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    

Vintage Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Piston Fountain Pen W 18k Gold NibParker 51 Double Jewel 16k Gold Filled Cap Blue Diamond+ Rare Montblanc Simplo 326 Button Filler Marbled Fountain Pen 1935 Gold + 18ct.+ Pelikan 400nn Fountain Pen Om Gold 400 Exc 1954 +- Vintage Montblanc 264 Fountain Pen 585 14c Gold Nib "ef" -New Solid 18k Yellow Gold & Red Resin Montegrappa Cosmopolitan Russia RollerballPelikan 100 N, 14 Karat 585 Gold - Nib, F - NibRare "first Year" Parker 51 Blue Diamond Vacumatic ~ Gold Filled Cap ~ 2 Jewels!Parker Vacumatic Senior Maxima Fountain Pen And Pencil Set In Gold Pearl.Montblanc No221 Piston Dark Green Vintage Nib:b Fountain Pen Gold Trim 585 FpPilot Namiki 1977's Excellent Fountain Pen 18k W-gold Black Cross-hatch JapanEversharp Skyline 14k Gold Nib Fountain Pen Serviced Vgc A BeautyParker 51 Special Edition Vista Blue Diamond Silver Cap Pen 18k Gold Nib!Limited Edition Aurora Primavera 18k Gold Nib Fountain Pen W/ Ink & Original BoxWaterman's "ideal" Fountain Pen # C555 ~ 18k Gold Filled ~ #5 Nib ~ ExcellentVintage Parker 51 Insignia Fountain Pen- Near Mint - Broad Nib - All Rolled GoldWahl Decoband Gold Seal Fountain Pen - Very Clean - No ReservePilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen In Black & GoldMontblanc Meisterstuck Legrand 146 Fountain Pen Piston Filler 14k Gold NibMontblanc Meisterstuck NParker '51' Mk I Fountain Pen, Nr. Mint, Boxed With Inst. Black With R. Gold CapVintage Solid 9ct Gold- De La Rue "onoto" Fountain Pen, 14k Gold Nib, 22gs,1920!Montblanc Diplomat Meisterstuck Fountain Pen 18k Gold Nib 149 Two Tone FinePelikan N€Montblanc Meisterstuck 114 "mozart" Fountain Pen Rare Red/gold Plated TrimsVintage Aurora 88 Fountain Pen Gold Filled Cap From 50’sAuthentic Montblanc Meisterstuck Legrand 162 Gold Plated Rollerball PenMontblanc Meisterstuck No149 Black & Gold 14k Fp Very Good Condition[310]Mint Caran D'ache Madison Cisele 18k Gold Plated 18k Gold Nib Fountain Pen!!Parker 75 Sterling Silver Vintage Cisele 14k Gold Xf Nib Working Condition Vintage Conway Stewart 58 Deluxe Red Hatched Marble Gold Trim Duro Fountain PenPelikan Limited Edition 1931 "originals" 18k Gold Nib Fountain Pen In Box, #2124Parker "vacumatic" Fountain Pen Dated .4. ~ Brown Strip W/ Gold Trim ~ 1 JewelNew Montegrappa Alchemist Fountain Pen, M, Resin & Sterling Silver 18k Gold NibDozen Fountain Pens Inc' Parker Osmiroid 65 Sheaeffer Watermans 14ct Gold Nibs +Platinum #3776 Briar Series Briar Shell Sandblasted Wood Body Gold 14k B Nib F.pPlatinum #3776 Century Slip And Seal Mechanism Chartres Blue Body 14k F Gold NibSailor Japan 1911 Fp Black & Gold 14k Cartridge Free [271]Platinum Yakusugi Natural Rare Ancient Cedar Wood Body 14k Gold F Nib F.p+ Pelikan M400 Fountain Pen B Gold 400 Nm 1990 +Parker 75 Gold Plated Fountain Pen - Broad Italic Oblique NibMontblanc 3-44, B - Nib, 14 C 585 Gold Nib 1940's Eversharp Skyline Fountain Pen; Black; Big Flex 14k Gold Nib; Restored€Vintage Sheaffer Touchdown Imperial Sterling Fountain Pen - 14k Gold NibEarly Vintage Green Striped Pelikan Fountain Pen 14k 14ct Gold Nib, 1929Classic Parker 75 Cisele Sterling Silver Gold Ball Pen Pencil 0.9 Mm LeadParker Sonnet Premier FougVintage Sheaffer Imperial V Gold Filled Fountain Pen C1970s Looks NiceParker Vacumatic Major In Emerald Green Pearl With 14 Ct Gold Nib.Lot Of 3 Vintage Sheaffer Fountain Pens With 14k Gold NibsElysee Lacquer Laque Parthenon Classique Fountain Pen 18k Gold Plated M Nib UsedParker 'vs' Fountain Pen 1946 Black With Gold Filled Cap, Fully ServicedBrand New Montegrappa "the Alchemist" Silver Fountain Pen Air, M W/18k Gold NibMontblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Vermeil Ramses Ii Lapis Gold Ballpoint Pen + Broad B Pelikan 400 M400 M600 Fountain Pen Gold Nib Bicolor 585 14ct + 1990 +Pilot Namiki Custom 743 Black 14kt Gold (b) Broad Nib Fountain PenVintage Black Pilot Namiki Bamboo Fountain Pen14k Gold Fine Nib With BoxVintage Parker 75 Sterling Silver Cisele Fountain Pen 14k Gold Nib $1.99 Nice Nr