Common Name(s): Gaboon Ebony, African Ebony, Nigerian Ebony, Cameroon Ebony
Scientific Name: Diospyros crassiflora
Distribution: Equatorial West Africa
Tree Size: 50-60 ft (15-18 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 60 lbs/ft3 (955 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .82, .96
Janka Hardness: 3,080 lbf(13,700 N)
Comments: So named because historically most of the wood was exported from the nation of Gabon, though today it’s much more likely to be sourced from Cameroon.
There’s no mistaking Gaboon Ebony as there are few woods that are deep and solid black (unless dyed), and even most species in the Diospyros genus aren’t black. Other types of ebony include: Macassar (striped) Ebony, and Black and White Ebony. African Blackwood is very similar in density, color, and (unfortunately) cost, but is technically in the Dalbergia genus and isn’t considered a true ebony. Wenge and Katalox are two woods that are sometimes used as an ebony substitute.