Calamander wood

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Calamander or coromandel is a valuable wood from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and South East Asia. It is of a hazel-brown color, with black stripes (or the other way about), very heavy and hard. It is also known as Macassar ebony or variegated ebony and is closely related to genuine ebony, but is obtained from different species in the same genus; one of these is Diospyros quaesita Thwaites, from Sri Lanka. The name "calamander" comes from the local Sinhalese name, kalu-medhiriya, which means dark chamber; referring to the characteristic ebony black wood. It is used in furniture, luthiery and for sculpture.

Coromandel has been logged to extinction over the last 2 to 3 hundred years and is no longer available for new work in any quantity. Furniture in coromandel is so expensive and so well looked after that even recycling it is an unlikely source. A substitute, Macassar ebony, has similar characteristics and to the untrained eye is nearly the same but it lacks the depth of colour seen in genuine coromandel.

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