When my father immigrated from China in the May of 1980, he came with everything he owned, which was basically nothing. All he had in his suitcase was his small amount of clothes— and a sword and dagger. Of course, at that time, people were allowed to carry items, such as swords, onto planes. My great-grandfather passed the sword and dagger down to my father as a symbol of success. When my great-grandfather came to America, he wanted a better and more profitable life to support his family. After he was able to make some money, he returned to China and one of the first things he bought was this Longquan Baojian, literally translated to Dragon Fountain Sword. The sword and dagger have ancient Chinese symbols and a large dragon etched onto the blades. My great-grandfather gave this to my father because my father was immigrating to America for the same reasons he did years before and my great-grandfather wanted my father to experience the same success. My father was in fact very successful in America and ended up buying more swords, each ranging around $1,000, later on in his life. Over the years, the blades have dulled down and my grandparents sometimes do tai-chi with them.
– Belle Chow