Kissing crane knives are a collector’s favorite that can date back to the 1800s. They are assembled and polished by hand, giving them a vintage look. These beautiful pieces are made of premium-quality carbon blades. Also, they have a stag or bone handle, making them a trusty companion for several years.

If you are thinking of confirming the authenticity and identity of this vintage piece, you will need to know how to date a kissing crane knife. Intently look for the stamp, logo, code, prefix, and Roman numerals on the construction. Moreover, you can also post a thread seeking kissing crane information in blade-related forums. Another great way is to consult an appraiser. 

No matter how old your kissing crane knife is, this comprehensive guide will help you reveal all the required information.

How to Date a Kissing Crane Knife – What to Consider?

Dating Kissing crane knives is complicated as the company has been in the market for 187 years. A few techniques can determine the knife age before 2021 and after 1961. So, let’s talk about how to date a kissing crane knife and what to consider.

How to Date a Kissing Crane Knife

1. Check the Stamp for Unique Code or Numbers

The authentic ancient knives of Kissing Crane had encryptions that are not too challenging to decipher even today.

Generally, most kissing crane knives have 2 blades. They were used for multiple activities depending on the knife’s sizes, designs, and shapes.

Kissing crane knives with only numbers are made before 1961 or between 1986 – 1993. A more vintage look is one of the prime characteristics of a knife dated before 1961.

If you own one of those vintage pieces, you only need to unfold the blades completely. Carefully look at the stamp on each side of the blades. Manufacturers used short unique codes. The codes are composed of 4 numbers that have specific meanings.

So, what do the numbers on a knife blade mean? Kissing crane knives have codes for each pattern, blade number, and handle materials.

  • The first 2 numbers indicate the pattern number of the factory
  • The third single number talks about the number of blades
  • The final digit represents the stag or bone

For example, if you find the number 3235 is stamped on the construction, it has the below meaning.

  • The number 32 indicates the factory pattern number
  • The number 3 represents the blade numbers
  • The number 5 specifies the stag

Let’s look at another example. If your kissing crane knife has a 2929 rating,

  • The 29 indicates the factory pattern number. In this case, it is a canoe
  • The number 2 represents the blade numbers
  • The number 9 specifies the bone

Their logo can also confirm authenticity. The kissing crane logo had 2 identical birds looking at each other and posing like they were kissing. But the company stopped putting its logo on the blade once the United Cutlery Company acquired it.

If you see any other things, the knife has been around for at least 25 years.

3. Look for Roman Numerals on the Stamp or Blade

You will also find Roman Numerals in the knife, indicating several things. When you see Roman Numerals, be sure that the Kissing Crane Knife is made in the era from 1972 to 1986.

So, how to read the roman numerals in Kissing Crane knife? The good news is, reading numbers is damn easy. The manufacturer started using a Roman numeral system in 1972. Any

Add the Roman numeral value with 1961 and determine its date of it.

For instance, if your knife has an XI mark, then it was constructed in 1961 + 11 = 1972

Moreover, if your knife has XII mark, then it was constructed in 1961 + 12 = 1973

Consequently, XIII means 1961 + 13 = 1974, and the trend continues until 1986.

4. Find Out the Meaning of Prefix

This is another effective way to determine the Kissing crane knife age.

The company started marking the prefix “K.C” in the stamp or blade in 1993. So, if you see any blade or stamp marked with the prefix “K.C.,” be confirmed it was made after 1193.

How to Date a Kissing Crane Knife -Find Out the Meaning of Prefix

5. Post a Thread in Popular Forums

Find useful forums, portals, or discussion boards for knife enthusiasts or experts. However, when looking for such forums, avoid hunting knife forums and stick to general, vintage, or classic knife portals.

After finding the forums, do the followings,

  • Create an account
  • Take a few pictures of your Kissing crane knife from different angles. Note down its size and weight. Also, mention the code or numbers. Post a thread with all these details.

Knife enthusiasts, experts, or collectors will inform you whether the knife was made in 1895 or 1965.

6. Visit an Appraiser

If you are planning to buy a Kissing Crane knife and want to know its age, it would always be best to take it to an appraiser. They are the best person to let you know the knife’s authenticity, identity, and manufacturing date.

Moreover, they will be able to give you more information to assist you in making a precise decision. Also, their assistance will let you avoid being scammed.

However, when consulting an expert, make sure they are specialized in Kissing crane knives. The reason is some might be experts in other brands.

How to Date a Kissing Crane Knife: Wrapping Up

Kissing crane is one of the most popular and oldest knife companies. They are well-known for their exclusive craftsmanship and durability. The kissing crane knives will be an outstanding addition to any collection for their vintage and classic look. These knives are handmade, built to last, and beautiful, making them ideal for any occasion.

This guide on how to date a kissing crane knife will surely help you know when the knife is made. These knives are valuable and have historic value. So, remember to store them in a safe place.


Oliver aka Arannyk Monon is a versatile content writer, editor, and content strategist. He has been writing for the last 10 years to help people get the actual information that they are searching for on Search Engines. He has proven expertise in Kitchen, automotive, camera, hosting, and other technical topics.

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