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”)

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]

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]

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    

Montblanc No.#4 Italian Overlay Gold 18kr-simplo 4 Nib-safety Fountain Pen-20'sMontblanc Meisterstuck 169 Leonardo Sketch Pencil Gold Plated Trim And Pen CaseRare Vintage Waterman's Safety Propelling Fountain Pen 9ct Solid Gold OverlayLovely Vintage Yard O Led 9ct Solid Gold Fully Hallmarked Propelling Pencil 21gMontblanc Meisterstuck 149 Black Fountain Pen 4810 - 18k Gold Nib 750 + PouchWaterman Le Man 100 Black Lacquer & Gold Fountain Pen. 18k F Nib. Boxed. Mint.Montblanc No 12 Black Resin & Gold Fountain Pen. 18c B Nib. Boxed. 1960-1970.Montblanc Meisterstuck Vermeil 146 Gold Plated Sterling Silver Fountain PenFine Pelikan M-800 Fountain Pen - 18k Gold Nib - Medium - With Box & Papers- Montblanc Meisterstück 146 Le Grand Fountain Pen 14c 585 Gold Nib "m" -Vintage Parker 51 Gold Cap Fountain Pen Plus 2 Others ! Jewelry Shop EstateRotring 600 Silver Hexagonal Fountain Pen 18k GoldBeautiful Waterman Ideal 18k-750 Gold Fountain Pen French ParisSheaffer® Vintage Nice Sterling Silver 925 X Gold Fountain Pen 585 Made Usa 1940's Eversharp Skyline Fountain Pen; Marine Green; 14k Gold 'ef' Nib; RestoredMontblanc Boheme Gold-plated Rouge (red) Fountain Pen Medium NibMontblanc Legrand Rollerball Black With Gold Trim Brand New 162 11402 SealedLovely Vintage Parker '65' 14k .585 Gold Nib Fountain Pen - 276 A27Lovely Vintage Parker 'duofold' 14k .585 Gold Nib Fountain Pen - 325 A27Montblanc Mozart 114 Hommage Black And Gold Fountain Pen 14k Gold Medium (m) NibQuality Boxed Cartier Gold Silhouette Classic PenMontblanc Ball Point Pen Classique 164 Solitaire Gold Plated MeisterstuckVintage Parker Royal Challenger Gold Herringbone Jeweler-band Fountain Pen RareMontblanc Tribute Hommage W.a Mozart White Lacquer And Red Gold Plated 18k Gold!1946 Parker Golden Pearl Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major; 14k Gold F Nib; Restored- Vintage Montblanc 342 Fountain Pen 14c 585 Gold "ob" Nib In Box -Montblanc No 22 Black Precious Resin & Gold Fountain Pen 14k Ob B Nib. Vintage.1946 Parker Vacumatic Major; Emerald Pearl; 14k Solid Gold 'ef' Nib; RestoredMontblanc Boheme Fountain Pen Black Resin Onyx Stone 18k White Gold NibPilot Namiki Vanishing Point Capless Fermo Dark Green Rhodium 18k Gold M Nib F.pVintage Parker 75 Cisele Sterling Silver 925 Gold Fountain Pen Hallmarked[medium Nib] Sailor Profit 21 Silver Fountain Pen Naginata Togi 21k Gold RhodiumMontblanc Boheme Gold-plated Rouge (red) Ballpoint PenA Fine Quality Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Fountain Pen With 14ct Gold NibVintage Rare "omas 361" Reversible Gold Nib Fountain PenMechanical Pencil Fountain Pen Lot Parker Sheaffer Cross Esterbrook Gold Silver1936 Sheaffer's Lifetime Fountain Pen; Red Stripes; 14k Gold Nib;restoredVintage Waterman's Mechanical Pencil And Fountain Pen Set - 14k Gold NibVintage 1915 French Safety Solid Gold Waterman - Waterman 42 1/2 VMontblanc Starwalker Black Fountain Pen Fine 14k Gold Nib (f)Montegrappa Piccola Gemma 18k Rose Gold Purple Resin Med Fountain Pen Ispgc3rlVintage Montblanc No.145 Meisterstuck Classique Gold 14kt M Nib Fountain PenSuperb Gold-plated Sheaffer Targa 1007 Fountain Pen - Lovely Writer.Vintage Sheaffer's Lifetime Fountain Pen 14k Gold Nib UsaMontblanc Fountain Pen Meisterstuck 114 Named "mozart" 14 K Solid Gold Nib Authentic Montblanc Fountain Pen, 18k Gold Medium Nib, Beautiful ! No Reserve !Vintage Parker Duofold Fountain Pen - 14ct Gold Nib - BlackFabulous Waterman Edson Fp Ruby Red, 18 K Gold Nib In Medium Size. Perfect CdtPelikan Expo 2000 Nature Piston Fountain Pen In Green / Gold - Limited EditionAurora 88 - Large Fountain Pen Black/gold (14k Gold F Nib)Waterman Carene Deluxe Green & Gold Fountain Pen Vintage Montblanc 22 Fountain Pen - Black & - Superb 14k Gold M.b. Nib- Vintage Montblanc 344 Fountain Pen 14c 585 Gold "obb" Nib -Lovely Rare Early Vintage Gold Plated Filigree Eyedropper Fountain Pen - FlowersPilot Namiki Justus 95 Barley Black Adjustable Special Flex 14k Gold Fm Nib FpParker Blue Diamond Vacumatic Burgundy Pearl Gold Filled Fountain Pen With NibVintage Montblanc Generation Green Fountain Pen 14k Gold NibParker Sonnet Sterling Silver 925 Fountain Pen, 18 Ct Gold NibVintage Parker 51 Vacumatic With 14k Gold CapQuality Boxed Cartier Gold Silhouette Classic Pen