What The Doublé L? An Exploration Of Rolled Gold

Pelikan 520NNIf you have ever had the fortune to come across any of Pelikan’s more upscale vintage models, you’ve probably seen a golden cap with an inscription on the band that read something like; “Rolled Gold Doublé L.”  Variations of this type of engraving can be found on models such as the P1, M30, M60, 500, and 520 to name just a few.  Many of these models have held up well over their decades of service, their durability stemming from the decision to incorporate rolled gold into their construction rather than gold plating.  That resistance to wear directly follows from the fact that the layer of gold utilized with rolled gold is much thicker than what can be achieved with standard electroplating.  In addition to the added longevity, the look of rolled gold frequently has a richer, deeper appearance than what is typical of electroplated items.  The cap band inscriptions will vary, owing to changes made over time as well as model specific factors.  For instance, a 500NN may read “Pelikan Günther Wagner Germany Doublé L,” “Pelikan Germany Rolled Gold Double L+,” or some other variation of the same.  Similar scenarios play out with the other models mentioned.  Regardless of the format or the model, this stamping raises a few questions which I thought might be worth exploring.  For instance; what is rolled gold, why is there an acute é in “Doublé,” and just what does that lonesome “L” stand for?  Read on as I will explore these issues and more while trying to definitively answer some of the esoteric questions surrounding the inscriptions found on these models.

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