My suggestion would be to deal with Bernard Levine. If the knife is as important as you think it is, 25 bucks is small change.
Bill Adams, Bill Walters and I have been great friends for years and we always readily share information with each other and with others also. We do not charge a fee because we enjoy what we do. However I have no issue with someone who does appraisals and charges for them.
I reproduced an early Joseph Rogers catalog in hardback many years ago. I obtained the original catalog from Bill Adams. Although some of the knives I owned at one time are pictured in Bill Adams' stunning bowie book, I had nothing to do with the creation or production of same. Bill Adams did purchase some very nice bowies from me over the years, and I purchased some very nice military knives from him. It has been a great relationship for both of us. We remain good friends to this day.
Bill Walters has completed his second book on military knives, and it is a magnificent work. It weighs 8 1/2 pounds and is massive. The quantity, quality and scarcity of the knives therein is unbelievable. I cannot see how anyone could better Bill's effort. At $200 plus shipping, it may be a hard nut for some to crack. However, when it goes out of print, you may find copies of it going up for sale at many times the original purchase price. A good example would be Clawson's book on the .45 Automatic. I understand that a copy recently went up for auction and fetched over a thousand bucks.
This collecting game has been a wonderful experience. I have met, and enjoyed the company of many delightful people, accumulated a number of great collections, disposed of some of them, then went on to collect something else. I no longer collect knives, although I do pick up rare or interesting pieces for a good friend of mine who is a mid-level collector. I have also given him a number of really good knives that were in my collection.
My current collecting interest is in Vietnam bringback weapons and artifacts, SKS rifles, and combloc handguns. If the latter (combloc handguns) interest you, George Layman has authored a book about that subject this year, ($40 plus shipping from Mowbray Publishing, phone 800-999-4697). I highly recommend this book. George has done a great job of research and presentation of facts. Although a number of my items are illustrated therein, I have no financial interest in the book,
Adrian Van Dyk