Indian Rosewood, Sonokeling, and Rosewood, is a type of hardwood native to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Java. It is highly valued for its attractive appearance, durability, and rot resistance.

Overall, Indian Rosewood is highly regarded for its musical and aesthetic qualities, making it a popular choice among luthiers, woodworkers, and guitar lovers around the world.

Brazilian Rosewood

Brazilian Rosewood, scientifically known as Dalbergia nigra, is native to Brazil and other parts of South America. It is a highly prized hardwood species. It is widely used for musical instruments such as fingerboards and the back and sides of acoustic guitars.

Because of its protected status and limited availability, Brazilian Rosewood is rare in the market.

Indian vs Brazilian Rosewood

#Indian RosewoodBrazilian Rosewood
Scientific nameDalbergia latifoliaDalbergia nigra
Tree Height60- 100 ft (19-30 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight52 lbs/ft3 (830 kg/m3)52 lbs/ft3 (835 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness 2,440 lbf (10,870 N)2,790 lbf (12,410 N)
Elastic Modulus1,668,000 lbf/in2 (11.50 GPa)2,020,000 lbf/in2 (13.93 GPa)
Crushing Strength8,660 lbf/in2 (59.7 MPa)9,740 lbf/in (67.2 MPa)

The sound difference

There is no significant difference in sound between Indian Rosewood and Brazilian Rosewood wood. Many experts agree that guitars made from high-quality Indian Rosewood or Brazilian Rosewood sound the same and that the sound of any guitar depends more on the making technique than on the species.

Guitar makers prefer Rosewood for its tone and dark brown appearance. Its sound is deep in the low end and brighter on the top end. 


The heartwood of Indian Rosewood can range from golden brown to deep purplish brown, and the sapwood is light brown. 

On the other hand, Brazilian Rosewood’s heartwood color ranges from darker chocolate brown to reddish brown. Deep black streaks may also be present somewhere, and the sapwood is lighter purplish.

Both species of Rosewood darken over time when exposed to air or UV light. Natural oil is present in rosewood species, so when the wood becomes old, the surface of the wood starts to look oily and shiny.


Both the wood Indian Rosewood and Brazilian Rosewood have almost similar uses, such as high-quality furniture, flooring, musical instruments, plywood, carving projects, and other decorative items.

Which wood is more rot resistant? Indian Rosewood or Brazilian Rosewood 

Regarding durability and rot resistance, Indian rosewood and Brazilian rosewood are highly durable and naturally resistant. But due to the higher density of Brazilian rosewood, it is stronger and rot-resistant than Indian rosewood.

Natural oil (silica) is present in all types of rosewood, which protects the wood from insects and moisture. But experts suggest sealing for the longevity of all types of wood.

But the durability and rot resistance of any wood species depends on many factors, such as the grade of the wood, the conditions it is exposed to, and the type of treatments and finishes applied.


Indian rosewood is slightly easier to work with than Brazilian rosewood because of the lower density and weight of Brazilian rosewood. But all types of rosewood are dense and heavy as compared to most hardwoods. A beginner may face many difficulties while working with it.

When working with rosewood wood, it is important to choose the right tools to ensure efficient and accurate results. Rosewood is a dense wood, so cutting tools must be sharp.

Price and Availability: Brazilian Rosewood vs Indian Rosewood?

Brazilian Rosewood is more expensive and rarer than Indian Rosewood because It is banned in many counties and is more in demand than Indian Rosewood. As a result, Brazilian Rosewood is rare and expensive hardwood.

Can I buy Brazilian rosewood within the United States? 

Yes, you can buy or sell Brazilian Rosewood in the United States with some conditions. Due to the continuous harvesting of Brazilian Rosewood, it is listed in CITES Appendix I, and CITES now protects the tree.

You can buy or sell only such lumber harvested before the CITES ban, or such trees have fallen naturally. You may need a few pieces of documentation to buy and sell it.