I cannot recall when I first met António Conceição Júnior and it seems that I had known him far longer than the three years that we have been corresponding. As an avid sword collector, I have heard Antonio’s voice in various internet forums, sharing ideas and thoughts not only about sword design but also about history, arts, culture and the various facets behind this unusual hobby of sword collecting.

Even then, his wisdom and possibly even more important, his generosity with his time, impressed me. Without asking for anything in return, he has educated and enlightened me and many others – teaching us that the appreciation of swords, like so many other things, is not just based on outward appearance, technical specifications, or commercial availability.

When I finally got to meet Antonio for a business transaction and hearing his voice and reading letters addressed to me, I realized that all this wisdom and generosity is not just a mere Internet façade but something real and intrinsic in him. As our first transaction progressed into further business dealings, I further realized that the wisdom that he so willingly shares actually comes from plain hard work – a continuous dedication to expand his knowledge and experience. This was manifest in the extensive research that he did to design a unique set of swords for me. In the end, I received a set of swords that integrated historical precedence, modern day technology, the sword smith’s creativity and my own personal desires.

Our relationship has now gone beyond designer and customer and I am proud to say that we have established a friendship that transcends geographical distance and the impersonality of the Internet. It is a friendship that has gone beyond appreciation of swords to an exchange of many, many other interests and concerns. It is a friendship that I will always treasure and be proud of.

Thank you, Antonio, for this friendship.