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    

Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Legrande Fountain Pen 18k Gold Nib YqzSheaffer Pfm Mk 111 14k Gold Nib Fountain Pen Black Serviced A BeautyPelikan Souveran M600 Fountain Pen, 14ct Two Colour Gold Nib............ref.6404Vintage Montblanc Meisterstuck Fountain Pen 14c Gold Nib 149 Two Tone Nib 4810 Vintage Ultra Rare Wonderful Old French Waterman Solid Gold 18ct Red RippleAntique Mabie Todd Swan Eyedropper Fountain Pen- Rare - Wide 18k Gold BandsBeautiful Antique 9ct Gold Spiral Mother Of Pearl Dip Pen Desktop WritingParker 51 Blue Diamond Vacumatic ~ Rare "amber" Jewel ~ Gold Filled CapLamy Persona Black Titanium 750/18k Gold Nib Mario Bellini Fountain Pen Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Legrande Fountain Pen 14k Gold Nib Nr YqzVintage 14k Gold Eversharp Skyline Fountain Pen-14k Nib-5.5inch-nr!Eversharp "fifth Avenue" 14k Solid Gold Fountain Pen & Pencil Set Near Mint 1944Vintage 18 K Solid Gold Presidential Parker "61" Fountain PenMontblanc Meisterstuck 147 Traveller Fountain Pen 18k Gold Nib YqzParker 51 Deluxe Aerometric Fountain Pens-incl 1st Yr Model-gold Caps-var Colors1930s Wahl Eversharp Coronet Deco Men’s Gold Filledfountain Pen Nr Omas Paragon Pen With Yellow Gold 18kt Nib Never UsedParker '61' Signet Fountain Pen, Aerometric Filler, 12ct R.gold, Fully ServicedMontblanc Modern Meisterstuck 14k Gold #149 Fountain Pen (4810/585)Mint Fabulous Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 90Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 Legrand 925 Silver Fountain Pen 18k Gold Nib Yqz Parker 61 9 Ct Gold Chevron Presidential Ballpoint Pen, As Found Parker Duofold Centennial 18k Gold Nib Fountain Pen In Original Box Montblanc No 22, 14 C 585 Gold - Nib "flMontblanc Noblesse Oblige Gold Fountain Pen - 585The De La Rue Pen 1332/28, Fountain, #22 Flexible Gold Nib, Good Condition,Rare Montblanc Meisterstuck NParker 75 Grain D'orge 30Sheaffer Pfm Iii ~ Pen For Men ~ Classic Black & Gold ~ 14k Medium NibWaterman 42 Safety Octagonal Gold Filled Overlay, Beautiful Pattern, Flex NibMontblanc No 38 Rare Vintage 1950's Lever Action Ballpoint Pen Black & Gold NrRolled Gold/grey Parker 61 Capillary Fountain Pen, Fine Nib, Good Condition,G E H A 785 With " Reserve Tank " 14 Karat 585 Gold Nib In BroadMontblanc 344, 1. Version , F - Nib, 14 C 585 Gold Nib Rolex Fat Silver & Gold Plated Ballpoint Pen Circa 2009 Classic Black & Gold Montblanc Meisterstuck No.164 Ball Point Pen Nice! NrMontblanc 344, 2. Version , Om - Nib, 14 C 585 Gold Nib Rare Zemax-oversize-button Filler-gold Nib M-1938 C.Mint Parker Sonnet 925 Chiseled Silver Rose Gold Trim Fountain Pen 18k Gold Nib!Lot#2, Parker 51 Fountain Pen, Rolled Gold, Conical Flat Barrel End, GoodVintage Cross Pen/pencil Collection-1/10th 12k & 1/10 14k Gold Filled Sets-Steel Chrome Parker 45, E Gold Nib (broad/italic), Luxury Parker Converter.Parker Sonnet Cascade Silver Fountain Pen, 18kt Solid Gold Med Nib, FranceAurora Primavera 18k Solid Gold Nib Fountain Pen GreenLimited Edition Stipula Etruria Nuda Demonstrator - 14k Gold Nib Fountain Pen.The De La Rue 14ct Gold Nib Fountain Pen Blue Basket Serviced StunnerMontblanc Noblesse Burgundy/gold Fountain PenVintage 3 Pc Sheaffer (1500?) Fountain Pens & Pencil-14k Gold Trim?14k Gold NibVintage Parker 51 Gold Filled Fountain Pen Nice Condition No ReservePelikan 18k Gold Nib M700Gold-fill Vintage Parker 65 Fountain Pen 14k Nib, Made In England 1960s, No Res!Conway Stewart Fountain Pen No.58, Gold Duro Nib, Item For Restoration Or Parts.Sheaffer Imperial Masterpiece 18k Solid Gold Ballpoint Pen RareNew Graf Von Faber Castell Classic Grenadilla Wood Two Tone Gold Nib 18k Fp!Rare Conklin Nozac-piston Filler-gold Nib Ef-1930 C.-faceted CelluloidSailor Fountain Pen Founded 1911 Black Gold Trim 14k Cartridge Free Japan 585 FpParker 61 Signet Insignia 12k Gold Fountain Pen - Original Box - Excellent!Montblanc Monterosa 042 G, 14 Karat 585 Gold Nib, M - NibMont Blanc Meisterstuck 164 Ballpoint Pen - With Box - Black And Gold Graf Von Faber Castell Guilloche Cognac Vulpotlood Fountain Pen 18k Gold M!!