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”)

Parker51.com

Parker51.com

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]

Penhero.com

Penhero.com

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 Sheaffer Black Snorkel Fountain Pen Pfm - White Dot & 14k Gold Nib Vintage Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Gold Plated Trim Fountain Pen 18c Medium NibSwan Mabie Todd Solid Gold 9ct Pen Pencil Set 1920s, Needlepoint Nib Slight FlexVintage Mont Blanc Masterpiece 744-n Fountain Pen 14k-585 Gold Nib Med Grade ExcAntique Waterman's Ideal 52 Fountain Pen Bhr + 9k Band 14k Gold Med Nib Restored1920's Wahl Eversharp Fountain Pen - Gold Fill 14k Gold Med Flex - Restored Antique Waterman's No 14 Eyedropper Fountain Pen Bhr 14k Gold Fine Nib RestoredMontblanc Fountain Pen Mb 149 Black / Gold - Nib Gold 18kAntique Waterman's No 52 Fountain Pen - Bhr - 14k Gold Med Stub Nib Omas Milord 556 Black And Gold Fountain Pen Swan Leverless Pen Mabie Todd & Co Patappfor 14ct Gold Nib 4 Med Fountain PenConway Stewart No 28 Fountain Pen Grey Hatched 14k Gold Fine Firm Nib Restored Lovely Vintage Swan Mabie Todd Silver Fountain Pen 14ct Gold NibWaterman 92 Ideal Canada Fountain Pen W. 14ct Gold Nib With Reptile Skin EffectAntique Waterman's No 52 Fountain Pen - Bhr - 14k Gold Med Semi Flex NibBeautiful Gold Plated Sheaffer Targa Slim With 23k El.plated Nib Fountain Pen !Conway Stewart No 75 Fountain Pen Blue Marble 14k Gold Med Broad Stub Restored Lovely Vintage Waterman's W2 Fountain Pen Black With 14k Gold Nib - WorkingCherished Pilot Namiki Blue Carbon Vanishing Point With 14k Gold NibSwan Mabie Todd 0160 Fountain Pen - Bhr- 14k Gold Med Semi Flex Nib - RestoredVintage Mont Blanc 22 Fountain Pen Black & Gold 14k Hooded Nib Pretty Vintage Waterman 9ct Gold Fountain Pen Ringtop A/f - 14k Semi-flex Nib!Marlen Fountain Pen Antica Atella 988 Limited Edition - 2005 - Gold Nib (m)Aurora Optima Fountain Pen Red Burgundary 14kt Solid Gold Nib M Piston FillerMarlen Fountain Pen Egizia 588 Limited Edition 2005 Gold Nib (m) Sterling SilverConway Stewart No 85 Fountain Pen Red Marble 14k Gold F/m Smooth Nib Restored Vintage Super Conway Stewart 36 - Fountain Pen - Uk - Gold Fill TrimPilot Namiki 18k Gold Rhodium F Nib Vanishing Point Decimo Gray Fountain PenPilot Namiki Black 14k Gold M Medium Nib Custom 743 Large Size Fountain PenMarlen Fountain Pen Maya Calendar Prestige 88 Limited Edition Gold Nib M BronzeVintage Super Conway Stewart 27 - Fountain Pen - Uk - Gold Fill TrimMarlen Fountain Pen Risorgimento 150 Limited Ed. 2011 Gold Nib (m) Sterling Silv1965 Caran D'ache Ecridor 892 Gold Plaque Unused Boxed Mint Vintage Nos Ball PenSwan Mabie Todd L206/60 Fountain Pen Black 14k Gold Smooth Eternal No 2 RestoredMontblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Sterling Silver And Gold Rollerball ( Used )Marlen Fountain Pen Rembrandt 400° 400 Limited Edition - 2006 - Gold Nib (m)Marlen Fountain Pen Palazzo Reale 360 Limited Ed Gold Nib (m) Sterling SilverAurora 88 Piston Filler Nib Gold 14k-585Conklin Slip Cap Gold Filigree Pen...worksSailor 14k Gold F Fine Nib 1911 Profit Standard Color Black Fountain PenVintage Super Conway Stewart 388 - Fountain Pen - Uk - Gold Fill TrimVintage Wahl Early 1900's No.12 Black Chased Hard Rubber Body W/ Gold Parts Antique Mabie Todd Blackbird Fountain Pen - Bchr- 14k Gold Med Semi Flex NibVintage Wahl Gold Filled Fountain Pen - Made In UsaConklin Mark Twain Crescent Fp In Black Chase W Rose Gold Trim - M Nib (new!!!)Vintage Rare!! Sailor 1911 Black & 14k Gold 585 Fountain Pen Japan [73]Olympio Vertigo Jumbo S.t. Dupont Fountain Pen 18k Gold W/box & Certification NrVintage Eversharp Skyline Deluxe 2-tick Emblem 14k Gold Burgundy Fountain PenEversharp Symphony 713 Lever Fountain Pen Eversharp 14k Gold Flex M Nib New SacSailor" 21k Gold-nib X Black Body Fountain Pen Vintage Free Cartridge Japan S.t.dupont Olympio Vertigo Limited Edition 18k Gold/chinese Lacquer Fountain PenSwan Mabie Todd 4161 Fountain Pen - Bhr 14k Gold Med Flex Eternal No 4 RestoredCross Sterling Silver Limited Edition Fountain Pen 18k Solid Gold Nib New I Bx Marlen Ippocrate Fountain Pen Gold Plated Nib Special Ed. Resin, Sterling SilverCross Vintage 1975 'classic Century' 14k Filled Gold Ball Pen/pencil Set. BoxedVintage 1940s Eversharp Skyline Fountain Pen ~ Gold Filled Cap ~ Restored!Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Fountain Pen In Red Chase W Gold Trim - M Nib (new!)Vintage Fountain Pen By Conway Stuart, 14 Ct Gold NibCross Radiance Fountain Pen Xf Nib Green Lacquer With Gold Plated AppointmentsVintage Cross Fountain Pen 14 K Nib And 1/20 14k Gold Filled Casing In Box