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Top 10 Most Expensive Swords Ever Made

Top 10 Most Expensive Swords Ever Made

Though swords were initially created as practical weapons, many are purely ornamental, especially nowadays! But while the average longsword or katana might cost you a few hundred dollars, some swords are worth millions. Still, what are the most expensive swords ever made, and what makes them so valuable?

The most expensive sword ever made is the Sword of Offering, a British Crown Jewel worth $660 million. This sword, used only for ornamental purposes, dates back to the 1800s. Its high value stems from its status as a crown jewel, its precious stones, and its importance to the coronation ritual.

Whether you’re shopping for a high-value sword or curious about the most lavish swords ever made, this ranking will fill you in on everything you need to know about the costliest swords in the world.

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Swords Ever Made:

  1. Sword of Offering – $660 million
  2. Samurai Tachi Sword – $100 million
  3. ‘Bao Teng’ Sabre – $7.7 million
  4. Napoleon Bonaparte’s Sword – $6.4 million
  5. 15th-Century Ear-Dagger – $6 million
  6. Shah Jahan’s Personal Dagger – $3.3 million
  7. The Gem of the Orient – $2.1 million
  8. Nizam of Hyderabad – $1.935 million
  9. Ulysses S. Grant’s Civil War Presentation Sword – $1.6 million
  10. Ottoman Child’s Sword – $504,600

10. Ottoman Child’s Sword – $504,600

photo source: Christie’s

The Ottoman Empire lasted over half a millennium and stretched from Germany to Egypt. Their gift to civilization is far more than furniture, as you can see by examining this Ottoman Child’s Sword from the 17th century.

Everything about this sword, from the weathered stone-encrusted hilt to the curved gold-inlaid blade, screams Old World affluence and wealth. Any child who possessed this sword must have felt like a warrior and king, which is now reflected by the auction price of $504,600.

Sure, this sword might not be worth a million bucks. But its historical significance and opulent materials make it a luxury item worthy of any museum exhibit or private collection.

Why It’s Expensive

This sword is about four hundred years old. That fact alone makes it a treasure.

But the fact that it comes with its original scabbard (also called a sheath) and is inlaid with precious stones, accentuated by gold and walrus ivory, makes it even more valuable. This sword also speaks to the Ottoman Empire’s culture and events.

Consequently, this item is irreplaceable and extremely valuable. It sold in 2012, and, likely, it will only become more valuable with time.

9. Ulysses S. Grant’s Civil War Presentation Sword – $1.6 Million

photo source: Heritage Auctions

The American Civil War lasted for four years, from 1861 to 1865. And yet, this internal war still has repercussions that are felt today. As such, items dating to this period are considered especially significant and valuable.

That said, items belonging to Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th United States President and the leader of the Union Armies, are worth quite a bundle. For example, this politician’s Civil War Presentation Sword sold for $1.6 million in 2007, breaking records for the sale of Civil War artifacts.

Even though this sword might not have seen any action, its ownership and age make it a distinctly American artifact that’s easily worth millions. After all, it’s an irreplaceable part of United States history!

Why It’s Expensive

Historical significance isn’t the only reason Grant’s sword sold for such a jaw-dropping price.

This sword features silver and gold components and a dazzling monogram made of diamonds. The blade is also a wonder, featuring engraved pictures representing many of the battles Grant experienced throughout the U.S. Civil War.

8. Nizam of Hyderabad – $1.935 Million

photo source: Christie’s

Hyderabad is one of the oldest still-functioning cities in the world, located in the heart of India. And the Nizam of Hyderabad, a ceremonial sword dating back to the 17th century, is one of its treasures.

This ornate and regal longsword sold for $1.935 million in 2019, and it’s not challenging to understand why. Not only is this sword expertly crafted, with an angled blade and full hilt, but it also features several precious materials, including gold, emeralds, diamonds, and rubies.

Like other ceremonial swords, this item is unlikely to have seen action on a battlefield. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t exceptionally valuable.

Why It’s Expensive

Not only is this word an artifact from days long gone by, but it also happens to be made of some of the most precious metals and jewels on the planet. This combination of high-value components and historical significance makes it an irreplaceable item worth millions.

7. The Gem of the Orient – $2.1 Million

photo source: Wikipedia

This blade might not technically qualify as a sword.

After all, the blade is comparatively short. Unless you’re quite small, the Gem of the Orient is more a dagger than a sword. Still, it deserves a spot on this ranking because it’s such a valuable bladed weapon.

