Borneo Ebony is a Diospyros sp. that is black in color with reddish/brown stripes that run parallel to the grain. Sometimes the sapwood is white. Only wood from very old trees or the heartwood is black or very dark in color. It is always carved when wet (before it dries out) in order to be malleable for the chisel. Its hardness and straight grain make it ideal for the carver. Usually, the finishing is done with a black wax to make the wood look darker, but the natural color is very beautiful. One unusual quality of Borneo Ebony is that if it cracks before it is dry, the crack will quite often close up again, leaving no trace of any flaw.