Tucked away in a quaint century-old ranch house at the foot of the southernmost Rockies, the Santa Fe Stoneworks studio has the feeling of a grandfather’s workshop—filled with arcane tools, mystifying materials, and maybe a little magic. Unfinished knife blanks line the tables, asteroid-like chunks of turquoise pile on a workbench next to a stock of intriguing bones, and the walls are lined with a selection of rare paleontological finds that could make Indiana Jones blush. At the center of it all is Bill Wirtel, who left his job in 1978 to start his own shop in New Mexico’s legendary jewelry mecca and still hones the blades for Stoneworks’ gorgeous knives alongside his son and daughter to this day.
Every knife we’ve selected from Santa Fe Stoneworks’ robust line of heirloom-worthy pocket knives is built around a marbled Damascus blade, hammered from 16 layers of steel in the tradition of 17th-century Persian swordsmiths. Each blade is painstakingly hand-finished with a gem-quality handle and this season, in time to knock out some big names on your holiday gift list, we collaborated with their workshop on a couple exclusive knives that likely won’t be around for long: the Rare Petoskey Fossil knife with 400 million year-old fossilized inlays, and the Rare Blue Mammoth tooth knife. The designs on these blades are one-of-a-kind and can’t be found unless you’re willing to do some industrial-grade digging. So you better grab yours before they go extinct.