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]

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]

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    

Fantastic Aurora Optima In Solid Gold 18 Kt. Fountain Pen – Jewelry Collection Waterman 52 18k Gold Filled Pen Set. 1920s 14k F/m Flex Nib. Boxed. Rare Mint.Montblanc Solitaire 146 18k 750 Solid Gold. 18k F/m Flex Nib. Ultra Rare18k Solid Gold Parker Button Filler, C1928, Lot #27Watermans 515 14 Ct Flex Gold Nib Fountain Pen Serviced A BeautyMontblanc Fountain Pen Meisterstuck 146, 925 Silver, Gold 18k Nib Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Fountain Pen Piston Filler Black/gold PlatedAurora 88 M801, Gold Plated Cap Fountain Pen - Senior Size Swan 4260 14 Ct Gold Flexi Nib Fountain Pen Serviced Condition A BeautyConway Stewart No 15 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Fine Nib Burgundy Mint Nos Un-inked!!Waterman's 515 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Med Nib & Propelling Pencil Blue Boxed MintMontblanc Meisterstuck 149 Black With Gold Trim F/s Well Condition Montblanc Meisterstuck 116 "mozart" Ballpoint Pen Black/gold Coated Trim- Montblanc 22 Fountain Pen 585 Gold Nib "ob" Piston System -Gold Bond Doric Style Fountain, Restored, Lot #42Gold Filled Parker Duofold, C1928, Lot #23Montblanc Meisterstuck Ballpoint Pen Gold Tone Sterling Silver Ag925 Stod UsedMont Blanc Gold Plated Master Piece Ballpoint PenWaterman's 515 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Fine Nib Black Resin Lever Fill Mint Nos!!Antique Fountain Pen-"swan"sf1,mabie.todd&co.-rolled Rosegold Band-14ct Gold NibWaterman's 575 Crusader Fountain Pen 14k Gold Med Broad Semi Flex Nib Mint Nos!!- Montblanc 221 Fountain Pen 585 Gold Nib "ob" -Fab Swan Mabie Todd Blackbird Fountain Pen - 14k Gold Fine Semi Flex - 130 MmSeven Misc Pens/pieces, Gold Bond, Morrison, Etc., Lot #35Vintage Sterling Silver Overlay Fountain Pen * 14k Gold Nib *Vintage Montblanc Meisterstuck Le Grand 146 With 14 K Gold Nib - 1970s Pelikan 400 Nn Tortoise With 14 " Carat " 585 Gold Nib, Km - Nib Waterman's 512 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Med Nib Black Lever Filler Mint Nos UninkedVintage Sheaffer Fountain Pen * 14k Gold Nib *Rare Montblanc Boheme Retractable Fountain Pen Gold & Black Onyx 18k NibNew Beautiful!! 1970s Pilot 585-white Gold Nib Cross-hatch Fountain Pen & Box NrAntique Waterman Ideal Kr 18 Gold Overlay Safety Fountain Pen Enamel Band CapNew Brown Gold Checkered Stripes Montblanc Starwalker Ballpoint Pen Mont BlancWaterman's 515 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Fine Nib Navy Blue Lever Mint Nos Uninked!!Conway Stewart No 84 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Med Nib Green Marble Mint Nos UninkedVintage Montblanc 224 Fountain Pen 14c 585 Gold "b" NibWaterman's 515 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Fine Nib Green Resin Lever Fill Mint Nos!!!Vintage Sheaffer Fountain Pen Model 811 Fine * 18k Gold Nib *Waterman's 575 Crusader Fountain Pen 14k Gold Fine Medium Nib Mint Nos Uninked!!Montblanc Meisterstuck Vermeil Doue Pinstripe Black And Gold Mechanical Pencil!!Montblanc Meisterstuck Legrand 146 Fountain Pen Piston Filler Gold Plated1947 Parker Vacumatic Major; Emerald Pearl; 14k Solid Gold Flexy Nib; RestoredThree Vintage Solid 14k Gold Parker 45 Nibs , Lot #62Vintage Conway Stewart No 388 Fountain Pen 14ct Gold NibMint Pelikan Majesty 7000 Silver And Gold Fountain PenVintage 1930s Eversharp Doric Garnet Shell Gold Trim Adjustable Nib Fountain PenLot Of 6 Vintage Fountain Pens 14k Gold Nib Parker Waterman Sheaffer CardnialVintage Sheaffer Fountain Pen * 14k Gold Nib *Montblanc Solitaire 146 Sterling Silver Barley Fountain Pen 18c Gold "obb" NibMontblanc Meisterstuck Legrand Fountain Pen 14k Gold C.1920s Antique Sheaffer's Gold Overlay Fountain PenWaterman's 502 Fountain Pen 14k Gold Med Nib Lever Dark Brown Mint Nos Un-inked!Antique Waterman Ideal Kr 18 Gold Overlay Safety Fountain PenOrnate Gold Tone Fountain Pen * 14k Gold Nib *Swan Mabie Todd 1060 Fountain Pen - Black - 14k Gold Fine Med Semi Flex - 135 MmWaterman 52 1/2 Pen With Decorative Gold Bands, Semi Flex Nib!Waterman's Womans Fountain Pen Gold Plated W Original Carrying Case Early 1900sCartier Gold-plated Fountain Pen - 750 (18k) NibVtg. Parker 75 Sterling Silver Ballpoint Pen,pencil,& Box/gold Trim/grid DesignStylish Vintage Art Deco Fountain Pen Bakelite Marked Royal Gold Pl Nib