For centuries, craftsmen, blacksmiths, and even scholars attempted to unlock the secret behind Damascus steel. It took Joran Verhoeven, a Materials Science Professor, and Alfred a master bladesmith to figure out exactly what made Damascus steel so legendary. The secret turned out to be banded iron carbide particles. On a molecular level the steel must contain an impurity: Vanadium or Molybdenum. Small traces of these elements in high-carbon Damascus produce impeccable carbide bonds. The result is a hard cutting edge and rugged flexibility. The chemical composition of our Damascus features both elements, making for a superior and historically-accurate blade.