Verity's Armoury

Wajirou Ichisada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
52
Pricing is always a grey area because what something is worth is based in a large part on how much somebody is willing to pay for it. I've gotten good deals, and I've gotten great deals, and I've gotten steals. Likewise, I've paid fair market price. It all depends.

Just because somebody paid "X" for something, and somebody else is selling a similar item for "Y", doesn't mean that "Y" is too high. For example, I have a Lee-Enfield 2A1 that I paid $68 for. Right now today you can maybe buy one for $600. Is $600 too high? No. I bought my rifle prior to the 1993 restrictions and from a wholesaler surplus distributor at a time when nobody wanted Enfield rifles. So my $68 is a fair price. Since then, they have become super rare and highly desireable, so would I sell mine to day for the $68 I paid for it? Pfft, yeah, go on and believe that. I'm asking at least $700 and if you don't want to pay that, then good f'n luck finding another one for sale at any price and your Enfield collection will continue to have a hole in it. Next year I'll be asking $800 and if you want it then you will have wished you bought it from me 5 years ago when I was only asking $250.

So how much is a hand made, 500 year old genuine nihonto worth? The answer is that it's only worth exactly what you paid for it or what you sold it for.
 

verity

Amateur Togishi
Staff member
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
60
Pricing is always a grey area because what something is worth is based in a large part on how much somebody is willing to pay for it. I've gotten good deals, and I've gotten great deals, and I've gotten steals. Likewise, I've paid fair market price. It all depends.

Just because somebody paid "X" for something, and somebody else is selling a similar item for "Y", doesn't mean that "Y" is too high. For example, I have a Lee-Enfield 2A1 that I paid $68 for. Right now today you can maybe buy one for $600. Is $600 too high? No. I bought my rifle prior to the 1993 restrictions and from a wholesaler surplus distributor at a time when nobody wanted Enfield rifles. So my $68 is a fair price. Since then, they have become super rare and highly desireable, so would I sell mine to day for the $68 I paid for it? Pfft, yeah, go on and believe that. I'm asking at least $700 and if you don't want to pay that, then good f'n luck finding another one for sale at any price and your Enfield collection will continue to have a hole in it. Next year I'll be asking $800 and if you want it then you will have wished you bought it from me 5 years ago when I was only asking $250.

So how much is a hand made, 500 year old genuine nihonto worth? The answer is that it's only worth exactly what you paid for it or what you sold it for.

Totally agree, but also good to talk about here because 1.) either novices think nihonto are unobtainable or 2.) they think they can get a kamakura blade off eBay "for a steal".

both are SORELY mistaken
 

Wajirou Ichisada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
52
Too true, my brother, too true. It takes a bit of luck, a bit of patience, and a bit of money to find just the right blade at the right price. I agree that even the best things in life are NOT unobtainable if you are creative and willing to put in a bit of work to get them.

Sure, it would be great to have the disposable income to drop 50k on a nihonto at a well heeled auction house, but you can also get a nihonto that needs a bit of TLC for well under 5k. But be realistic, you probably aren't going to find one for $500, if you do, it's a good bet it's either fake or in such bad condition that it's nothing more than an old rusty lump of iron.

Obtainable and realistic. That's the way to go. My first Jaguar was second hand one owner and I scored it for $5,500 cash price. That's half the price of a common brand used car. I just had to save my money and keep looking and waiting for that "deal" to show up so I could make my strike. Finally it happened- everything came together at the right time and place and off I drove with my first car with a 150mph speedometer that was honest.

Next year I have budgeted some money for a nihonto. Do I expect to actually find one that I like in that price range? Probably not. But if I don't, I'll roll the money over to the following year and add a bit to it, maybe another $1,500 and keep looking. Eventually I'll find that golden convergence of price and availability of just the right blade for me. Something will turn up in due time. The worst thing to do is jump on the first one that comes along under budget without doing due dilligence because of the excitement of ownership.
 

verity

Amateur Togishi
Staff member
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
60
Too true, my brother, too true. It takes a bit of luck, a bit of patience, and a bit of money to find just the right blade at the right price. I agree that even the best things in life are NOT unobtainable if you are creative and willing to put in a bit of work to get them.

Sure, it would be great to have the disposable income to drop 50k on a nihonto at a well heeled auction house, but you can also get a nihonto that needs a bit of TLC for well under 5k. But be realistic, you probably aren't going to find one for $500, if you do, it's a good bet it's either fake or in such bad condition that it's nothing more than an old rusty lump of iron.

Obtainable and realistic. That's the way to go. My first Jaguar was second hand one owner and I scored it for $5,500 cash price. That's half the price of a common brand used car. I just had to save my money and keep looking and waiting for that "deal" to show up so I could make my strike. Finally it happened- everything came together at the right time and place and off I drove with my first car with a 150mph speedometer that was honest.

