Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Absolute Black

I'm going to give you some information on this stone and why it has become such a problem.

Originally, Absolute Black came from South Africa. There are a lot of blacks from that part of the world, but this was the darkest with the fewest 'flecks'. For several years now, the quarries have not been producing good blocks. A number of different flaws, but suffice to say, they were not saleable. The 'real' Absolute Black was virtually bullet-proof.

Along come the Indians, as in Eastern part of the world, next to Pakistan. Now, they are not going to admit this, but they have some dark gray stone that they are dying black. There are a number of theories about how they do this. I'm sure the secret is hidden away somewhere, but that is not the point. The point is that they ARE dying it.

Here's the implications: When you use it in a kitchen or any other applications, it is not impervious to acids. Spill some lemon juice on it, let it sit a few minutes and you will have a permanent gray spot where the dye was etched from the stone. There is not a thing I or you or anyone else can do about it. And, it is worse with alternative finishes like leathered or honed surfaces.

If someone is trying to sell you Absolute Black Indian, I'll guarantee you it will not resist acids. I'm a charter member of the SFA, which is the Stone Fabricator's Alliance, and we have members all over the world. Same story everytime on this stone from all the members. It is a problem and most of them will not even sell it. It's that bad.

For now, we'll still offer it, but not without a serious lecture about the do's and don'ts. You need to be aware of the pitfalls.

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