Description Ebony is a dense black hardwood, it is dense enough to sink in water. It is finely-textured and has a very smooth finish when polished, making it valuable as an ornamental wood. One of the species of ebony is native to Indonesia and prized for its luxuriant, multi-colored wood grain, it is Diospyros celebica (Makassar ebony).
Modern uses are largely restricted to small items, such as crucifixes, and musical instrument parts, including black piano and harpsichord keys, violin, viola, mandolin, guitar, double bass, and cello fingerboards, tailpieces, pegs, chinrests, and bow frogs. Many plectra, or guitar picks, are made from this black wood. Traditionally, the black pieces in chess sets were made from ebony, with rare boxwood or ivory being used for the white pieces.