As pens became items of luxury and status rather than mere utilitarian tools, gold was embraced by pen manufacturers such as Montblanc, Cross, and Parker looking for ways to show off their latest fountain pens and other writing instruments. Pure gold is too soft to stand up to the daily use of an avid letter writer or journalist, so gold is mixed with alloys to make it more durable. These alloys also give the gold different hues. For example, the recipe for yellow gold calls for 75 percent pure gold mixed with equal parts silver and copper. A redder gold can be achieved by upping the proportion of copper, while a white gold can be produced by substituting the silver and copper blend for either nickel or palladium.

Various types of plating techniques have made the metal more affordable for the masses. At the top of the plating pyramid is true gold-plate, which has a thickness of 2.54 microns. In contrast, pens described as being made using a process called gold flash can have as little as .05 microns of gold on their surfaces. Better are pens made of rolled gold or those described as being gold filled, which means a three-to-12-micron layer of 14- or 18-karat gold is bonded to a sheet of brass or some other harder metal.

As with sterling-silver pens, gold can be hammered from behind (repoussé) or above (chasing). It can also be engraved, pierced, or both. Piercing allows designers to create elaborate filigree effects, which are frequently set against black plastic barrels and caps so the gold paisleys, florals, and other motifs stand out.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Ernesto Soler's extensive homage to one of the most popular pens ever produced, the Parker "51," introduced in 1941… [read review or visit site]

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Jim Mamoulides' vintage and modern pen-cyclopedia. Start at the main gallery, featuring detailed articles (with pho… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Sheaffer Pfm Mk 111 14k Gold Nib Fountain Pen Black Serviced A BeautyBrand New Montblanc Cufflinks Elegance Collection Gold Plated With Onyx BarAntique Waterman's 14k Yellow Gold Elaborately Engraved Eyedropper Fountain PenWahl Eversharp Adjustable Flexible Nib Gold Marble & Lime Green Veins Doric Pen!Vtg Parker 51 Fountain Pen Vacumatic Cap 14k Gold Double Jewel Blue Diamond Uncommon Sheaffer Snorkel "triumph" Gold-filled Fountain Pen ~ 14k Nib ~restoredAuthentic Montblanc 146 Czar Nikolai Malachite Gold Vermeil 925 Sterling Silver Montblanc Fountain Pen 320 Piston Filler Black Gold Plated TrimsCross "olympus Pen" Fountain Pen With .750 18k Gold Nib & Ink Boxed - Xx H41Rare Aurora Optima 925 Solid Silver Cap With Gold Pp Trims And Black Barrel FpVintage 1970's Mont Blanc #146 Meisterstuck Pen & Case Black W/ 14k Gold DetailsLovely Rare Vintage Waterman's 0542 1/2 18k Gold Fill Safety Propel Fountain PenSailor Excellent Founded Fountain Pen & Converter Black Gold Trim 585 Japan 1911Vintage Waterman #94 Olive Ripple Fountain Pen W/gold Nib. Pat. Pending. Superb Parker Duofold Centennial Fountain Pen Blue Marble 18ct Gold 98 Nib 137mmOmas Legni Pregiati Precious Amboina Wood W/ 18k Gold Nib Fountain Pen In BoxPelikan Fountain Pen 14 Carat Gold Nib Part Fine Sized Souveran M 600 400 200Vintage Conklin Gold Filled Crescent Filler Fountain Pen Cap & Barrel - No NibOmas Extra Lucens Blue Fountain Pen 18 Kt Gold Limited EditionWaterman #22 Tapered Cap Hd Rub. Eyedrop-fill Fountain Pen-gold Repousse Bands Waterman #52 1/2 Deluxe Hard Rubber Fountain Pen-gold Filled Bands/trim-clip-capSuperb Sheaffer Targa Laque Black Classic Gold Plated Fountain PenMontblanc Fountain Pen Noblesse Oblige Elegance In Silver & Gold W. M 18ct NibOmas Extra Lucens Blue Fountain Pen 18 Kt Gold Limited EditionWatermans 515 Large 14 Ct Gold Nib Fountain Pen/pencil Set Serviced Modern Elegant Aurora 88 Rolled Gold Linear Guilloche' Pattern Founatain PenScarce Early Omas Extra 555 S Gold Cap Piston Inkvu 14k Flex Nib Exc Clean LubedVintage Parker 65 Custom Fountain Pen - C1967 - Xtra Broad 14 K Gold Nib - BoxedWahl Eversharp Doric Gold Seal Pen, Restored, NrParker 61 Flighter Fountain - Ball Pen Boxed Set. 14 Ct Gold Nib1940s Swan Mabie Todd Gold Filled Black 2460 Twist Fill 14ct Nib Fountain PenMontblanc Fountain Pen Classic For Ink Cartridges Gold Plated TrimsFabulous Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 90Vintage, " Wahl Eversharp" Super Flexible Gold Nib, Multi Colored PenVintage Wahl Eversharp Skyline 14k Solid Gold Fountain Pen 5 & 1/2"Monte Rosa Made By Montblanc Fountain Pen Vintage 042 G Nib 14 C Gold Nib Montblanc Meisterstuck Black & Gold Ball Point Pen-germanyElysee ÉlysMontblanc 149 Diplomat Fountain Pen MeisterstVintage Pelikan Souveran M800 Fountain Pen Green Strip Black Gold West GermanyPelikan Pen 14 Carat Gold Tri Color Nib Spare Part Medium Sized Souveran M 800Antique Safety Filler Pen-red/black Hard Rubber-gold Nib F-1922/25 C.G44 Mint In Box Louis Cartier Gold Plated Cap Fountain Apen 18kt Nib + PapersPorsche Design Tecflex Steel / Gold Two Tone Fountain Pen New In BoxVintage Parker 75 Gold Filled - Square Pattern Fountain Pen - Nr Mint - C1964Vintage Parker Duofold Lucky Curve Gold Rope-crown Eyedropper Fountain PenOnoto De La Rue London-gold Nib M-blue/black Marbled-plunger Filler-1935 C.Parker 75 Fountain Pen In Gold Plate 14kt Fine Gold NibMontblanc Meisterstuck Ballpoint Pen Beautiful Two Tone Silver/gold Mint In Box!!! ~ Parker 51 Mark I Fountain Pen Set ~ Gold Filled Caps ~ MaroonRare Marlen Eclisse Intense Blue Milky Way Fountain Pen 18k 750 Gold Medium NibLot Of 5 Wahl Oxford 1930's Deluxe Fountain Pens-14k Gold Nibs-various Colors Parker Jack Knife Safety Gold Overlay...worksMontblanc 124 Gold Black Fountain Pen 18kt F-nib 1960s VintageEarly Parker Gold Filled '51' Signet Fountain PenPelikan Fountain Pen 14 Carat Gold Nib Part Bb Sized Souveran M 600 400 250 200S.t. Dupont Classique Gold-plated Grouped Lines, 18ct Gold Nib: M, Fountain Pen1960s Sheaffer Imperial Gold Filled Cartridge ConverterMontblanc 262, Excellent,branding,14c 585 Gold Multipurpose Nib Rare Vintage PenSheaffer Imperial Gold Plated Fountain Pen - 14k Nib