Plating Examples

Types of Plating


An inexpensive but durable plating that needs little introduction. Under normal use this plating should hold up for many years.
24k Gold
This is pure elemental gold. Gold by itself is soft. Whenever I offer 24k gold parts they are fairly thickly plated to give years of wear, but they will eventually show abrasion. Gold plating is ultimately not durable when exposed to abrasion.  There just is no "free lunch".  Gold plating can be made more durable depending on the method used to plate, additives to the gold and techniques employed during plating.  However, no matter what is done to the alloy, ALL gold plating will wear off over time when abraded.
10k Gold
This is an alloy, with better wear characteristics than 24k gold.
23k Gold
Another alloy, and plated in a thick layer. This is used by Cross ® for their parts and wears very well.
Titanium Gold
This is a multi-layer plating. The base layer is titanium nitride, an extremely wear-resistant material, of a thickness to give the exact color of gold. Bottom line is that with this layer you simply don't have to worry about wear and abrasion.
Black Titanium
This is PVD (physical vapor deposition) titanium oxide, and also extremely wear resistant. Black titanium changes its appearance depending on the light conditions - it can look like gun metal gray, nearly black, or silvery.
Rhodium is part of the platinum group in the periodic table of elements, and closely related to it in appearance. It is heavily used in the jewelry trade, and extremely durable.
A very durable hard plating, expected to last for many years with normal care.
18k Swiss Rose Gold
This is a pretty exotic plating, not used for pens in years. It is my understanding that there are only 2 or 3 companies in the world that can do this type of plating, mixing copper and gold during the deposition using complex, proprietary techniques. These parts are plated in the US. Swiss Rose gold parts have a light rose color that varies depending on the lighting conditions. I really love this plating that just became available again in the pen market.
Sterling Silver
When only the best will do... A special (very effective!) treatment has been applied to these parts to prevent tarnishing The parts receive a restaurant grade 20 micron plating to ensure the beauty lasts for many, many years.
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