Knife Collecting & Investing
It seems that Americans in some fashion are hooked on collecting. It probably started back many years ago and I know as a kid, collecting baseball cards, then stamps and coins seemed to be the thing to do. As we all matured some ventured into other hobbies of collections to include vintage autos, guns and even knives. Auto collecting is only for a few that can afford the cost associated with their hobby; gun collecting has certain state and federal laws that do add to the process of transferring them between parties. Storage and cost also become issues with amassing large quantities of guns. Knives which are relatively easy to store, usually not extremely expensive and are not regulated to the extent guns are, make this type of collecting or investing a natural.
Over the years military type knives have become very attractive to the collectors. Renowned knife makers like Randall, Gerber, Chris Reeve, and others who specialized in military type knives and in many cases catered to our armed forces developed and produced some real tools of the trade. Today many of these knives of the past have become highly desirable. Vintage Randall knives of all types command a premium and those in mint condition are quality investments that will always appreciate in time.
Gerber produced the Mark II in 1967 in support of our troops in Vietnam; the early Mark II’s had a canted blade to keep the knife, when sheathed, close to the body. This knife, only rivaled by a Randall, was considered a favorite with the US armed forces; less costly to buy than a Randall and easier to obtain, it placed a quality tool in the hands of those that needed it the most. Knifes have become a tradition with our Military from days of the Civil War. A good knife was an essential tool no one wanted to be without, and its overall use was unlimited.
Today these vintage tools have become highly sought after by avid collectors. Randall’s Gerber Mark II, I, Command II, and I’s were produced by Gerber from 1967 – 1986, when Gerber decided to cease production. These once “taken for granted” knives have now become highly desirable.
As with anything from autos to coins or whatever your favorite collectable is, condition remains the key factor in collecting for investment purposes. The better the quality or grade and the ability to maintain the item in pristine condition with box and paperwork make for a collector's dream. Price can always be debated by the best but mint quality is hard to argue with. A friend once told me that when collecting or investing in anything to remember that quality is king. Buy the very best you can afford as it will appreciate at a much faster rate than an item of lesser quality.
I have come to quickly realize that there is a very limited amount of quality, mint condition items that have remained untouched through the years, surviving the temptation to place them in use. I can look back at a few stock investments that I have made and wonder if my money could have been better served if invested in a quality tangible item, such as a mint Randall or Gerber Mark II knife. One can only imagine.
Bottom line, moderation and diversification seem to be the best hedge. I would like to think fun and adventure have some advantage and I know I sure would appreciate hunting for and finding a vintage Gerber Mark II much more than opening the mail to admire a stock certificate.
Check my site for Vietnam era Gerber Mark II knives.