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In Roman times expeditions were sent to Belgica, almost at the border of the Empire, all because of the discovery of a unique type of rock that could create an unrivaled edge on all kinds of cutlery. Coticule whetstones have been mined in the Belgian Ardennes since 1625. In 1770 the French master knifemaker Jean-Jaques Perret spent an entire chapter in his book “La pogonotomie, or the art of how to shave oneself” discussing the amazing razor hones made from this rock. Up until late into the second half of the 20th Century, Coticule hones were exported all over the world and considered the “nec plus ultra” for sharpening scalpels, laboratory equipment and straight razors. Today a flourishing niche of users of these amazing hones remains intact. Ardennes-Coticule, founded in 1998, is carrying on the commercial business that began 1865 and is the last and only remaining supplier of Belgian…

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