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Thread: Why are honing stones so expensive? Has our planet ran out of its resources?

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    Default Why are honing stones so expensive? Has our planet ran out of its resources?

    I often wonder why the prices of hones have skyrocketed and upon digging deeper I found that one of the reasons is the scarcity of resources that influences the market. As per my understanding sharpening stones/hones are only mined in Belgium or Japan, other than some silicon or alumunium oxide stones and a few natural stones (Arkansas) that are mined in the United States.

    My question to all of you is that, do you think that there is more to it? Like if the coticules are from belgium and water stones from Japan, then how about the rest of the world? The planet is immense in its natural beauty and resources and is no way limited to a certain geographic location therefore it appears that it hasnt been researched for any other parts of the world otherwise there is a very real possibility that we would have an abundant resources of those honing stones or I dare say that even better than them because they are yet "undiscovered".

    Sorry for a question like that but it has been bugging me for a while and need your feedback on what you think and do you agree with the above possibilities?

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    I'm guessing that with the invention of man-made stones (Norton etc) that nobody is looking due to the expense of mining. I would guess there are all kinds of undiscovered hone sources out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodb View Post
    I'm guessing that with the invention of man-made stones (Norton etc) that nobody is looking due to the expense of mining. I would guess there are all kinds of undiscovered hone sources out there.
    Thanks that makes sense.

    As per wikipedia there are 203 recognised countries in the world. If these natural stones are only found in Belgium and Japan, then what about the rest of 201 nations? Just for example Belgium shares its boundary with France, Luxembourg, and Germany. If the part of the earth is same then there is very real possibllities that the coticules also exist on the other part of the border?
    Same goes for Japan and its surrounding islands, so does for africa, asia, australia, and north america as well as arctic and antartic geographies.

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    I've heard the Dutch paid exorbitant prices for tulips way back. Recently Americans paid more for real estate .... substantially more ... than it is worth now. Maybe natural hones are in the same category ? I know I got 'em and if you want 'em guess what ...... BIG $$$$
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    I've heard the Dutch paid exorbitant prices for tulips way back. Recently Americans paid more for real estate .... substantially more ... than it is worth now. Maybe natural hones are in the same category ? I know I got 'em and if you want 'em guess what ...... BIG $$$$
    You are absolutely right, I guess its all about market domination and control than the issue of "limited supply.
    There was a thread here where the owner of the mine in belgium detailed how its mined and what not and that made me think that this industry is so much huge than often what it seems.

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    Obviously the rest of the world does have the potential for containing more rocks that are ideal for honing. It's just a matter of finding them.

    I spent the last 21 years in Iowa but I never found the coveted Iowegian Hone. I'll keep all of you posted on my search in Minnesota, but I'm not accepting any pre-payments yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
    Obviously the rest of the world does have the potential for containing more rocks that are ideal for honing. It's just a matter of finding them.

    I spent the last 21 years in Iowa but I never found the coveted Iowegian Hone. I'll keep all of you posted on my search in Minnesota, but I'm not accepting any pre-payments yet.
    If you find a "Minnticule" let me know!!

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    I did read somewhere here about someone who had some stones from South Africa?, or somewhere down there. I live in Nevada, full of rocks and mountains, but in all my desert travels have yet to find anything I though would make a good hone. I do keep on looking though

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    You really glossed over there with the stones and the countries...


    Germany - Thuringen/Escher
    Briton - TOS, Water of Ayre, Charlney Forest, and more
    India
    Turkey
    USA
    China
    Israel


    The real reason is cost -vs- profit we as razor guys do not drive the market we just think we do

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    you can abrade steel with almost anything, it just works easier with some things than with others.
    i don't find the hones particularly expensive. the set of 4 naniwa superstones I got was $300, and the 3 more important ones were $200. That'd cover way more honing than I want to do in my lifetime. Norton is cheaper, and there are even cheaper options.
    If I compare this to the money I'd like in exchange of honing just a handful of razors, the hones themselves are certainly not expensive at all.

    And the cost of coticules, thuringians, nakayamas I think is irrelevant because they are inessential. Yes, I have them all, and more, but if the hype/supply/demand thing of the market doesn't suit me, there's the perfectly good option in synthetics where the competition keeps some of those factors under control.

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