Antique Stone Axe Head Identification, Types & Value (2023)

With my years-long experience, I believe that most enthusiastic collectors run after the old, Stone Age-era antiques. And out of all of them, the 10,000 BCE stone heads attract them the most! Well, neither polished nor pointed, their solid stones and hand-shaped joints always catch the collectors’ eye!

But since people made them 10,000 years ago, stone axe heads are obviously very rare today! Besides, there’s no proper documentation on the age and materials that help users appraise them. So today, I’ll be sharing those tips with you!

Key Takeaways

  • Most collectible stone axe heads are 5000 – 12,000 years old. So, ensure they have pointed edges, grooves, and inlay designs at the center.
  • Antique stone axe heads have Flint, Obsidian, Basalt, Jadeite & Granite bodies, of which the Basalt ones are rare and precious.
  • Vintage stone head axes with rough and unpolished finishes cost more due to their natural stone fractures & textures.
  • Bored with the normal black stone axes? Collect triangular Green or Yellow stone heads for more variety!

How Do You Identify Old & Authentic Stone Axe Heads?

Old Stone Axe Heads

You can obviously spot these axe heads by their stone bodies and Strappi (small fractures). But if you want the precious ones, this features list will help you:

  • Flint, Obsidian, Basalt, or Granite sides with crude, stone-chiseled edges
  • Might have a pointed spike for digging & piercing
  • Convex grooves to channel the surface water
  • Might have simple floral, animal, leaf, or vine-shaped carvings
  • Round and flattened poll (opposite edge of the axe)
  • Crude rope or leather binders

The Interesting Evolution of Antique Stone Head Axes

Let’s go back to 10,000 BCE, roughly 12,000 years from now! At that time, we didn’t have any cleavers or knives. So, the Stone Age man tied a sharp stone on a wooden log and used it for hunting. Well, that was the first stone head axe ever!

But this simple model needed better sharpness and grip. So, in the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages, man added jagged edges, toes, and heels to each. He even used local, polished stones like Jade and Jadeite for smooth and clear cuts.

However, by 1200 BCE, we had Iron & Bronze. And these metals were sharper and polished than stone. So, makers moved towards metal axe heads, making the stone ones rare today. You’ll still get some models till the 1600s, but those might be smaller and cheaper.

2 Types of Antique Stone Axe Heads (With Features & Costs)

Archaeologists have unearthed two main stone heads, each with different features and costs. So, let’s check those first:

1. Celt Stone Axe Heads

Celt stone axe heads work on sockets, butt-ends, and heels. These don’t have any shaft holes but have thin and pointed blades for chopping wood. Also, these might have painted patterns and symbols of the local tribes. Usually, these cost $50 – 4000, as per the condition.

2. Adze Stone Axe Heads

Adze stone axes are thick, perpendicular axes, costing $200 – 3000. You can spot them by their jagged edges, shaft holes, and curved blades. And since they are polished, you might see some yellow, green, or blue streaks on the blades.

6 Identification & Valuation Factors of Antique Stone Axe Heads

Now, let’s see how other factors like age, style, and colors affect your stone head axe’s resale value:

1. Antique Stone Axe Head’s Age & Features

Do you know that antique stone axe heads had no specific shape or size? I mean, people literally used any natural rock, stick, or animal hide they could find to make it.

But even then, we have some era-specific tying methods & features that help track the axe’s age. Let’s discuss those:

Antique Stone Axe Head EraAverage AgeUnique & Special FeaturesEstimated Value
Paleolithic Era (10,000 BCE)12,000 yearsRough & Unpolished Flint, Quartz, or Basalt blades with asymmetrical & uneven sections$1000 – 4500
Mesolithic Era (4000 BCE)6,000 years Smooth Flint, Chert & Quartzite blades with small, bi-facial designs$300 – 2000
Neolithic Era (3000 BCE)5,000 yearsUnifacial Jade, Nephrite & Hardstone blades with polished and refined surfaces$80 – 1000
Bronze Age (2000 BCE)4,000 yearsComposite & Hybrid stone heads with Polished Bronze, Jade, or Serpentine streaks$50 – 500
Iron Age (1200 BCE)2,000 yearsSmall and chiseling axes with Wrought or Alloyed Iron handles, throats, and designer motifs$20 – 200

Try to get old stone axe heads with fingernail-sized coarse Basalt edges for an old make.

2. Vintage Stone Axe Head Materials

Old Stone Axe Head Materials

It’s not just basalt; The Stone Age man also used various other stones – Flint & Granite to make axes, especially in the 2000 BCE. Of these, the polished Flint ones cost more due to their sharpness, while the soft and brittle Obsidian ones are cheaper.

