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Coticules-- flaws defects?


Well-Known Member
What are flaws? I visited Ardennes Coticules and saw this:
"Selected" provides a homogeneous stone while "Standard" shows cosmetic defects or natural colourisation."

I believe a “flaw” or a defect is something that prevent the hone from doing its job… something like a crack or hard inclusion.
But the “Standard” Coticule perform exactly like the “Selected”, so why is the Standard considered flawed? In my book a “defect” or “flaw” is the same.

I look at the Coticules in the Vault (and the one i own) and see beautifully “figured” surface... and never two the same. I do not believe any other stone, natural or artificial can "boast" such variation.

So why do we call these variations in the standard Coticules "defects"?
Am I making sense?
I think the problem is of a linguistic nature. (Mind that the people running Ardennes are not native English speaking)

The important word here is: "cosmetic". Cosmetic defects, thus meaning defects that only affect the way the hone looks and not how it performs. This usually refers to small cracks or dents that can be seen in the side of the hone. Have a look at the sideline of n°18: Vault/Coticule018.jpg
You can clearly see some cracks and also a small void that's filled with glue.
Definitely a standard grade bout, that will sell for a cheaper price than a select grade, yet it will perform without any problems.

The mistake - at least in my opinion - they have made, is that they also rate hones with "natural colourisation" as being standard. Of course, their "mistake" is our fortune, because that allows us to buy some amazingly looking and top notch Coticules at "standard" prices.:) But it connects two entirely different things together, namely natural figuring and natural cracks. The former is often incarnated in black mangane deposits (that may sometimes look like cracks, but are rock solid). In my experience so far that occurrence predicts an excellent, fast cutting Coticule, and if it were my business, I 'd sell these hones at increased price.:sneaky: (finally found a reason to use the "sneaky" smiley).

I got the impression that the reason for having two grades is to meet demands of resellers. Some resellers reject anything that looks "suspicious" in their eyes: small cracks in the side line, black lines at the surface, even when the Coticule layer is not as thick as they'd like. I think that's why they started using two different grades. Now at least they can tell a demanding reseller to only buy (and pay extra for) select grade hones. The disadvantage being that such a reseller will start to promote his "select" hones as being better, which is simply not true.

Real flaws, that would affect the honing, are rejected during the production process. Standard or Select grades have nothing to do with that.