Pelikan 101: An Infographic & Understanding The Basics

Pelikan M900 Toledo Fountain PenOver the past four years, I have endeavored to bring you news and unique insights about the Pelikan brand of fountain pens not readily available elsewhere.  Personally, it has been a lot of fun researching some of the more esoteric aspects of the company’s products and history.  Because there is so much nuance out there, I sometimes lose sight of the fact that many people still don’t fully grasp the fundamentals or overall landscape of Pelikan’s current line-up.  I could drone on about the topic but I thought this may be one area where a picture might just be worth a thousand words.  To that end, I have devised an infographic, my first, to serve as a reference for the community.  It is my hope that this graphic visual representation of information will allow for a quick and clear understanding of some of the differences amongst both Pelikan’s Classic and Souverän lines.  The nature of an infographic prevents it from being all-inclusive but I hope that you will find it a good jumping-off point into the brand’s offerings over the last few decades.  Click the link below to jump to the visual.  You can stop there but feel free to read on as I will endeavor to walk you through some of the panels of information and expound upon their contents as well as provide relevant links to past posts where appropriate.

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The “Metal” Stamp You Probably Don’t Know About

Metal marking under a Pelikan Souverän clipOne of Pelikan’s defining features is the iconic beak clip which has been around since the end of the second World War.  If you have ever had occasion to look at the underside of a post-1997 production Souverän clip, you might have noticed a single word conspicuously struck into the material; “metal.”  This can be found on the M/R/K/D 3xx, 4xx, 6xx, 8xx, and 10xx models.  While the meaning behind the stamp may appear enigmatic at first, the truth of the matter is actually rather simple.  Rest assured, this does not indicate a forgery of any kind.  While Pelikan offers no official statement to explain this, the supposed meaning is well documented, particularly amongst those who work with precious metals and the hallmarks that go along with them.  Across the world’s markets, there are regulations governing how precious and plated base metals are identified.  When there is a base metal that is manufactured or processed to simulate the appearance of precious metal and whose alloy contains less than a specified karat fineness, the law mandates that a marking shall be applied to acknowledge the presence of a base metal.  Different regions may vary in the fineness of gold that stipulates such a marking.  The statue is that whenever practical, the word ‘metal’ or the name of the metal should be struck on the base metal part(s).

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