I didn’t realize there was going to be a Part 2 to the story, but we’ve got major wood drama! Stop the presses!
I asked a pen turner friend to make me a pen out of a chunk of cocobolo burl. When he began slicing it up, he grew suspicious and sent off a sample to a Dendrologist at an SEC university. The scientist did his thing, doing cellular analysis, burn tests, and other mystical incantations, and concluded that the wood is definitely NOT cocobolo burl. He believes it is actually dalbergia cochinchinensis, sometimes called Siamese Rosewood, Thailand Rosewood, Tracwood, or Flamewood. It’s much harder to determine species with a piece of burl, since the grain patterns in burl are totally different than they are in traditional wood.
The dendrologist also reported that this wood is significantly more rare than cocobolo burl… one of the rarest species in the world, in fact. If you do a google search and can actually find a picture of albergia cochinchinensis burl, I’d love to see it. There’s just not much out there on the interwebs about it.
I will say that the pen is STUNNING. It has a unique, three-dimensional depth in the wood that I’ve never seen before. Sort of a swirling iridescence. These pictures don’t do it justice.
Looking forward to seeing how some of these other pen blanks turn out: