This is true Desert Ironwood (Olynatesota), a unique species that is a staple for the carving trade in Mexico and is scarce on the US Market. Difficult to obtain and dry properly, this beautiful and very dense hardwood has a great deal of chatoyance (luster) which gives great depth and color to finished projects. When turned, Desert Ironwood produces an incredible finish that is glass-like and silky smooth to the touch. Colors range from black & brown to warm honey gold with a tinge of red. Checks are normal with this species as it dries in the desert for years before being harvested in dead tree trunks or fallen / dead limbs; we typically cut off 95% of them. Creative artisans use crushed or powdered Arizona Turquoise to fill voids. Our Desert Ironwood is from the desert Southwest. These rustic pieces all generally contain live edges with bark incursions, checks, splits, and other natural characteristics. These pieces yield 20% to 50% useable for defect free. Small pieces such as pen blanks, knife scales, etc. would be great out of some of these pieces. If you have specific questions on a piece, please let us know before purchase! Nice piece!