Damascus steel combines steels of different properties and produces blades with extraordinary toughness and edge-holding ability. Known as the Steel of the Ancients, Damascus knives and swords have lived in legend since the creation of Damascus steel nearly 2,000 years ago. Viewed under a microscope, the cutting edge of a Damascus blade displays tiny saw-tooth carbides which are formed by forging in a coal fire. This enables the blade to cut even when it feels dull to the touch. Flexibility is superb. Every piece of Damascus is as unique as a thumb print. When ground on an angle, as in a blade, the displayed pattern in stunning.