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I need an advice

I can't. As mentioned above, you have to have the stone in hand to be able to say anything about it.

Now do people guess? Well of course they do, that's what the whole bidding on stones at the Japanese auctions is based on. You learn to identify looks and patterns and bid and if you are successful the stones performs as you would expect. That approach is risky but fun if you are ok with the risk.

So you have 2 options. One you evaluate the stone yourself, two you send it out to somebody to do it for you.

Can you post your own pics of this stone? Dry and wet. Just curious.

The stone is at my apartment and I moved to another country to work there for God knows how long and I might return around Christmas, but by then I might forget about the stone and everything.

The thing is that for whatever reason he wants that stone badly. He hinted a few months ago when I send him the stone to look at it that he's looking for exactly like that one. Then, he contacted me a a few weeks later saying if I'm intrested and I said something like - ''I'm still new and I'm not sure what to do with it, but I'm going to keep it for now''. And a few days ago he called me and it sounded like he wanted really bad. How could a Jnat with 3-3.5 hardness be so important for him, since he has at least 4 or 5 other Jnats and God knows how many others like coticules, thuringians and what not?

For someone like him who's very knowledgeable as well as owning countless stones and razors and having connections finding such or even better stone should not be a problem.
Going by the photos, It's not Mizu...but that doesn't matter. It's just a garden variety 'color', sort of Asagi-ish with a blush.
Plenty of stones have been sold under the LV5+ moniker that weren't that, many of them sold by 'trusted sellers'.
Jnat hardness really can't be evaluated accurately by SG, or waterdrops, or cut size, or saw marks, or stamps, or whatever. Remember, the LV system is a system, not just a hardness scale and fwiw, it's all very subjective and arbitrary. I refuse to use it because it so horribly misunderstood. One person's LV 3.5 is another person's LV 4.5, In an honest situation, it all depends on one's reference points. In an auction site situation it might depend more on what's in stock and what the majority of bidders are going to spend the most on. Stamps mean nothing, many hardware stones and several online vendors have their own set of quarry stamps.

Hardness isn't a result of just one single quality, some stone are dry and soft and others are dry and hard, some have a higher moisture content making them 'harder', some have what I might call a type of wear-resistance, some are hard because the abrasive content is high and packed tightly, other times it's because the stone formed for a longer time under pressure and heat. Jnats are shale, not, impurities abound and various minerals have different densities. Some extremely soft stones are also very dense. And there's the point that there are extremely hard Jnats that are all but useless for sharpening. I have had true super hard stones absorb water fast, and others that let water sit forever. Those results can change after regular use, repeated wetting will slow down the stone's need to absorb moisture. Some stones get harder as you lap them because the mm or two is so dried out.

Tons of so-called 'barber size' stones have been cut from very soft stone. Many tons...boatloads of them. I have had many that were a little harder than chalk and useless for sharpening razors.

To know that stone for sure, yourself, you have to use it.
If you don't have the experience, then I'd say find someone trustworthy that has no horse in the race to evaluate.
First, lap it, how does the stone behave? does it lap easy or hard. Slurry coming off the stone easy and fast means soft, stones that won't flatten without making you break a sweat are 'in the ballpark'. After that, running a knife blade over it for a bit with some pressure can tell you some things, checking striations, etc.

Generally, I don't give advice. In this case though, I will.
Use the stone. Hone on it. I do not see any reference to you having used the stone. Unless you use it, you will never know for sure what you can or cannot do with it. Ultimately, you have to use it, so just use it. If you're not going to use it, then it doesn't matter what it is or is not. Gotta use it to know...

Forget trying to get it evaluated 'virtually' online by people that haven't held it. I've handled more than a few Jnats, way more than a few to be honest, and I would never try to pass judgement on your stone without trying it first. I might suspect things but I would not pass judgement without trying it. I have seen stones that 'look' soft and useless that were stellar and others that looked like super hard but were several points down the ladder. Some very hard stones work great, others not so much.

FWIW, It's very possible that the guy you showed it to knows what he's talking about and is being honest and fair; not everyone is trying to rip everyone off. Ask him to show you a finisher-grade stone and to show you the differences between your stone and his. He should be able to show you a few things indicating hardness differences, etc.
Maybe yours is actually a nice mid-range stone. Maybe he can use something like that in his lineup. Maybe he'll let you try the coticule out. Let him hone a blade on it for you, see if you like it.
For sure, I would not roll with the deal without getting the entire picture, but I have been involved in similar exchanges that were 100% on the up and up. You're looking for a finisher and he is suggesting a stone that will work for you as a trade for the one you have. I mean, really - in that sort of dynamic, that's a normal exchange of ideas.

Nakaoka-san - "I cannot know the stone until I use the stone"

I understand what you're saying, but I'm way too new into honing and since I have zero experience, even if I test the stone, I wouldn't be able to tell much about it, since it's my one and only stone and I can only compare to the lapping films that I have. I've bought the stone, because I was told that if my razors are properly honed, a nice finisher is all they need in order to keep the edge in top shape without the need to start from a lower or mid stone to a finisher.

I also did a few attempts on my Gold Dollar with the lapping films to learn the basics of honing and then eventually move up at some point to something better.


Ask me about shaving naked!
I don’t know why he wants it that badly either, as others have noted you (usually) can’t tell a lot about a stone by looking at pictures. Personally I wouldn’t go for that offer, it’s suspicious. Stones age well, you have time. As you become more proficient at honing, you may be glad that you kept the stone ….
How could a Jnat with 3-3.5 hardness be so important for him, since he has at least 4 or 5 other Jnats and God knows how many others like coticules, thuringians and what not?

Just to answer this q...

It entirely depends on what he's doing with it, many of the very fanciest jnats out there are softer stones. They may not finish a razor as well as harder examples, but finishing a razor is a fairly niche pursuit. Softer and coarser stones will work better for aesthetic polishing (also somewhat niche I grant!) and sharpening.


Goose Poop Connoisseur
A few years ago I've bought a Jnat on Ebay from a guy called barbersan (or something like that) who claims that is from Japan, but it's not Japanese and according to him the Jnat in question was 5++ finish. Truth be told I don't know much about stones and I can't say for sure whatever that stone is legit or not, but a while ago I've sended a few of my newly accuired razors along with that Jnat to a local expert to hone them and check out the stone and tell me a bit more.

According to him, the stone is 3-3.5 at best and not very hard and not even close to a finishing stone, but at the same time he hinted that he's looking for such stone to complete his Jnat set and in he's offering me an old cuticule, which he claims to be a decent finisher and for someone like me it would be more than enough to keep my already honed razors nice and sharp.

Hes honing razors for many years now and a lot of newbies are sending their recently purchased razors for evaluation, repair and honing. It's not that I don't trust him, but I don't know anyone else who knows anything about Jnat's and stones in general for a second opinion and I'm not really sure what to do. I do know a few people from other countries, but no one close enough to see it in person.

I still have a few pictures of the stone from when I've bought it and I'm not sure how helpful that would be, but if needed I can upload them.

What would you guys advice me? Should I seek a second opinion on the stone?
I’m not into stones either but I believe you would find the coticule more versatile. I’ve considered getting one myself but have yet to do so because film and pasted balsa have been so successful and I don’t find honing to be a particularly interesting task. I finished your Japanese razor on that stone and it seemed OK but not spectacular though. In any case, I will defer to @Steve56 opinion - he is an expert in the realm of rocks!
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