“Everybody’s got a number,” says Brady Miller. For the tactical gear dealer in Mesa, Ariz., it was $195,000. Five years ago, he’d assembled a set of 16 knives by renowned bladesmith Ernest Emerson, including five of the very first iterations of his most sought-after model, the CQC-6. “That’s kind of the icon, the Rolex Daytona of the knife world,” Miller says.
He didn’t plan to sell the knives, but word spread rapidly among collectors, and a cold call changed his calculus. “I didn’t even add anything up in my head. I just thought what would make me not regret selling them,” Miller recalls. “So I said $195,000.” The buyer agreed without haggling or hesitation.