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Metal Plating

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.

Very Good:

  • 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.

Pretty Good:

  • 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.