Jay Fisher - World Class Knifemaker

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"Tharsis Intense" in mirror polished and hot blued O1 high carbon tungsten vanadium tool steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Fossilized Stromatolite Gemstone handle, sheath in leather inlaid with black frogskin, stands of sculpted, hand-cast bronze
Tharsis

Fine Investment and Collector's Knives

"Astarion" 440C high chromium stainless steel blade, 304 hand-engraved stainless steel bolsters, Nephrite Jade/Moss Agate doublet gemstone handle, carved and inlaid sheath of ostrich leg inlaid in hand-tooled leather
More about this "Astarion"

Investment and Collector's Knives

Custom and handmade fine knives can be a real investment opportunity. Just like fine firearms, jewelry, or artwork, knives that are well-made, unique and valuable, and are made by a known and established maker have good and an often appreciating value.

There are many reasons that people collect knives. The value of one-of-a-kind finely crafted works are substantial, compact, and absolute. Some knives are collected for resale, often at several times their purchase price. In my own knives, I've found that the value of the knife may appreciate by simply waiting for the order to be delivered! There is a huge business in the buying and selling of investment potential knives by collectors and dealers, but mostly, people collect knives because they love them.

In my experience, there is a difference in definition of an investment knife or a collector's knife. An investment knife is purchased for its value, and steps are taken to preserve the value long term. The knife is stored carefully, handled respectfully, and preservation of its appearance is paramount. Just like a fine firearm or work of art, a knife purchased solely for its investment potential is maintained and preserved, and seldom, if ever, used. This does not mean the investment knife is made of inferior or weak materials; it should be made to the same exceptional standards as if it would someday be used and depended on. Though it may never cut anything but stares, it is still a finely made knife, ready for use.

A collector's knife can have the same properties as the investment knife above, but may not be purchased for its investment value, and simply for the love of the knife. Some of the collector's knives are used, and though they do not remain pristine, they can and do still have substantial value, as long as they are not significantly battered, used, or damaged. A very finely made knife is a pleasure to use, and collector's knives may fit that desire.

What sets both of these types of knives apart from others are several factors of construction, design, and execution of artistic methods for the knife.

  • Materials: The materials of a fine investment or collector's knife are usually superior to working knives. For me and my knives, that usually means fine tool grade stainless steels over common (standard) steel grades, substantial bolster materials, and gemstone over woods or manmade handle materials. Sheaths often have fine tooling or inlays of exotic skins, and stands or cases may accompany the piece. Once in a while, you'll see one of my investment or collector's grade fine handmade knives with a hardwood handle and brass bolsters, but not often.
  • Design: Design variances for investment and collector's grade knives are a bit harder to define. For instance, I frequently like to take a solid combat and working knife design and make the knife to investment grade. A good design is always a good design, whether used for a working knife or sitting in a display case. Some designs preclude daily use though, and the design difficulty of construction, size, features, or arrangements of the collector's knife may not make a practical daily carry, working, hunting, or tactical knife.
  • Finish: This one is easy to define. Nearly all collector's or investment grade knives have a high degree of finish. Fine finishes bring out the best in materials, and it can take considerable skill and effort to finish fine knife blades, fittings, handles, sheaths, and stands or cases. You don't generally see satin or bead blasted finishes on investment grade knives, though for some materials (like CPMS30V and CPMS90V blade steels) satin is the best that can be achieved. They are the exception, and mostly the blade finishes are mirrored, as are the bolsters, and the handles brightly and finely polished to the best that the material can exhibit.
  • Embellishment: Though it is  not an absolute requirement for investment and collectors knives, it does appear frequently. Engraving, filework, carving, and etching are the main processes applied to this type of knife artwork. The artist's design, application, and overall theme can be exhibitive there. Though a knife can be sent out for embellishment from another artist or craftsman, this may not be of the highest value or appeal as sole authorship is over the long term.
  • Accessories: I'm describing sheaths, stands, or cases. I believe these should be a part of the whole package, not an afterthought or simply a place to put or carry the knife. They should be commensurate with the quality, theme, finish, and arrangement of the piece, and thus, become necessary to the whole.

