Katana: The Most Expensive in the World
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Katana: The Most Expensive in the World

Katana: The Most Expensive in the World
Katana are also referred to as Samurai Sword, as they were traditionally made Japanese swords that were worn by Japanese Samurai fighters. Though Katana these days are made from non-traditional methods and materials, Katana are extremely traditional objects and their method and manner of preparation are also guided by age old traditions. The Katana is characterised by the curved and slender single edged blade. The appearance is further enhanced and made distinct by the circular or square guard and a long grip that allows a double handed grip on the sword. Its sharpness and strength is what makes it a special and favoured weapon of the Samurai. Original and age old traditional Katana’s with glorious history is difficult to find these days and more difficult to be found at auctions. There are close to one thousand Katana swords that have been declared as Juyounkabazai. Juyobunkazai means important cultural asset in Japanese. Among these about 125 are also classified as national treasures or Kokuho. Presently the laws of Japan prevents transportation of such Katana swords out of the country, and Japanese government can buy them at fair market rate if one comes up for sale. This has made the sale or availability of Katana extremely rare, and almost non-existant. The last such auction featuring some traditional and historical Katana was in 1992. A part of the collection from Dr. Walter Ames Compton was sold off. Dr. Walter Ames Compton was a physician who was fascinated with swords and started collecting a variety of swords which also featured a variety of Katanas from early part of 1930s. The first 1100 Japanese swords or Katanas were sold for more than 8 million USD in a single day. The collection is also referred to as the Compton Collection. The most expensive of the Katana that was sold from this Compton collection was a 13th century Kamakura blade. It was sold for a staggering 418,000 USD in the 1990s, and hence the present valuation can be calculated.  It was sold to an unknown buyer from Europe. That was the last traditional and Historical Katana to appear in any public auction. Authentic handmade Katana that are made in Japan can easily range between 12,000 USD to 25,000 USD, and the cheaper versions can also come at as low as 60 USD. But when these Katanas are mixed with history and tradition, then the prices can shoot above the ceiling. The most historical and valuable Katanas lie in the museums and institutions and can best be described priceless. Though there are reports of some Katanas exchanging hands for millions of dollars, officially the Kamakura Katana remains the most expensive Katana that was sold for 418,000 USD to an unknown private collector.
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