What Makes Genuine Mahogany “Genuine”?

Genuine mahogany is one of the most valuable, most sought after types of wood you can buy. Yet there are many new species on the market to help fill the demand for this popular wood. How can you be certain that the mahogany piece you have is genuine mahogany? McIlvain Company, one of the nation’s oldest and most reputable lumber wholesalers, recommends learning a little more about this valuable wood if you want to add it to your home.

The popularity of mahogany began in the 1700s, when it was the primary type of hardwood exported from the Americas to Europe. Woodworkers across the Old World loved the wood because it made beautiful pieces of furniture. Its various features worked well for furniture because it created a beautiful exterior and was also quite sturdy.

For a while, the supply was steady. However, the more mahogany was harvested, the harder it was to come by. These early harvesters were not as careful about keeping the forests well stocked as we are today.

Not only that, but wars and strife across the oceans created problems like embargoes, and as a result, the supply chain for genuine mahogany was not quite as plentiful. Some woodworkers began working more with American walnut, yet the demand for mahogany never quite went away. But because it was hard to come by, those who cherished this prized wood started to look for alternatives.

It wasn’t long before some African species were discovered that had similar qualities, and many of these species were labeled as mahogany as well. This could have been an attempt from importers to fool buyers, but the fact remains that it created quite a bit of confusion in the industry as to whether or not the product they were buying was “genuine” mahogany. Thus, the term “genuine mahogany” was coined to refer to the original popular hardwood from the Western Hemisphere.

So what does this mean for the modern buyer? Confusion still occurs even in the modern market, and now there are even more mahogany-like species available. Those who want the real wood need to shop carefully to ensure that they are getting genuine mahogany.

The original mahogany can quite hard to come by in today’s market. The species itself, though, is been labeled Swietenia Macrophylla, so if you can find this particular species, then you can be certain that you have the real thing.

Although it can be difficult to find, genuine mahogany is still quite popular with furniture makers across the globe because it is so easy to work with and has such a unique and beautiful color. Restoration specialists also demand this particular species because using an alternative when restoring an old piece simply will not work. If the piece was genuine mahogany to begin with, it needs to be genuine mahogany when restored.

If you are having trouble finding genuine mahogany or determining if a lumber labeled as genuine mahogany is truly the real thing, understand that working with a trusted supplier can improve your chances of finding genuine mahogany that is of the best quality. Take the time to find a quality supplier, and your search for the perfect pieces will be much simpler. One such reliable supplier is McIlvain Company, a lumber industry leader that has been trusted since 1798 to source and sell the highest quality lumber in the world.

McIlvain has been one of America’s favorite lumber wholesalers for over 200 years, and with our centuries of experience, our vast inventory of domestic and exotic hardwoods and softwoods, our dedicated order specialists, and our in-house millwork facilities, it’s no wonder why. We offer the highest quality lumber in the business and serve some of the world’s most discerning customers, and  our nationwide shipping ensures that your top quality lumber will arrive on your job site on schedule. For more information on what sets McIlvain apart or to request a free quote, visit us online today, or check out these selections from our lumber blog:

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