The wood Industry has long prized Holly wood for its very white color ,tight graining and fabulous sandability. It takes stain well and is used as a substitute for ebony when stained black. It is classically used as the white side of chess pieces when carved, and ebony as the other side. It is also used as a substitute for ivory on piano keys when needed. Faberge made cases for his famously beautiful enameled eggs out of holly!