Next year I have budgeted some money for a nihonto. Do I expect to actually find one that I like in that price range? Probably not. But if I don't, I'll roll the money over to the following year and add a bit to it, maybe another $1,500 and keep looking. Eventually I'll find that golden convergence of price and availability of just the right blade for me. Something will turn up in due time. The worst thing to do is jump on the first one that comes along under budget without doing due dilligence because of the excitement of ownership.


My "unicorn" is an ubu, mint condition Fukuoka Ichimonji tachi.

nowhere NEAR being able to reach that yet. Someday... someday...
 

MrNinjato

"But did you die"...
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
27
I completely agree. Many folks don't want to share pricing due to documented prices which could affect further sales of said blades. (E.g.: why would I pay X when you clearly paid Y when YOU bought it). I think though that many buyers will understand market fluctuates and are just wanting to make sure some ridiculous inflation that is unfair does not happen.

I don't want to share purchase prices of my masamitsu because it had mitigating circumstances and honestly THAT sword SHOULD have cost at least $40k. But I didn't PAY $40k because I managed to win the lottery on luck and honestly got some advantage on the seller needing to rapidly move the blade due to finances AND that there was a sore misjudgment about the value of the blade because it is not a TYPICALLY sought after type of blade of that time period (Nanbokucho blades are usually massive big meaty swords and this one is a delicate blade that represents the movement back down to smaller more delicate swords signifying the move to uchigatana). Because of this the seller sort of misjudged what they should have asked.

Now... my Kanetomo is also in pristine condition in mounts and papered for both blade and koshirae. That package was much more affordable at around $7k.

shinto or shinshinto pieces can be had reasonably affordably, whereas a mint condition nanbokucho or kamakura piece is going to command a VERY high premium.

But yes, I appreciate a more candid discussion vs jealously being secretive about prices. AS LONG as ill-will about affluence or income level does not come into it. That may introduce some friction.


I am extremely pleased you posted your collection. It is obviously a very nice collection with every right to brag about it. I also hope we can have very candid discussion here about costs and what not. It helps people like me who know little to nothing about nihonto, learn about what to expect as well as what to look for later down the road when I am able to try and snag a good one. I do not like running a heavily mod'ed forum, and if people can not engage in civil discussion about topics such as this without being petty, well then they won't be able to take part.


In terms of jealousy, I am very jealous of your collection. Not because I am not in the position that you are right now, but because that collection is gorgeous. I am a firm believer in "if it's meant to be". My first priority before I go looking for beautiful antique pieces to hang up, is to build a solid collection of mid to upper tier cutting blades to train with.
 

Wajirou Ichisada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
52
You can look at somebody's "stuff" in two ways, either hate them for it out of jealousy, or use it for personal inspiration to motivate yourself to achieve the same. Personally, I don't hate wealthy people, I'd like to be one of them....that is my life's goal so I seek out successful people and copy their methods.

Only a lesser man seeks to raise himself up by bringing other people down.
 

verity

Amateur Togishi
Staff member
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
60
I also agree on building a base of "usable" blades first before you start chasing case queens. Otherwise the itch to cut will never get scratched. And that is no fun. Hehe.

to keep it also in perspective, I have been building my collection for 26 years. Trading up, selling, buying, restoring, etc. it isn't an over night thing. :)
 

Ouroboros

Student of Tachikaze
Staff member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
59
I would love a candid discussion, for it was Treeslicer who first pointed me in the direction of what to look at nihonto wise--where to peek and possible sources for which I'm thankful!

I agree with Master Ichisada, we can jealously regard the station and income of another, covetting their possessions over knowledge thereby wasting our energies or...seek inspiration for self improvement from those who have succeeded in our eyes.

I'm all for the sharing of information without prejudice.
Ouro
 

Wajirou Ichisada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
52
Would an "overnight" sword collection even have any real meaning? Would it bring satisfaction? Or would it be just something that was bought on the market with no other emotional attachment other than ownership?

As for me, I enjoy collecting because it forces me to do research. And I really like looking into the history of something and figuring out it's place in the story of mankind. To me, discovering the hows and why's of a blade is 90% of the fun of collecting them. I enjoy being able to tell the story of the sword. I think just clicking on the "buy" button of a sword selling web site and having the UPS guy deliver a random run-of-the-mill blade is rather boring.

Same when I go to the gun range. "Oh, what are you shooting?" "A Glock" "oh, bought it at the store did ya?" "yes, paid $500 for it" vs. "Oh, what are you shooting?" "a Yugoslavian M72 RPK battlefiled pick-up used in the siege of Sarajevo during the Balkan wars. It has 17 hash marks on the buttstock and was named ""gazonakasilka"" which means ""Lawnmower"". Would you like to take a shot with it?" "why, yes, how very kind of you to offer"

So that's how I roll. I think that a slow and methodical collection, particularly one with a theme, is more interesting and satisfying by far than one simply purchased piecemeal and overnight.
 
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