The appraisal of mahogany was a complicated science. To evaluate the rosewood alone, Antonio and Barth had spent a long time, using many different methods.
The two of them taught Li Du and Hans how to appraise the rosewood through its physical attributes. For example, the studying of the distribution of pores in the cross-sections. In genuine rosewood, the pores would be evenly distributed throughout the diameter of the growth ring. Otherwise, it could very well be fake rosewood.
Under close observation, the growth ring in the cross-section of the rosewood did not seem obvious, unlike that of other wood. This was a key feature of rosewood.
In addition, in terms of the materials color, rosewoods newly-exposed surface would initially look orange, but over time would become dark purple or purplish-black. It might even have light purple and black streaks.
After they were shown these methods of appraisal, Hans was dumbfounded. "Isnt this a little too complicated?"
Barth shrugged, "Oh, were only halfway through. Come, let me continue. Next, we use the scent to help us assess.
"Rosewood has a light, unique fragrance when it is rubbed against objects. The scent is similar to that of sandalwood, but lighter. The scent is stronger after it has been filed quickly with a file."
Hans, mouth gaping, was astounded.
Even a keen learner like Li Du found it too difficult. Given that it constantly tested ones level of experience, eventually he gave up on the pursuit of this skill.
When one had to slice through the cross-section for observations, it had to be done in one stroke and no moreprecise knife skills were necessary.
After a series of appraisals from noon to night, the result was finally out. Li Dus bet was accurate: they were genuine mahogany.
Not just these wooden blocks, the wooden boards in storage unit 46 were also real mahogany.
Of the eight mahogany logs in the four crates, the most valuable was the rosewood, which also was the most difficult to identify. This was a log of genuine mahogany from India, weighing a few hundred pounds, and of great value.
There were also black rosewood, blackwood, Siamese rosewood from Laos, Southeast Asian white rosewood, and more. The eight logs represented eight mahogany species, and were all genuine.
After getting the confirmation, Hans gave Li Du a high five and shouted out excitement, "Thank God, our lucks fantastic! Oh, uh, Li, youre too good!"
Li Du nodded. Hmm, thats more like it.
After, the two of them had a discussion: The Mahogany Gallery seemed to have only counterfeit furniture, so why would they have genuine mahogany logs? And why didnt they take them?
Nobody knew the real answer. The two of them concurred with what Li Du had initially assumed: although there were fakes at the gallery, they were dealing with high-end counterfeits. The fake mahogany in the storage unit could have been produced using exquisite craftsmanship and a bleaching process, so that a genuine mahogany covering could be pasted over.
They might have needed to use genuine mahogany during the process and so paid a high price to buy the genuine mahogany. They only used part of it, and then put the rest into storage.
After that, the Mahogany Gallery made heaps of money from auctions. To avoid being found out, they had left Holbrook after making enough money.
The genuine mahogany and the counterfeits had been left behind in the storage unit for some reason. And when the contract for the storage unit ended, the storage company had included their units in the auction.
Hans asked the two of them to estimate the value of the all the logs. The most valuable was the rosewood. As the market price was 100,000 US dollars for a ton, it was worth about 40,000 US dollars.
This was followed by the red rosewood; the price was about 20,000 US dollars per ton. There were 500 kilograms of this rosewood, which could be sold for about 10,000 US dollars.
The other types of mahogany had relatively lower values, worth about 30,000 US dollars in total.
Li Du totaled the estimate: the mahogany was worth more than 80,000 dollars. Not bad at all
On the other hand, Hans was somewhat disappointed. "Isnt mahogany supposed to be very costly? Why is most of the mahogany worth so little?"
Antonio shrugged. "This is the market price. Indeed, some can be really expensive. The South China scented rosewood can go for 1.5 million US dollars per ton, and the Vietnamese scented rosewood can fetch 200,000 US dollars a ton, but youve got neither."
It took scented rosewood hundreds or thousands of years to grow. As this timber was extremely rare, furniture made from it was also extremely expensive; many people liked it, but most were not able to afford it.
This could be the reason the Mahogany Gallery hadnt produced counterfeit scented rosewood furniture.
It was also possible that the Mahogany Gallery hadnt been able to find the real scented rosewood to make the thin, outer wooden layers, so there were no counterfeits of this type.
When Li Du verbalized his guess, Hans was skeptical. "No, didnt someone say there was scented rosewood when the first unit was opened up?"
"They were just making a guess and you believe them?" Li Du asked sulkily.
The 80,000 dollars in earnings was not considered significant, but it was better than nothing. It was definitely better than Frank and Rick, who had been fooledpoor Rick had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While Hans looked for buyers for the mahogany, Li Du was going to make a trip to Boston. He was going to send the dodos skeletal specimens over personally, since the other party had offered the high price of a million dollars!
He did not wish for too many people to know of this matter, and so brought Godzilla and Big Quinn along to Boston without Hans. He was actually not keen on bringing both of them, but had decided to so in the event that the other party attempted to harm him for a million dollars.
Boston was the capital of and the largest city in Massachusetts. It was also the largest city in the New England region of the northeastern United States.
Li Du had never traveled outside Arizona; this trip to the east had made him quite nervous. However, the public order in Boston was not bad. It was an old city, having been founded in 1630.It had a central role in the history of the United States, with many saying the countrys history started here.
The birth of the United States had stemmed from the American Revolutionary War, which had in turn been ignited by the Boston Tea Incident.
Li Du had learned these historical facts in high school. When onboard the plane, he read this again in the introductory brochurethere was even a version written in Chinese.
There were many respectable universities in and around Boston. With the large number of Chinese students residing here, there was more Chinese material available.
Li Du was very interested in learning more about the geography, as well as history and culture, of various parts of the world. This was why he flew to Boston personally for the deal. Otherwise, it would have been more prudent to invite the other party to Flagstaff.
They drove the rental car from the airport to downtown. Then Big Quinn asked him to stop, so that they could walk into the city.
Li Du asked, "Why are we walking?"
Big Quinn explained, "This city has a very compact layout, which is more suitable for walking. Especially the Beacon Hill area we are going to, which is in the oldest and busiest zone in Boston."
Li Du did not mind the walking, but they were carrying the dodos skeletal specimen, which was huge.
Godzilla picked up the large wooden box without complaint. Next to his burly body, the wooden box seemed like a toy box instead, successfully solving the issue.