Most people purchase a fountain pen just because they prefer the writing style that it provides or because of their beauty. However, buying a high quality fountain pen can also be an investment where the item appreciates in value over time.
This beginners guide to fountain pens is designed to assist first time purchasers in making the best investment decisions:
1. Antique Fountain Pens
Fountain pens were first patented and produced for practical use in the late 19th century. Pens from this era are highly sought after and are in relatively short supply. Pens from later periods also meet with antique collectible criteria but are less expensive and are good purchase for an amateur collector to begin with.
However, it is not only the age of a pen that affects the price of an antique collectible. The scarcity and the beauty of the pen will contribute to the cost. For example, antique Parker pens were produced on a large scale throughout history and are therefore less sought after as collector’s items. However, Parker pens that were only produced for a short period of time are more collectible.
Doric pens, produced from the Wahl Company are widely considered to be among the most lovely ever created. Conklin pens are highly sought after as the company did not survive the post-war era and only produced pens for a relatively short period of time. Fountain pens from Waterman are popular collectibles both in the antique and modern categories.
It is advisable to start a collection with the less rare items and begin adding the more sought after editions at a later date.
2. Collectible Fountain Pens
Fountain pens don’t have to be old to be collectible. Pens from the specific designers, manufacturers or limited editions are also highly collectible.
Of course the materials that are used to craft these items affect the value and therefore also affect how collectible they are. For example, pens made from gold, platinum or titanium and encrusted with jewels and diamonds are more costly and will add more investment value to a collection than stainless steel varieties.
The most expensive, rare and sought after fountain pen in the world is the Aurora Daimante priced at a whopping $1,470,600. The platinum barrel, over 30 carats of diamonds and gold nib are the main contributors to this exorbitant price but the fact that only one is created every year containing a specified design or coat of arms is instrumental in it’s desirability as a collectors item.
3. Unusual Fountain Pens
Some unusual fountain pens may also be a great addition to a new collection. These may contain uncommon design characteristics, atypical mechanics or be manufactured from unique materials. The most collectible of these pens come from the early 1800,s where different elements were experimented with in an effort to make them work properly. These unusual objects may not even be functional but will add value to a collection and are always a great talking point.
Ultimately, there are four factors that are important in a beginners guide to fountain pens as collectibles – age, rarity, materials and re-marketability.