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    

New! Sailor King Of Pen Mozaique Brown Fountain Pen With 21k Gold Togi Mf NibWahl Eversharp Gold Art Deco Fountain Pen W. Adjustable Nib No. 7 -ndMontblanc 334 1/2 Black Celluloid & Gold Fountain Pen. 14c F Flex Nib 1940. RareMontblanc Meisterstuck Germany Black Ballpoint Twist Pen W/ Gold FittingsAntique 9ct Gold Hallmarked Waterman Ideal Fountain Pen Restore/parts #a35+ Pelikan 400nn Fountain Pen Tortoise Brown Piston Filler Gold 400 Nm 1955 +Parker 75 Fountain Pen 1990 Gold Plated & Lacque Blue 14k Solid Gold M Nib Mint!Vintage Dunhill Gemline ( Montblanc ) Gold Plated Fp - Mint / Unused Condition !Eversharp Doric Gold Seal Fountain Pen Pencil#7 Adj Lever Fill Green Marbled Box+ Pelikan 400nn Fountain Pen Tortoise Green Piston Filler Gold 400 Nm 1954 +Montblanc 344, M - Nib, 14 C 585 Gold Nib Watermans 515 Fountain Pen Flexible Medium 14k Solid Gold Nib Grey Resin Ex CondWaterman Edson Sapphire Blue Fountain Pen | Gold Trim | 18k Gold Nib + Pelikan 500 Fountain Pen Lizard Gold Piston Filler Pencil Set 400 Nm 1955 +Vintage Mabie Todd Swan Gold Plated Leverless Fountain Pen - Brd Stub Nib- C1935Montblanc 264, Of - Nib, 14 C 585 Gold NibGorgeous Parker Duofold Centennial Black Resin & Gold 18 Carats Fountain PenSuperb Parker Duofold Black Gt International Fountain Pen/18k M Gold NibSailor 1911 Profit Large Black Color Gold Accents Naginata Togi 21k M Nib FpMint Montblanc Boheme Emerald Green Gold Line Mechanical Pencil 0,7mm!!Montblanc Noblesse Oblige Blue Precious Resin & Gold Ballpoint Pen. Box & PapersAntique 9ct Gold Hallmarked Waterman Ideal Fountain Pen Restore/parts #a36Marbled Blue Conway Stewart Fountain Ink Pen With 14ct Gold 1a Nib In VgcVintage Moore Pen Fountain Pen In Box ~ Art Nouveau Gold Overlay ~ ExcBlue Parker "duofold" Fountain Pen Gold Nib As-isMontblanc Leonardo Da Vinci Ball Point Pen Gold Plated From The 19-eightiesVintage Moore Pen Fountain Pen In Box ~ Art Nouveau Gold Bands Safety Pen ~ ExcParker Sonnet Cascade Ballpoint Silver & Gold Plated French New Old Stock Boxed!Vintage Waterman Ideal #52 Lever Filler Gold Black Chased Fountain Pen 5 & 3/8"Vintage Waterman 514 Solid 14k Gold Overlay Fountain Pen Missing ClipSailor Founded Fountain Pen Black Gold Trim Cartridge Free 585 1911 Japan FpNew! St Dupont Elysee Alligator Leather Fountain Pen - 18k Gold Medium NibMontblanc Generation Blue Resin & Gold Rollerball Pen.Vintage Parker 18k Gold Duofold Norman Rockwell Limited Edition Men Fountain PenVintage Parker Presidential 61 Propelling Pencil- 9k Solid Gold- Teardrop DesignSailor King Of Pens Ebonite Black Body Silver Accents 21k Gold M Nib FountainpenSheaffer Grande Connaisseur, 23kt Gold Plated Fountain Pen From 1989 Senior SizeVintage Montblanc No.1246 Fp - All Rolled Gold - Exotic 18k Boi Nib + BoxMontblanc 162 Le Grand Black Precious Resin & Gold Rollerball Pen. Boxed.Waterman Edson Diamond Black Fountain Pen Pt | White Gold | 18k Solid Gold NibMontblanc 161 Le Grand Burgundy-bordeaux Precious Resin & Gold Ballpoint Pen.Pilot Namiki Custom Heritage 92 Demonstrator Clear Piston Filler 14k Gold M F.pSailor 1911 Profit Large Maroon Color Gold Accents Nib Naginata Togi 21k Gold MMontblanc 344, Bb - Nib, 14 C 585 Gold Nib Fountain Pen Parts Lot All 14k Gold Nibs Parker, Sheaffer, Wahl EversharpCaran D'ache Leman Scarlet Red Fountain Pen 18k Gold M Nib - Stilografica . NewEversharp Doric Gold Seal Fountain Pen-black And Gray1945 Parker 51 Model Fountain Pen Diamond Clip With Gold Filled CapMontblanc No 24, 14 C 585 Gold - Nib "flMontblanc Meisterstuck No144 Fountain Pen Black & Gold 14k Converter & Box [533]Vintage Parker Fountain Pen ~ 1910s Gold Filled Lucky Curve Set In Box ~ ExcFountain Pen Omas Ogiva 557-s 0.9mm Italic Great Flex 585 14k Gold - ScarceWaterman's Ideal No.52 Canada, Fountain Pen, 14 Ct Gold Barrel Ring Hard RubberFine Cross Solid 18k Gold Century Roller Ball Point Pen In Original BoxEarly Conklin Endura Gold Pearl Yellow Line 14k Fine S Flex Nib Exc New Sac2 X Vintage Gold Plated Parker Fountain Pen Cartridge Unusual Pattern No ReserveAntique Edward Baker 9 Ct Gold Telescopic Propelling Pencil & Dip Pen - 115mmRotring 600 Gold Fountain Pen Silver Body F Nib Unused Mint Condition With BoxParker "51",double Jeweled, Mustard, Fountain Pen,gold Filled Cap, WorkingSheaffer Connaisseur 822 Gold Plated Fountain Pen (unused Nos)