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Are genuine ebony sets worth the premium price?

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Lotus960
LeChevalier79 wrote:

On the Jaques website, for their luxury chess pieces, they say:

"This Chess set is made in the UK to order so currently has a lead time of up to 2 weeks for delivery.".

But the fact that they claim these are made in the UK and the price point is so high does make me wonder.

Here in the UK we have vast forests of ebony trees. So whenever Jacques wants to make a chess set, they cut one of those trees down. That's how they justify their "Made in the UK" label. 😁

Lotus960
Yenster1 wrote:
DesperateKingWalk wrote:

We are talking about wood chess sets. And only a D.A would think plastic, or resin is wood. And these are great options and I own many of them. Plastic and resin chess sets. As they are DURABLE unlike Ebonized boxwood. And also look fantastic for a lifetime of use.

Look...there's that "D.A." again. What's that abbreviation for?

It's an insult. People are not telling you it directly, because the site bot will not allow it. So think about the writer Alexander Dumas, and then imagine that surname being pronounced in a certain way. Then you've got it.

Yenster1
Lotus960 wrote:

It's an insult. People are not telling you it directly, because the site bot will not allow it. So think about the writer Alexander Dumas, and then imagine that surname being pronounced in a certain way. Then you've got it.

That's just like a scene in one of my favorite movies. And the main character in that movie was named Andy too.

Wits-end
Yenster1 wrote:

Well it does seem there's lots to debate as to whether genuine ebony is worth the premium. I took this question to mean ... Is it worth it over ebonized boxwood (painted, stained, chemically blackened) or over other woods. Also noted was the direct reference of cracking and the required maintenance, which has led to most of this debate.

One thing is for sure...there has been a lot of theoretical discussion, and even more theories not yet mentioned. Some recent arguments appear to make a case against buying ebony, that being, the current supply of ebony is (in some aspects) inferior to older ebony, and even boxwood. Another debate is whether or not you will actually receive 'genuine' ebony, or a mystery 'ebony', or ebony at all (i.e. African Blackwood). Also questionable is whether it has been stained black by the maker (though not questionable that it's fairly common practice). And then, all woods can crack, and yet not all do.

No matter what the theoretical assertion, there will always be exceptions, and variations. For example (unrelated), It can be said that "Men are physically stronger than women" (please take no offense) and most agree. Yet it's also true that not all men are stronger than all women, and also, a lot of women are stronger than a lot of men. And less emphasized... a weaker woman today can become a stronger woman in the future with physical training, and put men to shame. So along this same vein... a lot of folks believe that ebony is more prone to cracking than boxwood and other woods. But this doesn't mean always, nor without exceptions.

I'm sure the belief that ebony is prone to cracking stems (more so) from empirical evidence, rather than theoretical discussions. With ebony pieces cracking in multiple sets stored in the same location, this is a good example of empirical evidence without theory. No cracks in multiple sets in another location...this doesn't dispute that evidence.

I guess further discussion could venture into: wood curing, coatings for moisture stabilization, elastic modulus, rupture modulus, thermal expansion coefficient, perpendicular grain expansion vs. parallel grain expansion, extreme limits of heat or humidity, water content, % shrinkage, corrosive impact, or maybe even climate change on trees.

Yeah it might be interesting to discuss more of these theories, but the empirical observations are good enough for me.

Spot on!

LeChevalier79
DesperateKingWalk wrote:

I want to buy one of their reproductions. But they do not ship to the USA. Very strange...

I THINK it has something to do with Brexit. Trade agreements with the Continent are different now that the UK isn't in the EU. If you notice, they won't even ship to Northern Ireland because they share a land border and special travel rules with an EU country. It is still rather strange, though. Most companies want to sell things to people who want to give them money.

DesperateKingWalk
LeChevalier79 wrote:
DesperateKingWalk wrote:

I want to buy one of their reproductions. But they do not ship to the USA. Very strange...

I THINK it has something to do with Brexit. Trade agreements with the Continent are different now that the UK isn't in the EU. If you notice, they won't even ship to Northern Ireland because they share a land border and special travel rules with an EU country. It is still rather strange, though. Most companies want to sell things to people who want to give them money.

I hope this will change in the future.

DesperateKingWalk
Wits-end wrote:
Yenster1 wrote:

Well it does seem there's lots to debate as to whether genuine ebony is worth the premium. I took this question to mean ... Is it worth it over ebonized boxwood (painted, stained, chemically blackened) or over other woods. Also noted was the direct reference of cracking and the required maintenance, which has led to most of this debate.

