Quarried by hand in small numbers, the Zulu Grey is a unique, indurated sedimentary rock formed over 200 million years ago in the late Permian Period in the province of Kwa Zulu-Natal, South Africa. The stone is quite hard, exceptionally strong and dense. The Zulu Grey whetstone is quarried for its ability to impart a smooth final shaving edge on Straight Razors, however it would be equally effective at finishing a wide variety of fine-bladed tools and instruments. The stone is of course a natural product and as such each hone has an inherently unique appearance. Colours of the whetstones range from Grey-Blue to Grey-Green with a fine speckled pattern on the face of the stone. Some of the hones may also have what appear to be orange swirls or stains – this is created by iron oxide present in the stone and is quite beautiful in appearance.
There is no definitive grit number we can assign to the Zulu Grey as it is a natural hone, however many experienced users have estimated grit ratings from 12-15k+, but really these sorts of figures are not at all scientific, nor very useful when talking about natural honing stones. Each hone will be slightly different from the next, and natural hones in general will always perform in different ways with different types of steel. The Zulu Grey is nonetheless a ‘finishing stone’ in the truest sense of the term. It will improve or smooth the shaving edge off of an 8000 -12000 grit synthetic stone. Some users will even go to the Zulu Grey after a 16000 grit Shapton GS, as they find it smooths out the crispness of the edge left by the Shapton. The Zulu Grey is an honest, authentic natural product that works exceptionally well as a finishing stone for straight razors.
The Zulu Grey is wholly unique amongst other natural honing stones from around the world, and quite simply cannot be found anywhere else. A humble grey stone holding within it the beauty and strength of Africa prepared in the earth millions of years ago for you to use, cherish and pass down to generations to come.