Toledo Sword


ID Number: WS00-0001
Category: Ancient Artefacts
Description: Toledo Sword
Country or State: Toledo, Spain
Year: 1874
Head of State/Ruler: Alfonso XII (Alfonso Francisco de Asís Fernando Pío Juan María de la Concepción Gregorio Pelayo; 28 November 1857 – 25 November 1885) was King of Spain
Reign: 28 November 1857 – 25 November 1885
Composition: Steel (Fe), Hilt in Brass
Length: Hilt: 14 cm, Blade: 76 cm, Blade Width: 2 cm
Weight: Aprox. 1,5 kg
State of Conservation: Extremely Fine (XF)

Proof (Prf) € -
Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) € -
Mint State/Mint Condition (MS) € -
Uncirculated (Unc) € -
Extremely Fine (XF) € -
Very Fine (VF) € -
Fine (F) € -
Very Good (VG) € -
Good (G) € -


Toledo steel, known historically as unusually hard, is from Toledo, Spain, which has been a traditional sword-making, steel-working center since about 500 BCE, and came to the attention of Rome when used by Hannibal in the Punic Wars. Soon, it became a standard source of weaponry for Roman legions.

Toledo steel was famed for its high quality alloy, whereas Damascus steel, a competitor from the Middle Ages onward, was famed for a specific metal-working technique.

The origin of Toledo steel comes from ancient Spanish customs. Toledo steel was used mostly in crafting weapons for armies during the 16th-19th centuries.  The name comes from the city where these special steel products were crafted; Toledo, Spain. During times of war in the 16th-19th centuries, armies would usually be heavily armored and/or be using shields. Thus, a hard and flexible weapon was needed to counter this, and the Toledo sword was that weapon. Daggers and short swords were also crafted using the Toledo steel. The Toledo sword became known for its strength and durability, and soon became the most sought after weapon for Europeans. These Toledo swords were chosen by Hannibal for his army. Kings from all over the world had special weapons crafted in Toledo using the Toledo steel. Other countries tried to produce their own Toledo steel, but they failed. For example, the Damascus steel was created in response to the Toledo steel, but the Damascus steel was too hard and not flexible enough.

The production process of Toledo steel had been kept a secret until the 20th century. Toledo steel is basically two different types of steel (one high and one low in carbon content) that are forged together. Since the steels that were being forged together had different carbon content, one is considered soft steel and the other is a hard steel. Because both hard and soft steel are used in this material, it has material properties of both hard and soft steel. The actual process of making the Toledo steel was very difficult and long. Because of this, Toledo steel weapons were more rare and powerful. The process had to be followed very strictly, regarding time, temperatures, etc, or otherwise the product would not be of the highest quality. Then the steel was cooled in either water or oil for a certain amount of time. In the early production days of Toledo steel, the timing was done using prayers and psalms. As blacksmiths crafted these weapons, they would recite the same prayers, in the same rhythm, to make sure the timing was the same every time. Because of the intricacies of the production and the rarity of the product, the average blacksmith could only create about 2-3 Toledo steel weapons per year.