CAUTION NOTE: Be careful of who and where you send your sword for appraisal, repairs, sharpening or polishing as a number of swords have been known to disappear once in the hands of unscrupulous persons ...or 'repairs' are often poorly done.
Anyone can hang a 'shingle' (establish a web site) and claim to be the biggest or the best and most skilled but if they are not a life member (or a member in good standing) of the JSS/US (Japanese Sword Society of the U.S.) or are unable to provide solid references that you are able to verify, use caution.
If you deal with a person who claims to be an expert, and you have a problem with him, and it cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, let us know and we will do what we can to help.
As an example: A West Coast
sword dealer who has a large and impressive web site tells those who
contact him that their sword could be worth a very
large amount of money and while
he is almost positive, he cannot tell for sure until he has the
opportunity to 'opens
a window' (polish only a small area) on the blade to study it.
He convinced a lady that she had a very valuable sword and further convinced her to give him $3,500 to have him polish it. Later, when the lady had the opportunity to take it to the local sword show to have it appraised, it was valued at just under $600.
There are a number of unqualified workers claiming to be experts in all lines of work and sword restoration is no exception.
Those who ask for advance payment to get the job started are not necessarily the best to deal with because hard workers who keep their noses clean generally have their act together and are well funded. Best advice: Don't pay in advance for repairs and if asked, think twice before giving your sword to this person, regardless of whatever reason he may use to justify needing a deposit. If you provide him with a deposit (advance payment), you may not get your sword back in a reasonable amount of time because you have removed much of the incentive for him to do what he promised to do.
I recently heard of another sword polisher who asked for and received $3500 as a polishing fee and has taken over 5 years to start work on the customers sword.... and (last report) he still has not started the job that he had been paid to do.
A Samurai's weapon of choice.
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