CHROME: Chrome is a very familiar metal plating. Chrome
is an excellent choice for a moderately priced plating that is quite durable and
wears well. Chrome has a brilliant shine and compliments any wood or
plastic pen material.
GOLD-24k: This is gold in
it elemental form, and though the plating may be somewhat thick and well done,
will eventually wear showing the base metal underneath. The base metal is often
a brass alloy and the wearing of the gold to expose the brass base is called
GOLD-22k and 10k: This plating is
an alloy of gold and other metals. Although much more durable than 24k, even
this gold will eventually show wear and brassing.
Many gold plated pen
parts are covered with an epoxy coating which helps to make the gold plating
more durable and wearable. But remember, thses gold platings will wear away with
TITANIUM GOLD: Titanium plating produces one of
the the most durable finishes...In fact, it may well be the hardest of all metal
finishes on pens. The process uses what is called PVD (particle vapor
deposition). Titanium gold is a cost effective alternative to real gold.
Titanium and zirconium nitride is matched to the color of real gold and is
molecularly bonded to the pen parts, 24k gold is bonded (sputtered) on the parts
to achieve a color match to gold and parts are again re-plated after this
step. The final result is a lustrous bright gold finish that will
virtually never show wear.
BLACK TITANIUM: A
very durable finish. The black titanium finish is produced very similarly to the
gold titanium process above. But instead of a gold layer, a black later is
bonded between the titanium and zirconium nitride layers. Black titanium can
take on several different looks depending how light is reflected. The color can
be various shades of black, grey, gunmetal or chorme.
PLATINUM AND RHODIUM: These two metals are closely
related and are chrome or silver in color. They are both very durable and will
give many many years of trouble free service. Platinum and rhodium are elelgant
and rich looking finish for pens.
A few pen styles are available in sterling silver. The plating is "silverware"
quality and is 20 microns in thickness. Sterling silver will give many many
years of quality service, just like your real silverware utensils
A FINAL WORD ON PLATING: There is no way to give a
quantitative answer as to how long these platings will last. Wearability will be
largely determined by the usage, the environment where the pen is used, the body
chemistry of the owner, and the care with which the pen is given. Except for the
10k, 23k, and 24k, the platings used will give several years of faithful