Everything about this weapon, from its Damascus steel blade to its opulent sheath, exudes wealth and affluence. We’re talking gold, diamonds, and more than 150 emeralds!

It apparently took the creator, Buster Warenski, about a decade to create and finish this “sword,” which is certainly no small feat. When you combine this labor with the weapon’s materials and design, you’re bound to end up with a near-priceless item.

Or, in the case of this weapon, you end up with an item that retails for $2.1 million.

Why It’s Expensive

This short-bladed sword is far more than a weapon. It’s a modern art piece.

But unlike a paint-covered canvas, this art is useable, luxurious, and the result of several years of sweat and tears. These factors contribute to the sword’s incredible value.

6. Shah Jahan’s Personal Dagger – $3.3 Million

photo source: Bonhams

Now, let’s quickly get semantics out of the way. Sure, a dagger isn’t a sword, and a sword isn’t a dagger.

That said, this bladed weapon, Shah Jahan’s Personal Dagger, qualifies as one of the most expensive swords ever made due to its value, length, and historical significance.

Just a single look at this weapon, and you’ll begin romanticizing ancient Middle Eastern stories and adventures. Everything about this dagger is lavish and monumental, from its multi-hued white-and-brown hilt to its gold-filigree blade.

Maybe that’s why it sold for $3.3 million in 2008!

Why It’s Expensive

This short sword (or dagger, if you’re being precise) dates back to the 15th century. Few weapons recovered from that period are in as good condition as this one, and even fewer contain such precious materials as gold.

5. 15th-Century Ear-Dagger – $6 Million

photo source: Sotheby’s

Now, this particular find might not qualify as a sword for some. After all, the blade is comparatively short when compared to British, European, or Scandinavian longswords.

Still, this “ear-dagger” qualifies as one of the most expensive swords due to its sales price ($6 million, sold in 2010), luxurious materials, and intricate design.

Why It’s Expensive

This 15th-century ear-dagger is costly because of its age, craftsmanship, and materials. It’s also historically significant, being one of the few Nasrid-period specimens available to interested collectors.

Despite its astounding age, it is also in exceptional condition. If you laid eyes on this short sword and weren’t aware of its history, you might guess it’s a modern recreation of a much older design.

The combination of these many factors easily makes this weapon a valuable treasure.

4. Napoleon Bonaparte’s Sword – $6.4 Million

photo source: Laurent Cipriani/AP

France has had many monarchs but very few emperors. Napoleon Bonaparte is the most well-known of these, and any items once belonging to the controversial politician have sold for incredible prices.

This includes an ornate $6.4 million sword that once belonged to Bonaparte.

Encrusted in gold and decorated with filigree details, this sword wouldn’t look amiss on the belt of a royal or a high-class landowner from the early 1800s. The sheath is similarly decadent, with gold accents and a regal red length of thread.

Owning anything once belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte is sure to make you the life of any party of a wealthy investor. But this sword isn’t only a conversation pieceit’s a significant historical item that’s one-of-a-kind.

Interestingly, many of the most expensive hats of all time are thought to have belonged to Bonaparte!

Why It’s Expensive

The primary reason this sword is so valuable is its age and ownership. After all, Napoleon Bonaparte not only changed France. He changed the world!

Of course, the sword’s precious materials also make it uniquely valuable. That said, this sword is no crown jewel. And as you’ll soon see, this difference in status can make a monumental difference in price.

3. ‘Bao Teng’ Sabre – $7.7 Million

photo source: Sotheby’s

Even though jade might not be as precious as diamond or platinum, it’s a historically-significant material that has special importance to those who practice Buddhism.

This curved shortsword has a jade hilt and a perfectly crafted blade. It’s also a relic of the Qing Dynasty. Its age, historical significance, and precious materials helped it earn an auction price of $7.7 million in 2008.

Why It’s Expensive

The Qing Dynasty lasted into the 20th century, but this sword comes from the middle of this period, around the 16th or 17 century. As such, it’s a historically significant artifact that’s impossible to replicate or replace fully.

Anything irreplaceable is worth a small fortune, as you’ll soon discover while browsing the topmost expensive swords.

2. Samurai Tachi Sword – $100 Million

photo source: World Art News

As this ranking shows, some swords are works of art, not weapons designed to cut down enemies. That’s certainly the case with the Samurai Tachi Sword, which has been appraised at more than $100 million.

