Ceramic beans - tell me quick...what comes to mind?

I first heard of these in my teens, by default, an already confused and confusing time. My immediate reaction was "What kind of crackpot would want ceramic beans when real ones are gotten easily enough? I wondered if there really were people in this world who relished cracking their tooth enamel on cold, hard, unyielding beans, or if they were the brainchild of profit seeking dentists in league with the devil himself.

Turns out, they were neither for people bent on dental destruction nor devices fashioned by devious dentists- just well, beans, made not by mother nature but by baking equipment manufacturers, from ceramic, for bakers who wanted perfectly flat and evenly baked tart cases. They're actually rather arresting and would I think, double up beautifully as striking  decor or conversation pieces.

The whole point of them is to weigh down the pastry lining a tart tin so that it doesn't puff up or blister, as pastry is wont to do in a hot oven, if baked without a filling (baked blind). The way to use them is to line your pastry case with baking  paper, then fill the case with these "beans" and bake them.

They're very tough, heatproof, crack and chip resistant and theoretically, able to last a lifetime and through innumerable baking sessions, so you need never "waste" real beans on the task of baking tart shells. I say waste as real beans, so employed, usually end up in the bin, once they've reached the stage of wrinkled dehydration and have become too light and too scorched to be of any use. I was brought up never to throw food away and have resolutely resisted this common baking practice. So far though, I have yet to see any real need for the pretty, glistening ceramic, ersatz bean and have my own way of dealing with errant and wilful pastry that will not obligingly remain even once baked.