A 60-year-old farmer in Chengkou county in Chongqing has been using an ancient sword as a kitchen knife since he dug it up five years ago, the Chongqing Evening Daily reports. One day out in his fields, Yi Shouxiang found the rusty sword, which had lost its head and handle. Three Chinese seal characters were carved on the blade, but hard to distinguish. Yi became curious and decided to sharpen the blade. He soon recognised two of the characters, for “dragon” and “sword”, the report said. Officials at the local cultural heritage preservation centre in the Gaoguan township came across the sword by chance during a visit of the countryside to look for ancient farming equipment or other items for an exhibition. They found the three characters read Black Dragon Sword, and believed the sword was made in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), the paper cited the officials as saying. The value of the sword, cast in red copper, was rumoured by some local people as worth more than a million yuan (HK$1.26 million), the paper said. However, the cultural centre officials said the actual value may be far less as it was a high quality blade. It might have lost value further after Yi sharpened it into a kitchen knife, the officials said. The local government said it would try to an accurate evaluation of the relic as soon as possible.