A counterfeit sword would not offer
the best protection in a fight.
Counterfeiting is nothing new. In the Middle Ages, a Viking might buy a counterfeit sword.
The best swords had the name "Ulfberht" on the blade, which was a trade name that indicated a quality weapon, the same way that the name Porsche or Rolex might mean good quality today.
Problem is, the fakes also had that name on the blade.
The real Viking "Ulfberht" swords were fashioned of crucible steel ingots obtained from places near the modern Afghanistan and Iran.
The fakes were made from local iron, and though it could be worked like crucible steel, and even hold a very sharp edge, it was not as strong.
The inferior steel was brittle, with a carbon content three times less than the fakes, and could easily shatter when faced with a stronger sword in battle.
– 1,000 years on, perils of fake Viking swords are revealed, The Guardian>>
– Ulfberht’s Swords, Shrine of Dreams>>