Begin here


Figure A

Examine the sword and record your answers to these questions:

  1. Length of cutting edge?
  2. Is cutting edge sharp or dull, where it enters the brass collar?
  3. Are there any chips, nicks or cracks and is the point broken? If so, please measure the depth.
  4. Can heat treating be seen? What is the closest style? (See Figure A.)
  5. Descriptions of fittings:
    1. Metal cap on either end of handle
    2. Ornaments under lacing
    3. Color of lacing
    4. Description of hand guard
    5. Color and material scabbard is made of

Please send clear digital images of all signed and unsigned swords. A verbal description may be necessary for completion of the evaluation.

*Please include your name and phone number with correspondence.

Monetary value of the Japanese sword obviously depends upon many factors, such as; age, condition, maker and historical associations, but we can all appreciate the value of any of these swords as magnificent examples of the artistic ability and dedication of the Japanese sword smith.

Submit Your Evaluation


If you wish to email us, please include answers to questions along with your digital images, your name & telephone number. If you are emailing from an earthlink account – add us to your allowed senders list so we may reply in a timely manner!

US Mail:

If you send your completed evaluation form via US Mail, if possible please include a CD with your images rather than printed images. With the digital images we can enlarge the images to see more detail. PLEASE NO VIDEOS. We cannot return documentation, printed pictures and/or CD’s unless a self-addressed prepaid envelope is provided.

If you ship your sword:

  1. We will compare your swords signature (if applicable) to other known authenticated swords by the same smith. We’ll provide you with a translation of the signature. If no signature, we’ll compare the characteristics to other known schools.
  2. We will research values on comparable swords by the same smith or schools.
  3. We will call you with our results.
  4. If you have interest in selling or consigning your sword, please tell us right away. We can discuss the specifics further. Please note, if returned, we will ask you to provide actual return shipping costs. We do not provide insurance while your sword is in our possession, however we will treat & protect it as if it were our own.
  5. There is a fee for an appraisal vs a verbal tang reading and general information.

Evaluation Response Time

Please note: We receive many evaluation requests. Unless there is a specific importance noted, we answer each request as they come in. In general, our response will be a minimum of 4 weeks, sometimes longer depending on the complexity and our current schedule of tasks. Depending on your request, there may be a fee charged. When at all possible we will not charge a fee.

We will do our best with the images and details provided, however a hands-on inspection is required in most cases to confirm our findings. Hands-on inspections take priority over others. During that time we may ask for additional info. At any time you can email us for an update; we’ll reply to tell where we are in the process.

Helpful Tips:

  • It is not necessary to call ahead before sending your images.
  • Please email with questions answered & clear detailed images as it will allow for a more prompt answer to your question(s). If multiple swords, one per email please. Or label swords in images, 1,2,3 etc.
  • Attach images rather than imbedding them. The attachments allow enlargement for our requirements. The imbedded generally are poor quality thumbnails which we are not able to use.
  • If you have very large files you can try to email or use DropBox or preferably Google Drive, both are free, be sure to grant access to view files. Be sure to insert your photos in one folder with internal folders added as required. Please send access to only the main folder.
  • Please include your name & tel# in all correspondence.
  • All offerings will be held in the strictest confidence.
west point exhibit

– Bottom picture is public domain –

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