Check how the stone’s type affects the axe’s value below:

Old Stone Axe Head MaterialsTop Collectible FeaturesAverage Cost
Flint / ChertSharp and Durable blades with jagged edges, easy-to-shape sections, and rough finishes$20 – 150
ObsidianGlossy, cool-lava rocks with smooth surfaces, razor-sharp edges, and conchoidal fractures$50 – 1200
BasaltIgneous rock blades with a dense, fine-grained structure, brushed finishes, and jagged blades.$100 – 2000
Jadeite & NephriteGreenish or Bluish blades with polished, high-luster finishes and singing edges$100 – 900
GraniteGranular blades with Quartz or Mica speckles, pointed blades, and brushed finishes$70 – 500

Pick vintage stone axe heads with Hickory, Mahogany, Cherry, or Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus) handles for more returns.

3. Old Stone Axe Head Styles

Surprisingly, all civilizations made old stone head axes around the globe. And people obviously didn’t use the same, tied design for all. Like, the Acheulean people used flint blades and symmetrical handles, while the Mayan people worked with Jade & Jadeite.

So, it’s all these unique features that impact a stone head axe’s cost! Let’s see how:

Vintage Stone Axe Head StylesUnique TraitsEstimated Cost
Acheulean StyleFlint or Chert heads with sharp cutting edges, symmetrical edges, and bifacial designs$900 – 4000
Mayan & MesoamericanJade or Jadeite heads with detailed carvings, symbolic motifs, and jagged edges$60 – 900
TibetanSmall, teardrop shape axe heads with a high-gloss finish & decorative or carved inlays$800 – 2000
ColumbianRectangular or Oval axe heads with sharp, round butts and Granite or Basalt blades$50 – 500
ChineseTrapezoidal or Triangular axe heads with regional Dragon or mesh carvings and Jade inlays$30 – 700

4. Old Stone Axe Head Colors

One of the easiest ways to date a stone axe head is its colors. It’s so that the earliest 10,000 BCE axes were simply black or gray. But then, by 4000 BCE, makers had moved to other yellow and brown stones too! So, let’s see how to appraise such colored axes.

Antique Stone Axe Head ColorsEstimated Value
Black (Solid or Speckled)$1000 – 4500
Light & Dark Gray$700 – 3000
Pale Green or Bluish Green (Jadeite)$80 – 1000
Earthy Tones – Brown & Beige$40 – 600
White or Yellowish White$400 – 1800

5. Antique Stone Axe Head Shapes

It’s true that the old, Paleolithic era axes were a bit crude and abstract. But then, by the Neolithic age, makers standardized the process and used simple triangle or adze blade shapes for a better cutting edge and grip.

Here’s a table with the top features of different axe head shapes and their costs:

Vintage Stone Axe Head ShapesEstimated Value
Tear-drop (Round & Pointed)$200 – 4000
Triangular$500 – 2000
Curved & Crescent$100 – 900
D or Unifacial shaped$50 – 600

6. Vintage Stone Axe Head Finishes

Take a clean cloth and rub it thoroughly on the stone axe head’s surface. Does it feel rough or poky? If yes, it might be an old, 10,000 BCE stone axe! But, if you find a smooth, waxy finish, it might be from 4000 BCE. So, let’s see how to spot & price such stone axe finishes:

Old Stone Axe Head FinishesHow to Identify Them?Estimated Value
Rough & UnpolishedCrude, natural texture with natural stone fractures and surfaces$1500 – 4000
PolishedGrinded or Sanded finishes with a semi-gloss appearance$500 – 2500
Ground or Partially GroundShaped or Ground cutting edges with glossy surfaces$200 – 1000
Incised FinishEngraved designs, Patterns, Symbols & Inlay work$400 – 1800

What Was a Stone Head Axe Used for in the Stone Age?

Back in the Stone Age, roughly 12,000 years from now, people used stone head axes for cutting trees, crops, keeping animals, and sharpening basic hunting tools.

Can You Sharpen an Antique Stone Axe Head?

Yes, you can sharpen an antique stone axe head easily. Just lay it flat, with the cutting bevel towards the ground, and make small cutting notions along the entire length.

How Do You Clean an Old Stone Axe Head?

Take a blunt palette or butter knife and scrape off all the debris from the stone’s cracks and fractures. Next, rinse and brush it thoroughly with water and apply Vaseline or oil on top.

I know there isn’t much info on ancient tools like Stone & Broad Axes. But I hope this guide helps you crosscheck some crucial features and price them rightly! Just rinse & brush the axe head before you observe it. You don’t want the ‘age-old’ dust to affect features, right?

Now, collected the best stone axe? Then go ahead and build a complete antique toolbox! All you need is our identification guides on ‘old vises,’ ‘screwdrivers,’ and ‘handsaws’ to collect the other vintage tools!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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