Cocobolo Desk: Everything You Need to Know

Cocobolo Desk

Cocobolo desk is rare hardwood desks made from Central American cocobolo wood. Wood is the rarest part. Cocobolo is not only beautiful and shiny, but also hard to get. Some furniture makers work with cocobolo wood.

Recently, many desk collectors have been introduced to Cocobolo desks by the hit TV show “Better Call Saul,” but that doesn’t mean Cocobolo desks are a craze. Rather, the show referred to the desk as originating because of the precious nature of the wood.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Cocobolo Desk.

Why Cocobolo Desks Are So Expensive

Cocobolo is a rare, durable and attractive wood. Not only does it display a beautiful array of colors – almost a “rainbow” – but it is also difficult to work with. Because of the natural oils in the wood, many woodworkers find this material difficult.

This combination of rarity and beauty makes the Cocobolo desk very expensive. The cheapest cocobolo desks are often over $7,000 due to the materials alone.

You can see why people love this desk. Wood doesn’t just have a wonderful grain pattern—it has a lot of color variation.

Special About Cocobolo Desks

Because of the materials used, a cocobolo desk is going to be extremely durable and attractive. What’s more, a cocobolo desk is likely to be very well made, and a skilled woodworker working with this wood.

There are many incredible woods out there, but some of them have been deemed unethical or unsustainable (which means they are purchased and imported in limited quantities). Even when the hardwood is ethically sourced, there are fewer pieces of furniture because they are all made by individual artisans.

Better Call Saul and Cocobolo Desks

The resurgence of interest in cocobolo desks is largely due to the “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul.” In “Better Call Saul”, Jimmy McGill buys a desk when he gets a job at a law firm.

After firing her, he writes a check for the desk and asks someone to drive the desk from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. Unfortunately (and tragically), the table is thrown by the wayside.

Interestingly, the desk that “Better Call Saul” uses is probably not the Cocobolo desk. Cocobolo desks aren’t just incredibly rare. Most of the desks around are pretty small because of how rare the material is.

Don Shoemaker’s Cocobolo Desks

Today, some of the most valuable cocobolo pieces in existence belong to Don Shoemaker, a famous mid-century Mexican furniture designer.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Don Shoemaker defined and popularized elements of the mid-century style around the world. His most famous product is his cocobolo sloucher, or “sling chair,” which is worth thousands today.

Mid-century style was an abstract, futuristic style that became popular in the 60s and 70s. Today, it is one of the most popular styles not only for furniture but also for architecture.

Its recent trend may also explain the renewed interest in cocobolo furniture.

Most Expensive Cocobolo Desks

Cocobolo desks are actually so rare that you’d be hard-pressed to find them in a store. A Cocobolo desk by famed designer Don Shoemaker sells for $16,000 on Cherish — along with a matching chair and original purchase receipt.

In fact, if you look online, this is one of the few tables you can find for sale at Cocobolo.

Most Affordable Cocobolo Desks

Because of the materials involved, there really is no such thing as a “cheap cocobolo desk.” But there is a trick. Cocobolo is actually a type of rosewood. Although it does not have the same color spectrum, Rosewood can look quite similar to Cocobolo.

You can get a rosewood table for $1,700. That may still seem expensive, but it’s a lot less than $20,000.

Where can you find an original Cocobolo desk for cheap? Your best bet would be to find one in an antique store and hope the antique store didn’t know what it had.

How To Buy a Cocobolo Desk

Because cocobolo wood is so rare and so valuable, you only have a few options for buying a cocobolo desk.

  • You can purchase the desk online (likely for around $20,000).
  • You can try to find one in an antique shop.
  • You can settle for another (but still beautiful) type of rosewood.
  • You can have one built for you by an artisan.

There is cocobolo wood. It is simply a rare wood that is more difficult to work with than many other hardwoods. The right craftsman may be able to make you a great table, but be prepared for it to be expensive.

Is Cocobolo Wood Ethically Sourced?

One cool thing for those of you willing to spend $20,000 on a Cocobolo desk is that the wood is usually ethical and sustainable. There is a caveat. You need to make sure you are getting it from a legitimate source.

Illegally harvested hardwood is extremely harmful to the environment. Hardwood trees take a long time to grow and do not fill in quickly. Durable hardwood is often reclaimed from trees that have already been felled.

Funniest Cocobolo Desk Memes

“This cocobolo desk is a good luck charm for Bob Odenkirk’s full and speedy recovery.”

“After all, the Cocobolo desk has become an icon not only of good health, but of Bob Odenkirk’s good health in particular.”

What is COCOBOLO Desk wood?

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