Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
In a jambiya or a khanjar, the hilt is probably the oldest. The hilt (and sometimes the blade) is the most expensive and treasured part of the dagger so it gets refurbished often and as style changes, you get to see those pins sometimes covered by the silver sheet which have became the new fashion or something.
I'm not sure about that since the blade seems to be the most admired and important part of the ensemble...at least thats what the locals ponder over when they are checking out a Khanjar. They smell it and even taste it! It even has to have the right musical note when struck. Locally made blades are the most expensive. However, a good hilt comes in a close second and certainly huge value is placed on Rhino and Elephant.
On the subject of pins I believe this to be a vital point since it is really only Rhino hilts that can safely take the closely hammered pins as other materials tend to split. Pins are used to decorate other horn hilts but they are not hammered so closely. It therefor becomes a mark of quality... i.e. Closely hammered pin decoration = Rhino hilt. A good hilt is just about recognisable from about 4 feet away ! (I mean you dont want to get too close!)
I wonder which came first; the pins or the technique of using sheet silver? My hypothesis leans toward the Rhino hilt plus pins since I am quite convinced of the importance of the entire weapon and its link to the Rhino both because of the hilt... and the curve in the dagger and the added apparent curve in the scabbard... I suggest the entire Khanjar is Rhino inspired (Hilt, Scabbard and Blade) though no proof exists other than that.
In keeping with that theory I have also argued that the closely decorated pins reflect/ resemble the spaghetti ended strata of translucent Rhino Horn...
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.