There are many different types of metal plating used in making pens, pencils, etc. The information that follows gives a little background and rates the durability and wear resistance of what’s available. And yes, there is definitely a correlation between quality and price!
Best of the Best:
- Rhodium: used in the finest pens. It’s rare, silvery-white and at around $70/gram, it’s almost twice the price of platinum! Rhodium is a member of the platinum group of precious metals. It is unmatched in durability and is guaranteed to last a lifetime.
- Titanium Nitride (black and gold): an extremely hard ceramic material, it has excellent wear resistance and is guaranteed to last a lifetime.
- Chrome and Gun Metal: very long lasting and easily withstands day to day use. Chrome has a shiny silver color, whereas gun metal has more of a silver-black look. It’s high-quality plating at an affordable price.
- 10k Gold (and other golds < 24k): The less pure the gold (24k is considered 100% pure), the more durable the finish. 10k gold is a blend of nickel and gold. It has a nice gold shine to it. Like Chrome, it’s both durable and affordable.
- 24k Gold: gold is naturally soft, and the higher the purity, the softer it is. As a result, it has lower durability and is more subject to wear. The thin plating thin is generally covered with a layer of epoxy for protection.
- Satin: this finish results from special plating processes. This result is a unique matte silver.