why is it called iron wood? and why is it the best?
Olneya tesota(Desert Ironwood) is what this is it is called Iron wood because of how hard and dense it is it will sink in water, One popular usage for the wood is for knife handles, since its hardness, beautiful grain, and coloring is ideal.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olneya" It is very hard and dense, naturally oily and resinous, and takes a very bright glassy polish. It's impervious to just about any thing, and long wearing. The colors and patterns of Desert Ironwood can be wild and beautiful, straight grained, or demure. Some of it has an almost chatoyant (cat's eye) effect in the figure. In custom knives, it's probably the second most common handle material, next to Cocobolo. Outstanding pieces with high figure are very prized in the custom knife field." http://www.jayfisher.com/Handles_Knife_Woods.htm#Ironwood_Desert
Beautiful wood. I know it was your choice of using this wood that helped make that decision to buy.