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Indian Rosewood

1st grade Indian Rosewood

2nd grade Indian Rosewood 

Dalbergia latifolia

The vast majority of the higher quality steel string and classical guitars made over the last thirty years have been made from Indian Rosewood. Many of the top classical guitarmakers - Romanillos, Fleta, Friederich, Gilbert - prefer it to Brazilian Rosewood for many reasons. It is a beautiful wood, it is plentiful and sustainable, it is easily worked and the sound produced by Indian Rosewood guitars is superlative.

The color of Indian Rosewood ranges from red to light brown with golden streaks, but more often runs to various shades of purple-brown (which eventually oxidizes to a rich brown color).

IMPORTANT SHIPPING NOTE: Due to the recent CITES convention ruling we are no longer able to ship Rosewood parts, including Indian Rosewood, outside of the U.S. but we have a limited selection of Indian Rosewood items warehoused in Canada for delivery to Canadian addresses. Look for the Maple leaf next to the applicable parts. Canadian HST and GST taxes will apply. These items will be shipped separately from the rest of the order.

Back & Sides Dimensions
Wood Grading article
Figured Wood Terms



Indian Rosewood guitar, Brent McElroy


1st grade Indian Rosewood, Dalton Guitars


We believe that the best way to present this wood to you is to carefully grade every shipment into general quality ranges and price them accordingly. All of these matched sets are dried in our dehumidification kiln, and we sand both sides of all pieces to better match sides to backs.

PREMIUM GRADE - Very few sets fall into the Premium category and lengthy backorders are sometimes required to receive wood in this grade. For those requiring a homogenous and distinguished appearance, these sets offer above average darkness evenness of color and most will have tighter grain lines. We do not offer quantity discounts at this grade.

FIRST GRADE - This is a good grade of wood. The majority of the wood we receive falls into this grade. This is the typical good factory grade, but most high-end luthiers order from this grade as well. Wholesale quantity discounts for 25 or more sets are available (please inquire). The sets are quartersawn, with good matches of backs to sides. These sets vary from the Premium Grade in that they offer more variation in color, attractive color bands, have more medium-wide grain, or the grain is slightly curved. An occasional small, solid knot, or mineral streak, or minor water or end stain are possible in this grade, but are not the norm (let us know if we need to specially select your sets). Because there are so many different types of good-looking sets here, we encourage you to specify what you are looking for when you place your order.

SECOND GRADE - This grade is good wood structurally and tonally, but varies enough cosmetically not to make First Grade. These are quartersawn but the grain may be wider, or the color is lighter/less intense, or there may be (solid) knots or mineral streaks, however these sets usually exhibit only one or two of these factors to downgrade from First Grade. We've sold this grade to some factories or more production oriented smaller shops, so it is quite useable - especially considering the lower cost over Premium and First grades. Some have commented that they will order from this grade because they prefer a “stripey” look.