Verification from Anne Reeve that the knife is indeed of S. African origin... the steel is D2 steel, not A2.
Any knives made in South Africa can be recognized by either no country of origin marking or by "Made in RSA" marked on the blade. We did not mark the knives at all until 1987 when a shipment coming into the US was stopped at Customs, and they required the country of origin marking. From +/- May 1987, all knives were marked.
However - for every rule, there is an exception!!
When we moved to the US from South Africa (we arrived March 8, 1989), we brought some partially completed One Piece blanks with us, and the Aviator in question is one of them. I have no records of how many we brought but it wasn't many - we could see we would run out of time to complete them in SA! Aviator 862 was marked on February 4th, 1989 - but it was finished in the USA. I wrote the guarantee card (I confess to less than perfect penmanship!) at the time the knife was completed. It took a while for us to get set up with a US sheathmaker and we ordered sheaths from South Africa for a year or more.
All One Piece Knives made in SA had hex butt caps, and continued to use hex for quite a few more years. We have used the same coating, then called KalGard, now called KG Gunkote, for as long as we have made this range of knives. The color varies slightly, much like regular paint, with different batches.
Hope this clears a few details - if only knives could tell their stories of travels from SA to the US to Australia to Afghanistan!
Regards to all
Chris Reeve Knives