This Spanish madeToledo miniature sword/ letter opener measures 41cm long, there is minor age related tarnish on this wonderful miniature sword. The origin of Toledo steel comes from ancient Spanish customs. Toledo steel was used mostly in crafting weapons for armies during the 16th-19th centuries. The name comes from the city where these special steel products were crafted; Toledo, Spain. During times of war in the 16th-19th centuries, armies would usually be heavily armored and/or be using shields. Thus, a hard and flexible weapon was needed to counter this, and the Toledo sword was that weapon. Daggers and short swords were also crafted using the Toledo steel. The Toledo sword became known for its strength and durability, and soon became the most sought after weapon for Europeans. These Toledo swords were chosen by Hannibal for his army. Kings from all over the world had special weapons crafted in Toledo using the Toledo steel. Other countries tried to produce their own Toledo steel, but they failed. For example, the Damascus steel was created in response to the Toledo steel, but the Damascus steel was too hard and not flexible enough.