Here is a coticule grading chart used in the old days
Here is the chart
I owned a barbers' special (the highest grade) for some time. It was my first ever coticule. It was manufactured by TTO I believe. The layer i'm guessing was a petite blanche or a fast veinette. It was very fine and very fast on slurry. It had a lot of lines on it as well. Pictures are somewhere!
I also own an old rock (the second highest grade) it was sold by SR droescher. On Ebay it looked like a Veinette, however I don't think that is what it is. It has two silvery patches the size of quarters on it. It also has a single vein up the middle that is actually a crack (doesn't affect honing at all tho :thumbup: ). It is med hardness, very sandy texture, and impossible to dilocot with! The slurry released is so gritty, no matter how much you dilute the bevel looks like 4k level all the way to water. It is still very gritty with water and kind of auto slurries. The BBW on this one is the best ive ever used for speed. It generates swarf rapidly and is gritty just like the coticule side is. Slurry will darken somewhat with it too. If someone wanted to test it out I would have no problem sending it to them.
My third is an old rock and is one smythe and I both own. It came from a JR Torrey paddle. It is very hard and weird looking. It looks a lot like a piece of wood. If I had to name its layer based on specs alone (not looks) my guess would be it is a lot like a la grise. It is med-slow speed on water, but the slurry is very fine not gritty at all. With water it is the slowest coticule I own. Dilocot is very easy on this one.
An interesting thing about this one is that when you lap it those little specks don't go away. They stay raised above the surface and will make a "brisker" edge. If you rub it long enough with a slurry stone they go away and the hone leaves a smooth edge. Second favorite to my hybrid coticule.
My fourth is a "Pikes Belgian Razor Hone Extra Choice Selected Grade" It is the fourth best grade according to the old chart. I have no idea what it looks like yet, because it is not in my possession. The seller took "pitchers" of the BBW side only. He was really interested in the box though!
: I cant wait to see what this coticule acts like! will post "pitchers" when it comes!
Also, I was wondering how much a coticule would cost today based on that chart. I paid 75 dollars. A 6in extra choice selected coticule was 9 dollars during WWI (I think that is what they are referring to?) a google inflation calculator puts the price at 117.50$ today!