Many of my articles extoll the virtues of using simple tests to learn more about the properties of natural stone. So I get a kick out of hearing about customers arriving at stone showrooms armed with lemon slices, pocketknives, glass tiles, and notebooks, ready to perform an impromptu geology lab on their natural stone. It goes without saying that these tests need to be carried out with the blessing and cooperation of the sales staff, but I’m totally in favor of this trend. Similarly, I encourage salespeople, kitchen designers, architects, fabricators, and restoration professionals to use diagnostic techniques to learn as much as they can about particular varieties of natural stone. Information gleaned from these tests helps us all.