There are many reasons a Laguiole knife can retail for much more than another model of similar size and material. The finish of the metal, the construction of the spring and bee, and the chiseling and filing of the spring & bee all contribute to the added cost. Most mass-market Laguiole knives have a soldered bee and rarely a hand-chiseled spring top and bee. This collector's knife also features the iconic Shepherd's cross and a blade-stop to prevent the blade from making contact with the bottom of the spring.
The art of chiseling a "one of a kind" folding knife is very time-consuming, sometimes over 1 hrs to complete the spring & bee alone. Only the most skilled cutlers/artists at the shop can achieve this highly complex task. You can view the chiseling and filing stage on this YouTube video (new window).
Handmade in the village of Laguiole, France, Forge de Laguiole knives are truly and by far of the highest quality offered in the market today. Additionally, each masterpiece is entirely handmade by the same craftsman to ensure pride in the completed piece.
What is a Forged Bee? You can recognize a forged bee when you look just below it, where it meets the decorated spring. If you do not see any gaps, it's a good sign that the bee and spring were forged from the same piece of metal. You can also recognize a soldered bee by noticing a straight gap/ridge where the bee meets the spring.