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 Meisterstuck Mozart Gold Plated Ag925 Silver Fountain PenOversize Sheaffer Balance 14k Gold Nib Fountain Pen ExcellentLarge Conway Stewart 55 Large Duro Gold Nib Fountain Pen Serviced A BeautySolid Gold Ornate Victorian Era Dip Pen With Gold Nib 1800s 4.2 GramsWaterman 58 Ripple Rare Semi Flex #8 14k Gold Nib Fountain PenMontblanc 149 Meisterstuck Oversize 18k Gold Nib Fountain PenEarly Vintage Schaeffers 14k Gold Filled Small Fountain Pen Engraved Screw CapMontblanc Mozart Coral Gold Plated Fountain Pen And Mechanical Pencil SetMontblanc Masterpiece Legrand 147 Traveller For Ink Cartridges Gold Plated TrimA Fine Vintage Parker Vacumatic Pen With 14k Gold Nib Montblanc Masterpiece Legrand 146 Fountain Pen Piston Filler Gold PlatedAurora (italian) 997 Green Medium 14k Solid Gold Nib Fountain PenSheaffer Sterling Silver Fountain Pen Old New In Box 14k Gold Nib Original Box Aurora (italian) 996 Deep Burgundy Medium 14k Solid Gold Nib Fountain PenEstate Find Wahl-eversharp 1930s Doric No.9 Adjustable Gold Nib Black 12 Sided Tiffany Heavy 14k Gold Vintage Pen - Bamboo Design - 22 GramsAntique Black Duofold Lucky Curve Geo S Parker Fountain Pen W Gold RingSwan Mabie & Todd Leverless Heavy Gold Plated Pen F-m Grade Eng 1937Parker 51 Mki Aerometric Teal Blue & Rold Gold Cap, Fully Serviced, 1951Parker 75 Sterling Silver Fountain Pen Old New In Box 14k Gold Nib Original Box New - Rare, Pelikan 1000 Years Of Austria Fountain Pen, 18k Gold & 925 SilverEversharp Doric N°9 Adjustable Gold Nib Black 12 Sided Years 30Montblanc Rare Vintage Ball Point Pen Mb 215 Lever Mechanism Black/gold Plated Platinum #3776 Briar Series Dark Briar Wood Body 14k Gold F Nib Fountain PenMontblanc Meisterstuck Ball Point Pen 164 Black With Gold AccentsLovely Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen - Burgundy/gold Filled Cap. Working.Dunhill Ball Point Pen Dark Red Marbled/gold Plated Trim Made By MontblancConway Stewart Fountain Pen No 74 Speedy Phil Blue Herringbone 14k Gold Med FlexPanthere De Cartier 1990 Gold & Lapis Blue Lacquer Fountain Pen ~ New ~Vintage Parker 61 Gold Plated Fountain Pen & Propelling Pencil SetGold Starry Pen 18kt Flexible Nib Good ConditionSwan Mabie Todd Minor Fountain Pen, #1 Gold Flexing Nib, Good Condition. Sm1 58.Montblanc Vintage Fountain Pen Piston Filler Mod. 72 Meisterstuck Rolled Gold Scheaffers Antique Vintage Engraved Fountain Pen Gold PendantNew, Genuine Pelikan Blue Planet Fountain Pen – 18k Gold & 925 Silver W/ CoaPasha De Cartier Fountain Pen Black 1993 - 18k Gold Nib ~ New.Parker Duofold Centennial 18k Gold Fountain Pen & Ballpoint Pen Green Marble BoxParker Duofold 18k Gold Fountain Pen Green Marble Fine Point With BoxWirt # 4 Eyedropper Early American Pen, Gold Filagreed Barrel & CapPilot Namiki Vanishing Point Capless Fermo Silver Rhodium 18k Gold F Nib F.pVintage Parker 75 Sterling Silver Fountain Pen With 14k Gold Fine Nib1948 Parker 51; Dove Gray, Lustraloy Cap, 14k Solid Gold 'f' Nib; Restored!Blackbird Mabie Todd Fountain Pen, Flexible Gold Nib, Twin Band Gold Colour. Collectible L Fountain Pen : Vintage Waterman's - Gold/blackWaterman Pearlized Gold Fountain Pen 14k Gold Ideal Nib Senator President Germany Vintage Black & Gold Huge Piston Fountain Pen M Nib NrFerrari Da Varese Etra L.e Rare Solid Gold/wood Mint ConditionJudd's New Old Stock Parker 75 Sterling Silver Fountain Pen W/14kt. Gold NibPilot Namiki Vanishing Point Capless Fermo Dark Green Rhodium 18k Gold M Nib F.pVintage Parker 75 Fountain Pen, 14kt Gold Nib, U.s.aWaterman Paris Phileas Fountain Pen Blue Marble W/gold TrimCa 1920's Conklin No. 26p Bchr Fountain Pen; 14k Solid Gold Flexy Nib; RestoredVintage Conway Stewart 58 Fountain Pen With 14k Gold NibVintage Eversharp Skyline Double-tick Emblem Gold Royal Blue Senior Fountain PenVintage 5 Fountain Pens Waterman's Usa Parker Imperial 14k Solid Gold Tip LqqkVintage Pelikan Souveran M400 Fountain Pen Blue Striped Black Gold TrimmedVintage Watermans & Schaeffer 14k Gold Nib Pearlized Burgundy Fountain PensVintage Montblanc Meisterstuck No. 149 Fountain Pen 4810 18k Gold Nib Parker Mandarin Junior Yellow No Cracks 14k Gold Nib Fountain PenPelikan Fountain Pen 14 Carat Nib Dual Color Gold Silver Bb Size Souveran M800