A 12" tanto carved from a solid piece of Gaboon ebony, an extremely dense and heavy wood fromWest Africa. Ebony has a jet black appearance with occasional streaks of dark brown or even grey. It is very difficult to work as it is brittle and one of the most expensive exotic hardwoods. Properly polished, it has a silky feel to it and a wonderful heft. After a final sanding with 220 grit paper, I have sealed this with shellac and then given it several coats of lacquer. We do not recommend extremely hard contact with any item made from ebony; however, properly cared for, this item will last many lifetimes.