One thing is for sure...there has been a lot of theoretical discussion, and even more theories not yet mentioned. Some recent arguments appear to make a case against buying ebony, that being, the current supply of ebony is (in some aspects) inferior to older ebony, and even boxwood. Another debate is whether or not you will actually receive 'genuine' ebony, or a mystery 'ebony', or ebony at all (i.e. African Blackwood). Also questionable is whether it has been stained black by the maker (though not questionable that it's fairly common practice). And then, all woods can crack, and yet not all do.

No matter what the theoretical assertion, there will always be exceptions, and variations. For example (unrelated), It can be said that "Men are physically stronger than women" (please take no offense) and most agree. Yet it's also true that not all men are stronger than all women, and also, a lot of women are stronger than a lot of men. And less emphasized... a weaker woman today can become a stronger woman in the future with physical training, and put men to shame. So along this same vein... a lot of folks believe that ebony is more prone to cracking than boxwood and other woods. But this doesn't mean always, nor without exceptions.

I'm sure the belief that ebony is prone to cracking stems (more so) from empirical evidence, rather than theoretical discussions. With ebony pieces cracking in multiple sets stored in the same location, this is a good example of empirical evidence without theory. No cracks in multiple sets in another location...this doesn't dispute that evidence.

I guess further discussion could venture into: wood curing, coatings for moisture stabilization, elastic modulus, rupture modulus, thermal expansion coefficient, perpendicular grain expansion vs. parallel grain expansion, extreme limits of heat or humidity, water content, % shrinkage, corrosive impact, or maybe even climate change on trees.

Yeah it might be interesting to discuss more of these theories, but the empirical observations are good enough for me.

Spot on!

[Moderator removed comment - AA]

DesperateKingWalk
DesperateKingWalk wrote:
Wits-end wrote:
Yenster1 wrote:

Well it does seem there's lots to debate as to whether genuine ebony is worth the premium. I took this question to mean ... Is it worth it over ebonized boxwood (painted, stained, chemically blackened) or over other woods. Also noted was the direct reference of cracking and the required maintenance, which has led to most of this debate.

One thing is for sure...there has been a lot of theoretical discussion, and even more theories not yet mentioned. Some recent arguments appear to make a case against buying ebony, that being, the current supply of ebony is (in some aspects) inferior to older ebony, and even boxwood. Another debate is whether or not you will actually receive 'genuine' ebony, or a mystery 'ebony', or ebony at all (i.e. African Blackwood). Also questionable is whether it has been stained black by the maker (though not questionable that it's fairly common practice). And then, all woods can crack, and yet not all do.

No matter what the theoretical assertion, there will always be exceptions, and variations. For example (unrelated), It can be said that "Men are physically stronger than women" (please take no offense) and most agree. Yet it's also true that not all men are stronger than all women, and also, a lot of women are stronger than a lot of men. And less emphasized... a weaker woman today can become a stronger woman in the future with physical training, and put men to shame. So along this same vein... a lot of folks believe that ebony is more prone to cracking than boxwood and other woods. But this doesn't mean always, nor without exceptions.

I'm sure the belief that ebony is prone to cracking stems (more so) from empirical evidence, rather than theoretical discussions. With ebony pieces cracking in multiple sets stored in the same location, this is a good example of empirical evidence without theory. No cracks in multiple sets in another location...this doesn't dispute that evidence.

I guess further discussion could venture into: wood curing, coatings for moisture stabilization, elastic modulus, rupture modulus, thermal expansion coefficient, perpendicular grain expansion vs. parallel grain expansion, extreme limits of heat or humidity, water content, % shrinkage, corrosive impact, or maybe even climate change on trees.

Yeah it might be interesting to discuss more of these theories, but the empirical observations are good enough for me.

Spot on!

[Moderator removed comment - AA]

I said another great theory by Witsend.

To be "at one's wits' end" is a common idiom expressing mental exhaustion or perplexity.

AwesomeAtti

@Desperatekingwalk I know what your comment said as do others. I do not appreciate being gaslighted nor do I think your personal insults of others are warranted or productive.

Please help keep Chess.com safe and friendly for everyone by following the Community Policy and avoiding the use of personal insults.

DesperateKingWalk

As long as they play by the rules.

And It means the same thing.

witless

adjective

wit·​less ˈwit-ləs 
1
lacking wit or understanding FOOLISH
AwesomeAtti
DesperateKingWalk wrote:

As long as they play by the rules.

Thank you for your understanding and future support.

The correct response is to report violations. Other's violating the community policy is not an invitation or excuse to also violate it. If you see others violate the community policy please use the report button on the comment or the user's profile. Once reported you can also DM me and I'll do my best to look into it as well.

DesperateKingWalk

That is fair.