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Thread: U.S. Coast Guard officer sword of quality?

  1. #1
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    Question U.S. Coast Guard officer sword of quality?

    Hello. Although I've been admiring the "Museum Replicas" catalogs since High School I've never actually bought a sword before.

    What brings me to buying a sword now is that I will soon become a U.S. Coast Guard officer and would like to have a sword that is of heirloom quality.

    In doing internet searches it seems I am getting pretty much the same sword no matter where I look. Maybe I am wrong. It is hard for me to differentiate between being made for quantity versus quality on the internet. I did find Wilkinson Swords which do appear to be of higher quality, but I would prefer to buy a U.S.-made sword. Another non-U.S. sword that caught my eye was from Aceros de Hispania, but their prices are higher than typical. Is their quality better? The standard places to buy this sword seem to be Atlanta Cutlery (Did I read somewhere made in India?) and Marlow White (which offers WKC of Germany).

    All Navy/Coast Guard swords I have seen in real life and on the internet have the "Star of Damascus" at the top of the blade, with the exception of Wilkinson. It would be nice to have a less common crest on the sword. Most online pictures of Navy/Coast Guard swords do not show enough detail to make out the crest.

    So to summarize, I'm looking to pay more for a higher quality U.S. Coast Guard officer sword, and I'd prefer it to be made in the U.S. I'd also prefer to be able to have my name etched on it.

    Thank you for any advice! I am glad to have found such a resource in this forum.

    Sincerely,
    Peter

  2. #2
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    Post Moderator's Opinion...

    Hi Peter and welcome to Sword Forum!

    I am moving your post to the Antique and Military Sword Forum. It's more suited to that area of knowledge.
    "Swords Are Fun!" - Auld Dawg

    "A Sword For Show, But A Broadaxe For Dough." -
    Hagar The Horrible

  3. #3
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    Hi Peter

    Short answer, no quality swords are comercialy made.

    However you can comisson a smith to make one for you, however O honestly don't know of any one doing modern military swords, I'm sure some one is.

    That said welcome to the Forum!!

    And thanks for the service! Rember them enlisted men are smarter than ya might think

    USCG 92-00
    Josh

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." Don Nelson my friend, gone from us on 06/06/04.

  4. #4
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    I recently saw the german made one since a friend just became a CG officer. The blade is etched USCG etc, with room for your name. Actually the blade didn't look bad but the handle and guard looked a bit cheap with brightly polished but not good detail. I understand it has to be made to the standard pattern.I imagine a custom one would be very expensive.Someone in the CG should be able to give you the info.The CG had changed greatly since 9/11. Best wishes and thanks for your service.

  5. #5
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    Re: U.S. Coast Guard officer sword of quality?

    Originally posted by Peter Francisco

    All Navy/Coast Guard swords I have seen in real life and on the internet have the "Star of Damascus" at the top of the blade, with the exception of Wilkinson. It would be nice to have a less common crest on the sword. Most online pictures of Navy/Coast Guard swords do not show enough detail to make out the crest.
    Peter,

    Nice to see someone who wants to buy a sword for use (even if ceremonial) rather than just display!

    If by Star of Damascus you mean the Star of David, then this is a traditional symbol (the interlocking triangles representing strength) which has been used on swords since the 19th Century. I hadn't realised that Wilkinsons had stopped using it, since all the Wilkinson swords I own have it - mind you, the "newest" of these is around 1923!

    Good hunting,

    John
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  6. #6
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    Peter, this may sound like a silly question, but are you by any chance related to the "giant" Peter Francisco who was a hero of the Revolutionary War in Virginia?

    To get to your question, you might take a look at Ames Sword Company. They own the molds from the old Ames/Lilley.

    They state at the site that their swords are American-made. However, they used to have a sentence tucked away somewhere acknowledging that the blades were imported. (Think parts east.) I can no longer find that disclaimer, but I'd advise asking them.

    Interestingly, United States Sword Company is in the same town as Ames, and appears to have similar products.

    Note, too, that the blades are carbon steel. This is a good thing if you want a "real" sword, but not so good if you need to keep a dress sword nice and shiny, especially near salt water. U.S. military swords generally have stainless blades these days--even Wilkinson's.

    Please let us know what you find, and congratulations!
    Sikandur~~Aim Small, Miss Small

  7. #7
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    I would like to thank you all for the insightful responses. Let me take a moment to reply...

    Wilkinson's Navy and Coast Guard sword is shown here: http://www.wilkinson-swords.co.uk/us...s/usnavy.html#
    It seems to have its own armorial bearings and not the 6-pointed star.

    Good point about carbon vs. stainless. More to think on.

    I am looking at Ames and U.S. Sword. They seem like viable options for anything I could get anytime soon. I will call them on Monday to ask more questions.

    Internet searching has failed to find the detailed specs for the Navy/CG sword, so I'll just have to wait and get the info directly from the proper Coast Guard office. How would I go about finding a custom maker that might do this sword?

    ---------------

    And am I related to Peter Francisco, Revolutionary War Giant? The best answer is I think so. Not to delve into geneology, but I found a site which lists my great-grandfather as a relative of his, but the website's facts are a little fuzzy in the early 1800's.

    I was born less than a year after the bicentennial, at which they issued a stamp for the hero Peter Francisco, so my naming was a good tribute. However, I'm not quite the "Giant" he was. The stamp shows him with a cannon hoisted on his shoulder. I'm 6 feet to his 6'6", and a skinny 185 lbs to his 260. I choose to beleive it's the sense of patriotism that endured.

    And while I appreciate the thanks for the service I am beginning I wish to thank all those that have served before me. Especially to you, Mr. Hemingway. Enlisted have all my respect, and I will never doubt their capabilities.

    Thanks again,
    Peter

  8. #8
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    If it was me, I'd buy an antique one. The

    If it was me, I'd buy an antique one. The USCG pattern sword hasn't changed for well over a century. You should be able to find a good 19th century Ames for not much more than the new Ames, which is trash. It has plastic grips, forsooth!

    An old one will be of much more solid construction, the etching and detail will be the product of truly skilled artists, made when their time was cheap. And wouldn't ot be good to know that your sword was being carried by one of your ancestors in the service!

    Wilkinson will want four figures.

    Check ebay, and look up some of the antique sword dealers- frederick, james julia, and others. The old swords are around.

    Good luck, and thank you for helping to keep us safe.
    hc3

  9. #9
    [i]
    Wilkinson's Navy and Coast Guard sword is shown here: http://www.wilkinson-swords.co.uk/us...s/usnavy.html#
    It seems to have its own armorial bearings and not the 6-pointed star.
    sword?

    [/B]
    Unless I'm very much mistaken that's the British Royal Arms. Wilkinsons put them on along with the words "By appointment to Her Majety Queen Elizabeth II, sword cutlers". A mark of Royal approval. The armourer's star/star of David will probably be on the other side of the blade. It is on a 1970s vintage Brit P1897 infantry sword I picked up the other day.

    I very much like the idea of serving American officers carrying the Royal Arms around!

    Paul

  10. #10
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    Vanguard Sword?

    Hello everyone...

    Thanks for all the replies. I am searching for an antique Ames, but in the mean time, I found a French Vanguard with no year listed besides it being post World War II. Does anyone know anything about this company? When did they stop making swords, and what kind of quality would it be? It mentions "White celluloid grip". Thanks for the input.

  11. #11
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    I don't have an answer for you, Peter, but thanks for mentioning celluloid. It may be useful for another thread.
    Sikandur~~Aim Small, Miss Small

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