Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Samurai Sword That The Pawn Stars Bought For Thousands

It's no secret that the "Pawn Stars" guys love samurai swords, as Chumlee revealed in an exclusive interview. If you walk into Gold & Silver Pawn Shop with a Japanese blade, there's a good chance you'll come out of there with $10K in your hand. Rick Harrison might not even try to lowball you on it, as a lady found out when she sold a katana to the reality TV dealmaker. 

The seller, Debbie Jo, came in looking to sell her 16th-century katana ceremonial sword. Her father-in-law brought it back from Japan after World War II, and she wanted to get $10,000 for it. Chumlee wanted to know what the writing on the sheath said, and Debbie Jo said that a Japanese person told her father-in-law that it was a sword for "beheading Christians." Rick said he'd never heard of the Japanese beheading Christians. 

Rick didn't know what the clearly old and heavily used sword was worth, so he called in his friend Mike Yamasaki, the show's go-to samurai sword expert. Mike did a cool trick where he knocked the blade out of the handle, and found that there was writing on the blade that told about the sword's history.

It's a historically significant sword

"This blade is actually very interesting," Mike said. He explained that during the 1800s, there was a civil war in Japan where many factions were trying to take control of the country. This particular blade was made in 1863 for the Lord of Chōshū, Mori Takachika, who was a supporter of Emperor Kōmei. "So this is quite an important sword, historically," Mike said. He also said that it wasn't literally used for beheading Christians, but it was meant to be used against any enemy of the emperor, which included Christians, as Kōmei was opposed to Western intervention in Japan.

Mike said that the blade's condition and historical value meant it was worth about $10,000 at retail.

After Mike appraised the sword, it was time for Rick and Debbie Jo to negotiate. Debbie Jo said she'd take $5000 for it. And then Rick did something honorable. He told Debbie Jo that he won't take advantage of people, and $5000 was too low. So he offered her $6000. He explained that though he could have given her more, it would take some time and money to restore the sword. So she took $6000.

Some may say Rick Harrison is noble, like a samurai.