And while this sword’s sheath (or scabbard) is particularly beautiful, this sword isn’t a contemporary art piece. Instead, it’s an artifact from Feudal Japan.

This sword dates back to the 1500s, more than half a millennium ago.

But from its blade to its handmade hilt, nothing about this sword isn’t extravagant or meaningful. Whether you’re a collector of Feudal Japanese artifacts or archaic weapons, this sword is sure to suit your tastes.

Why It’s Expensive

Do you own anything from the 1500s? If you do, you’re likely aware that that particular item is far more valuable than current-day department store items.

After all, you can replace modern-day items in a jiffy. Pieces from more than half a millennium ago are far more challenging to replace, making them inherently valuable.

This sword also happens to be beautiful and in excellent condition. Because it’s decorative and well-maintained, it can fetch a much higher price than the average contemporary katana or Japanese blade.

1. Sword of Offering – $660 Million

photo source: Royal Collection Trust

The most expensive sword ever made is the Sword of Offering. This sword, valued at $660 million, is part of the British Crown Jewel collection. As such, it’s virtually irreplaceable.

Of course, the status of the sword isn’t its only notable feature. No, this sword (and its scabbard) are encrusted with precious metals and jewels, making it one of the most ornate and inherently valuable Old World weapons ever made.

There’s also the fact that the Sword of Offering is a crucial part of the coronation process. Any new King or Queen of Great Britain must accept this sword during their coronation.

King George IV helped design this ornamental sword. He paid about £6,000 to have the sword created. In today’s currency, that equates to about $660 million.

The fact that the Sword of Offering is a historical item with significant ritualistic significance makes it a priceless treasure. Still, the jewels and precious metals certainly help.

Why It’s Expensive

The Sword of Offering is one of the most expensive crown jewels in the world. It’s also an indelible part of the coronation process, making it far more valuable than any other sword in terms of its ceremonial importance.

It’s also worth noting that this sword and its covering are made of silver (the hilt) and gold (the sheath). Both objects are covered in priceless jewels, including diamonds, emeralds, and rubies.

So, if you removed this sword’s ceremonial significance, it would still be valuable, thanks to its precious materials.

What Makes Some Swords So Expensive?

The average sword only costs a few hundred dollars, if that. So why do some swords cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions? The answer comes down to:

  • Historical significance
  • Precious materials
  • Famous owners

Let’s briefly explore these factors to discover why the most valuable swords cost as much as a Los Angeles mansion!

Historical Significance

Several of the most expensive swords ever made have unique historical significance. Even swords made of simple steel or iron can be priceless due to their rarity and what they can tell us about cultures long past.

The Ottoman Child’s Sword is a prime example.

Sure, this sword has a few precious metals (primarily gold) and materials like ivory and diamonds. But it’s also a relic of days long gone by, an example of a culture that is now kept alive only through history books.

As such, it’s irreplaceable. Even if you were to make a replica, it wouldn’t have the same age and history as the actual sword. This authenticity makes it unique and expensive. Many other high-value swords enjoy the same irreplaceability.

Of course, precious materials help a lot in terms of value.

Precious Materials

Precious materials are one of the first things to look for when searching for a costly sword. Craftmanship can do a lot for a sword’s value, but it only goes so far.

A sword made with gold, platinum, or silver accents can sell for far more than a sword made of simple steel. After all, these metals are some of the most expensive precious metals on the planet.

When you add costly jewels like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires to the mixwell, you end up with a valuable item that’s not only worth a lot because of its design and historical significance but because of its pricey materials.

If the sword in question also happened to have famous owners, you’re looking at a significant price increase.

Famous Owners

Historical figures are essentially legends. We might know quite a lot about them, but their lives and legacies are untouchable, virtually unchangeable things that continue to influence the modern world.

So, when a historical figure’s sword ends up at an auction, you can bet that that item will sell for top-dollar prices. That’s certainly the case with Ulysses S. Grant’s Civil War Sword and Napoleon Bonaparte’s Sword.

These swords aren’t only valuable due to their construction, materials, and historical significance. They’re one-of-a-kind commodities because they once belonged to some of the most powerful people in modern history.

What’s the Most Expensive Sword Ever Made?

The most expensive sword ever made is the Sword of Offering. This gem-encrusted sword is worth $660 million and is part of the British Crown Jewels.

The sword itself dates back to the early 1800s, well after Oliver Cromwell’s time. Its large number of high-quality stones and age, plus its status as a crown jewel, make it both precious and irreplaceable.

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