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Ebony and Cites

Ebony has been one of the most valued woods for centuries, even the Egyptians used it for valuable work. The wood is very dense and hard. West African ebony is dark in colour, but can also have grey streaks and can be polished very nicely. Typical for ebony are lighter stripes or spots, flawless black is very rare and is only found in about 10% of the wood. Specific weight approx. 1200 kg / m3, hardness very high.
The availability of ebony is still good at the moment, but is becoming increasingly scarce. Ebony can be freely traded on the market without any trade restrictions. Due to the extremely low trade volumes of ebony compared to industrially used wood species such as meranti, teak, ipé, bongossi, bangkirai, cumaru, mahogany, etc., there are no certificates for ebony wood, as available and traded volumes are well below 0.1% (for white ebony even below 0.0001%) of the volume of annual imports of compared other wood species on the wolds market. Only ebony from the island of Madagascar has a high protection status on the CITES list, and the Madagascar ebony (Diospyros perrieri), which is endemic to the island, may no longer be exported. The discussion about the overexploitation of ebony on Madagascar by the musical instrument industry has often led laypersons to generalize this trade ban and to make no distinction between the quite different species from Madagascar and West Africa. Ebony from the continent of Africa, especially West Africa, is subject to absolutely no trade restrictions and does not need to be certified!

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