Understanding the Grading of Agarwood: Density and Oil Content


Agarwood, often referred to as the "diamond of the plant world," holds a unique status in the realm of fragrances. Drawing upon the essence of nature, celestial influences, and the passage of time, high-quality agarwood can command a value three times that of gold. With its rich history and cultural significance, agarwood has been cherished by people for centuries.

Agarwood Beads

Grading Agarwood

Density and Oil Content The assessment of agarwood quality hinges on two primary factors: density and oil content. Determining whether agarwood sinks in water is a key criterion, where a density greater than 1 gram per cubic centimeter qualifies it as sinking agarwood. The oil content, influencing both its buoyancy and market value, plays a pivotal role in the evaluation process. The ability to sink in water is a crucial aspect of agarwood quality assessment.

Classifying Agarwood

In the market, agarwood is broadly categorized into sinking, semi-sinking, and floating categories. Sinking agarwood is further divided based on oil content, resulting in grades like 9-point sinking, 8-point sinking, 7-point sinking, and so on.

Understanding the Grades

  • 9-Point Sinking: Represents agarwood that sinks 90%, with the remaining 10% floating.
  • 8-Point Sinking: Indicates agarwood that sinks 80%, leaving 20% floating.
  • 7-Point Sinking: Denotes agarwood sinking 70%, with 30% floating.

Grading Specifics

Generally, agarwood beads with a sinking rate of 90% are considered top-tier, falling into the first-grade category. Beads sinking between 70% and 90% are classified as second-grade agarwood, while those sinking between 50% and 70% are termed third-grade agarwood. Anything below 20% oil content is often categorized as white wood.

Market Dynamics

In the market, agarwood beads of 1.2 centimeters are further classified based on weight and oil content. The lower end, around 0.90 grams, is considered the lowest grade, followed by 1.00 grams (mid-grade), 1.1 grams (high-grade), and 1.21 grams (top-grade). Unsubmerged agarwood beads are categorized into 9-point sinking, 8-point sinking, 7-point sinking, with corresponding price adjustments based on their sinking levels.


Understanding the grading system for agarwood, considering both density and oil content, provides consumers and traders with valuable insights into the quality of these precious beads. Whether sinking or non-sinking, each grade offers a unique olfactory experience, connecting enthusiasts to the rich heritage and cultural significance of agarwood. If you want to buy a piece of authentic agarwood (from Plantation), feel free to browse from True Earth Jewelry and find that unique piece of yours. 

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