Below are groups of investment and collector's grade knives in captioned thumbnail photos. For many more knives in this genre, I encourage you to visit my Featured Knife page, which has links to individual knife pages that detail, describe, and have interesting comments of the knives as well as additional photographs of both sides of the knife, the spine and edgework, handle close-ups, engraving details, and sheath pictures.


Hi Jay,
I received my knives and I can't say enough great things about them. I was sure I would like them, but they are the finest knives I have ever purchased. My father and brother are going to be ecstatic when I give one to each of them. As for the sheaths, what can I say, they are outstanding. I read on your web site that the pictures do not do the knives and sheaths justice and that about sums it up. They are gorgeous and I can not wait to see my father and brothers reaction when they get them. I am not even sure which one to keep for myself, they are all so unique.; Thanks again and I really appreciate how well they turned out.

Thanks,
C.W.



Jay! Thanks for making the knife. The workmanship and artistry are superb as always and I am really starting to like the new trademark! Buying a knife is not as difficult as it may seem. You really only have three choices. You could buy a production knife at your local sporting goods / hardware store which would work fine until you had to sharpen it; then you would probably throw it away because, after all, mom was right – you get what you pay for. You could buy a piece of jewelry that looks like a knife that is a piece of art made by a master artist; don’t drop this piece because it could become pieces and lose 50% - 100% of its value. Or you could buy a tool that is a knife that is also a piece of art made by a master artist. If you gel your hair, wear a diamond stud earring, or are otherwise gender confused – you might want to opt out for choices one and two.; But if you are a man and want a knife that will work 100% of the time, something you can stake your life on if it becomes necessary; but still looks beautiful when you are not using it – then you have only one choice; and that choice is to queue up for a Jay Fisher!

--D. K.



Jay,
Well, Jay, now I’ve got a problem. I ordered the knife as a daily user, to carry with me always – my third hand. Now that I have it, I see it should be displayed on a shelf as a work of art!

When I saw your picture of the knife, my mouth dropped open. Now that I actually have it in my hands, the reality of it takes me to an even higher level. I am overwhelmed. What extraordinary quality and workmanship. And the balance... I don’t hold on to it, it clings to my hand, resting there as if it always belonged. You really put yourself into it. I’m speechless… but AWESOME (in a very loud voice) comes to mind. You truly are an artist and a knife your canvas. But, I am going to follow through and carry your artwork with me every day. A knife needs a hand to make it whole. It’ll be a good friend.

--C.K.



Hello Jay:
Received the Titan and I can only say that it is another masterpiece. I have no idea how you can blend everything so perfectly. Thank you for using your artistic talents to create my limited visions into works of art.

--P. K.



Jay, the one thing you still can't get off of the internet is the way a knife feels. I wish anyone thinking of buying a Jay Fisher knife could hold Eridanus in their hands for just a few moments. Then there would be no doubt that buying a knife from Jay is the right thing to do. I've bought some other blades of the internet that photographed well, but when you got hold of them, they didn't feel or handle like much. Eridanus just feels like it belongs in your hand. You can get a knife anywhere, but this is a work of art.
Thanks Jay.
Oh and by the way the sheath alone is worth the price.

-Rick Stuart



Jay,
They've just arrived.
These things are gorgeous !!!!
I think perhaps you've outdone yourself this time.
I'll let you know how they're received by my wife........I'm sure that she'll be as stunned as I am. Gobsmacked is the term that leaps to mind. Thank you for your superb efforts.

--P.W.



Dear Jay:
Perfect! And that is all I’ll say. I could say perfectly balanced, magnificent, beautiful, incredible file work, professionally executed, flawlessly finished masterpiece with the most beautiful handle I have ever seen on any knife period – but I think I will just stick with Perfect!

--D.



Jay, what a truly incredible knife…!
Every knife I get from you is simply a pure work of art. People say that about the software I write but in my case it can’t be held in your hand, admired for the fine creative lines of the scroll work, hefted in the hand for the joy of fine balance you have achieved or passed among friends for the look of awe and admiration it evokes. You are a true master.

Jerry M. Karnes
Houston, Texas


More Knives Coming, Check Back!


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