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Friday, July 27, 2012

FP101: Nib Materials





As most fountain pen enthusiasts, and they'll say the most important part of any fountain pen is the nib, as that's what actually touches the paper while you write. As you investigate into different types of fountain pens, you'll find that there are two main distinctions of nibs: gold and stainless steel. The prices of pens can range anywhere from a few dollars to thousands and up...and once you hit a certain threshold around $150-200, gold nibs begin to come standard on most pens, needing a really good reason to still be stainless steel at that price.

In this video, I look to clarify the difference between gold and steel nibs, and what you can expect when shopping for a pen in certain price ranges. I've spoken at length with Brian Gray of the Edison Pen Company about the difference of gold and steel nibs. He's actually written a great article about this very issue that I encourage you to check out.

Here's what I cover in the video:

  • Gold and Steel Nibs, what's the difference? (0:25)
  • Nib color/coatings, such as Lamy steel and black nibs, and Pilot VP gold or rhodium nibs (4:00)
  • Prices of fountain pens and what nibs to expect (5:30)

Pens featured in this video:

Wow, I didn't realize I'd pulled out so many pens for this vid! I'm sure this video might raise as many questions as it answers for you, but at least I wanted to get something out there about gold and steel nibs, since I do get asked about this a lot. If you have more questions though, feel free to ask in the comments! I'm always looking for more ideas for future videos.

See the other Fountain Pen 101 videos here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

3 comments:

  1. I've occasionally heard some discussion of white gold vs. yellow gold. Would this happen to make any perceptible difference, or is it just another minor aspect, outweighed by the overall design of the nib?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, it likely doesn't. All white gold, rhodium, etc that I know is only plating on top of yellow gold. The design of the nib is going to make the biggest difference, and then the purity of the gold (because that affects its softness).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for explaining the difference (or actual lack thereof) between the black and silver Lamy nibs!

    ReplyDelete

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