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Steel vs Gold Fountain Pen Nibs

Steel vs Gold Fountain Pen Nibs

Steel vs Gold Fountain Pen Nibs

Is a gold nib absolutely necessary to have the best pen writing experience? There isn't a straight forward answer and there are a few important factors to consider. Before highlighting the differences between gold and steel nibs, it’s probably best to know the historical background of fountain pens.

The fountain pen was an improvement on the dip pen in that it contained an ink inner reservoir, resultantly keeping ink off the hands and improving writing speed. Due to early ink having corrosive properties, gold nibs were adopted as the standard in lieu of steel nibs. However, gold nibs were inherently too soft which led to several leaps in development that ultimately had major implications on humanity. Firstly, gold nibs were tipped with iridium which improved their lifespan and made them harder. Secondly, less corrosive inks and steel alloys gave gold ‘a run for its money’. As these developments ensued, the price of fountain pens became more affordable thus encouraging and sparking a raise in literacy and education.

Why a Gold Nib?

There are two major reasons why one might prefer a gold nib to a steel nib.

  • Flexibility: It is widely considered that gold nibs give greater writing character and a wider degree of line variety. A gold nib will also adjust to one’s handwriting style as it will soften over time. This reason is considered secondary for most fountain pen users who choose gold nibs.
  • Prestige and presentation: A fountain pen with a gold nib will have been created with much thought devoted to the design as well as uncompromised craftsmanship. The result is a pen with unparalleled aesthetics which ensures that a gold fountain pen is more than just a writing utensil but truly a statement piece.

Pen Heaven's Top Gold Nib Fountain Pens

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    Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Anello Grenadilla Fountain Pen

Timelessly styled, beautifully made and the height of luxury. The Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Anello collection is delicately balanced and expertly finished with delicate platinum-plated rings, for which the collection is named; “Anello” meaning ring in Italian. Finished with a hand-made, 18k bi-colour gold nib, this fountain pen will deliver a lifetime of writing enjoyment.

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    Waterman Carene Amber Gold Trim Fountain Pen
  1. Engrave Me!
    Waterman Carene Amber Gold Trim Fountain Pen

Featuring an eye-catching solid 18k gold inlaid nib, this pen will be the jewel of your collection. Crafted to conjure up the sleek lines of a luxury yacht, the Waterman Carene fits comfortably in the hand.

  1. Visconti Homo Sapiens Dark Age Fountain Pen

The superior flexibility of the Visconti dreamtouch nib allows the user to write with almost no pressure on the paper, creating an ultra-smooth writing experience.

Shop all gold nib fountain pens here.

Don’t Forget About Steel Nibs

One might be tempted to think that this post was written with heavy bias in favour of gold nibs. However, this is quite the contrary. Many modern steel nibs offer a very smooth writing experience which even rivals its gold nib competitors. What’s key to consider in the writing performance of a fountain pen is how well the ball under the tip flows across the paper. Corrosion can no longer be held as an argument to deter one from choosing a steel nib as technology has taken quantum leaps in steel alloys and ink formulations.

One must be careful in assuming that all stainless steel nibs will be of superior quality, as clearly this is not the case. We stand by all the pen brands we sell, but here's a select few pens which we think stand out for their superior nib quality.

Pen Heaven's Top Steel Nib Fountain Pens

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    Cross Bailey Medalist Fountain Pen
  1. TWSBI ECO Black Fountain Pen

The TWSBI ECO fountain pen offers a superior quality piston-fill fountain pen at a wallet friendly price. With an array of colours and nib sizes to choose from, the ECO has something for everyone.

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    Otto Hutt Design 06 Pink Fountain Pen

Meticulous workmanship and modern aesthetics set the Otto Hutt Design 06 apart from other writing instruments. The chunky cigar shaped barrel and sweeping curves produce an organic form that sits comfortably in the hand. The bi-colour stainless steel nib has been crafted for smoothness and consistency, whilst the screw-close cap needs but a swift half turn to click securely into place.

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    Parker Sonnet Stainless Steel Chrome Trim Fountain Pen
    100% of 100

The Parker Sonnet fountain pen has an ageless appearance, with an elegant profile and tasteful decoration forming a figure of unassuming beauty. Choose Parker Sonnet's £120 and under for premium stainless steel nibs in 7 sizes.