Collecting Case knives is a journey, a never-ending search for knives with unique, interesting, even historic qualities. Whether visiting a garage sale, an antique shop, or a back room of an old hardware store, it’s “the hunt” which feeds our passion, taking us places we can never expect.
The path for beginning Case collectors can seem unclear, with so many different handle materials, patterns, tang stamps, production quantities, and other details to consider. To help guide Case Collectors along the way, W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company has instituted the Rare Finds program. Rare Finds is a simple classification system to help identify Case knives that are no longer being manufactured. Of course, not every Case knife that goes out of production is worthy of the Rare Finds distinction. For those that are, the Rare Finds categories are as follows:
This Case knife was part of a standard catalog or promotional family of knives with no limit to the quantity produced. Examples of a Rare Finds Final Production knife would include Item #00014 - Amber Bone Seahorse Whittler (6355WH SS) or Item #05137 Pocket Worn® Caribbean Blue Bone Large Texas Toothpick (610098 SS).
This knife was originally a Limited Production item; no more than the published quantity were ever produced. Examples would include any knife from the XX Limited Edition Series, which typically have a total production quantity of 3,000 pieces or a knife from a 500-piece Exotic Series family.
These knives are the most rare and unique because they were produced in very limited numbers. It may have been part of a pilot or test run, or perhaps a special production run to use a rare or rarely-used handle material. Knives like Item #06944 Tulip Wood Tiny Muskrat (TINY MUSKRAT SS) with a production of 197 total pieces or Item #08016 Genuine Mother-of-Pearl Slimline Trapper (81048 SS) with a total production of 88 pieces are examples of knives put in the "Collector's Choice" category.
A Rare Finds item list will be published and updated periodically. Participating Rare Finds Dealers will mark the boxes of their Rare Finds inventory with corresponding Rare Finds category stickers. We hope the Rare Finds program will serve as sort of a GPS Navigational System, a “roadmap” that will help make your journey into Case knife collecting that much more fun and rewarding!