Just what Is Red Bone anyway?


5 Case Red Bones?

5 Case Red Bones?

One topic frequently discussed among collectors is “Just what is Red Bone, anyway?”

If you are a Case collector, there is no doubt you have wondered this yourself. All you have to do is watch eBay to see all the different shades of red, reddish brown and even brown handled knives- all represented to be “Red Bone.”

I too have suffered from this quandary. I hate to call a knife with red in the handles Brown Bone, when it is half red. Well, what about when the ends of the bone down at the bolsters are red?

Is there an accepted definition among collectors as to the strict interpretation of “Just what is a red bone, anyway?”

Here’s what I found:

“Some collectors mistakenly believe that if the handle shows a slight red tint at the edge or end of the handles it is a Red Bone. This is not correct. The accepted genuine Red Bone in the collecting field is as follows: It should be a deep red tint covering all sections of the handle and both handles should be the exact same color.”

The writer goes on to add, “There are some beautiful knives with a red color and, in most cases, are worth more than a regular Brown Bone handle.”

Pretty Bone

Pretty Bone

There that settles it. If we can now all agree on this as the standard. The good news for all of us with redish bone handled knives is they are probably worth more than a straight-out Brown Bone, but even still, they are not Red Bone.



Source: Ferguson’s -Romance of Knife Collecting (1979 Edition)

Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 6:01 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Good to know!

    What about “Green Bone”? I’ve seen knives on web sites described as green bone, but they don’t look very green to me.

    Are you aware of a good qualifying definition for green bone?


    Derek Smith

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