Pink Ivory Wood- Characteristics, Uses, Pros and Cons

What is Pink Ivory Wood?

Pink Ivory wood is a pale brownish pink colored hardwood native to Southern Africa. Pink Ivory wood is highly valued for its unique and vibrant color and durability, making it one of the world’s most demanding and expensive hardwoods.

Wood is highly valued and rare, primarily for its beauty and unique characteristics, making it a prized material for expensive decorative and luxurious objects.

Scientific nameBerchemia zeyheri
Tree size100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Average weight65 lbs/ft3 (1,035 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness3,230 lbf (14,370 N)
Elastic Modulus: 2,193,000 lbf/in2 (15.12 GPa)
Crushing Strength:11,630 lbf/in2 (80.2 MPa)

Common uses of Pink Ivory Wood

Pink ivory wood is mainly used for making small objects such as woodturning and carving, musical instruments, veneers, pool cues, wine stoppers, small boxes, jewelry, knife handles, and chessmen.

Woodturning and Carving:

The density and fine texture of Pink Ivory Wood makes it suitable for woodturning and carving projects. Its vibrant color adds an aesthetic appeal to turned and carved items.

Musical Instruments: 

Pink Ivory Wood is valued for its acoustic properties and is occasionally used for musical instruments, such as ornamental inlays on guitars or other stringed instruments.


Pink ivory wood is widely used for making small boxes; its unique, vibrant color adds luxury to the finished product.

Knife Handle:

The hardness and shock resistance properties of pink ivory wood make it suitable for knife handles, providing both strength and aesthetics.

Appearance of Pink Ivory Wood

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The color of pink ivory wood can range from light pink to dark reddish-brown, most often being bright pink. Whereas the sapwood of the wood is pale yellow to light brown or slightly lighter in color than the heartwood.

Pink Ivory Wood typically has a fine and straight grain, contributing to a smooth and even appearance in finished products. The wood has a fine to medium texture, giving it a smooth and polished surface when sanded and finished.

When freshly cut, pink ivory wood displays a vibrant pink color. However, over time and exposure to light, the color of the wood can change, turning a dark reddish-brown.

Pink Ivory Wood Pros

Color and Aesthetics:

Pink ivory wood is prized for its vibrant and unique pink to reddish-brown color, making it a highly demanding wood for decorative and high-end woodworking projects.

Density and Hardness:

It is a dense and hard wood, which may contribute to its durability and wear resistance.


When properly dried and conditioned, pink ivory wood is stable and less prone to warping or shrinking.

Pink Ivory Wood Cons

Rarity and cost:

Pink ivory wood is one of the most expensive woods in the world due to the scarcity of pink ivory trees. The high cost can be a significant disadvantage for budget-conscious projects.


While its density contributes to durability, but high density also makes working with pink ivory wood challenging. This may require sharp tools and careful machining to avoid tearout.

Limited Applications:

Pink ivory wood is often used for high-end and decorative items due to its price. It is not a suitable wood for furniture or other household applications.

Working with Pink Ivory Wood

Pink ivory wood is challenging to work with hand tools because it is tough and dense. Cutting edges create a blunt effect and are prone to tearout during planing. It turns and finishes well with the right tools.

Due to its rarity and high price, working with Pink Ivory Wood requires care and attention.

  • Use sharp tools to reduce tearing and get clean cuts.
  • Carbide-tipped tools are recommended.
  • Pre-drill holes for screws.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as dust masks and eye protection, especially when sanding or using power tools.

Pink Ivory Wood Hardness

Pink ivory wood is considered to be quite hard, with a Janka hardness of 3,230 lbf (14,370 N). It has approximately the same hardness as Gaboon ebony (3,080 lbf (13,700 N)) and about twice that of Hickory.

Is Pink Ivory Wood Expensive?

Yes, Pink Ivory wood is one of the most expensive woods in the world, as Pink Ivory trees are very rare, and it takes hundreds of years for the lumber to mature. The estimated price of Pink Ivory wood is $30 – $35  per board foot. 

The price of wood is high due to its unique color, pale brownish pink, and is very durable.

Is Pink Ivory Wood Hard to Get?

Yes, pink ivory wood is difficult to obtain as it is one of the rarest woods. African governments have imposed very strict rules on its harvesting and supply.

Opting for pink ivory wood depends on the specific characteristics you are looking for in terms of color, hardness, and practicality. Bloodwood and Purpleheart are some hardwood options you may consider as alternatives, depending on your preferences.