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First Gold Nib Pen!

pilot custom 74 platinum 3776 lamy 2000 gold nib

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Lovely_Pen



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Posted 31 January 2015 - 08:44

So due to a number of recent personal events, I find myself in the market for my first gold nib fountain pen! I'm very excited, and I've narrowed it down to a few options: Lamy 2000, Pilot Custom 74, and Platinum Century 3776 Nice Pur. I know that there have been a ton of similar threads from other newbies asking questions, but I thought I'd throw my thread into the ring anyhow...


In particular, I'm curious to know how gold nibs compare to their steel counterparts in term of line thickness and general feel/writing experience. For example, is the Lamy 2000 M gold nib similar to the steel version they produce, and the same for Pilot? I own a few Lamy Safaris and Pilot Metropolitans, but they're the lower range for each of those brands and obviously the nib material is different. So I'm wondering how much can I safely gauge about these gold nib sizes from their steel versions? Interestingly, I have both a M Pilot Metropolitan and a M Pilot 78G, but the two don't write the same. The 78g is a nicer writer, the nib feels like it glides along the paper more smoothly and the line it puts down looks thicker than that achieved with either of my two Metropolitans--why is this?


I've played around with Goulet Pen's Nib Nook, but I figure the manner in which the writer is holding the pen greatly influences the outcome of those pictures...and I just wanted some personal feedback from people here on FPN :)


I've never used a gold nib pen before, so I feel out of my league, and I'd just like to hear some advice from more seasoned FP users before I go dropping $150ish...


Many thanks for all your advice!

μὴ ζήτει τὰ γινόμενα γίνεσθαι ὡς θέλειςἀλλὰ θέλε τὰ γινόμενα ὡς γίνεται 

καὶεὐροήσεις. - Epictetus



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#2 WateryFlow


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Posted 31 January 2015 - 09:40

They're all decent pens but the Lamy 2000 has an annoyingly small sweet spot and doesn't feel any different to a steel nib. You may want to add the Namiki Falcon and Pilot Elite 95s to the mix because those nibs are somewhat soft, and because they're more like stereotypical gold nibs they will write with a certain springiness. Much more so than those 3 you've mentioned.


Don't expect much difference between gold and steel btw. In some cases steel is somewhat springier and nicer to write with

Edited by WateryFlow, 31 January 2015 - 09:54.

#3 shawndp


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Posted 31 January 2015 - 10:12

My first gold nib Japanese pen was the 3776 in M and it still is acts as a reference point for all that came after it...It is a smooth writer with a bit of stiffness that keeps my writing in check - in comparison, I found the Pilot (I have a 743) to be a softer experience and the sailor to be a smoother glide but with added stiffness. As suggested the best soft nib comes with the Falcon. And the usual disclaimer that a Platinum M will be a narower affair than the Lamy M nib... All the best with your purchase.

#4 hari317



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Posted 31 January 2015 - 10:19

I would recommend either the Pilot Custom or the Pilot Celemo or the Platinum Standard PT-5000A as first gold nibbed pens:





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#5 Tresconik


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Posted 31 January 2015 - 11:01

If you are buying a gold nib to get a better writing experience, Bo Bo Olson can help you the best.

From what he's told me, an M200 made prior to 1990 I think has a springiness you won't find in the lower range Pelikans today. I think you can find a pen with springiness for much less than 150 USD


Of course if you just want a gold nib, you can't go wrong with a restored Parker 51 or a nicely coloured Vac.


#6 Buzz_130



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Posted 31 January 2015 - 12:26

I once asked nibmeister Richard Binder a similar question about gold versus steel nibs.  His honest answer was that 99% of people couldn't tell the difference between a modern steel and gold nib.  I immediately ordered a replacement steel nib from him and am happy with my choice (and enough money saved to buy another pen!).


Most modern pens (there are a few exceptions) are nails.  I have 3 Platinum Century #3776s, and they are truly nails.  But I can "feel" a difference between their soft nibs and their regular nibs.  My son has a PTL-5000, and it's also a nail, but it's his favorite pen because the nib writes so smoothly.  Even my Nakaya is a nail, and this work of art is one of my favorite pens for the nib, balance, material, weight, and length.


The Lamy 2k is also a nail with a soft feel.  Hooded nibs don't have the room to flex their tines, but this is a solid, workhorse pen.


You are better off chasing the pen and nib "feel" you want rather than the material of the nib.  Some minor adjustments to the nib can make the pen a favorite.


For $150, you have a wide range of options available!  Don't overlook restored vintage pens like the Parker "51", Parker Vac, Sheaffer Snorkel, or Sheaffer Balance.  For even cheaper but clearly vintage (and not necessarily even a gold nib!), look at the Esterbrook J or Parker 45.  Vintage pens can have that "feel" you are looking for with a class and style all their own.



#7 Sasha Royale

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 17:01

A gold nib is prettier and more expensive.  I am told that they tend to be more "flexible", but my style of 

writing does not disclose a difference.  In the days of corrosive solvents in fountain pen ink, the best steel 

nibs degraded quickly.  Gold is non-corrosive.  So is stainless steel.  Modern inks are non-corrosive.


I love the look of a large, gold nib on a high-end fountain pen, like my Pelikan M1000.  When I remove the

pen cap to write, however, I don't even look.  


In the twenty-first century, gold nibs are mostly jewelry.  Enjoy.  


(Somewhere, there is a flex writer stabbing a pin into my voodoo likeness.  OUCH  !)  

Edited by Sasha Royale, 31 January 2015 - 17:02.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 

#8 prighello



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Posted 31 January 2015 - 17:08

For the most part I can't tell the difference between gold and steel nibs. A couple of times I have had a preference... I prefered the steel nib on my Pelikan M200 to the gold one on my M600. On my P51s I liked the gold nibs rather than the steel. But I wouldn't say one material is universally better than the other. Get a pen you like and don't worry about the nib material as you may be disappointed if you're expecting something "better" from gold.

Edited by prighello, 31 January 2015 - 17:09.

#9 Runnin_Ute


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Posted 31 January 2015 - 18:00

I only have one gold nibbed pen - a Parker 45 Flighter in medium. It is softer than the steel in my other 45's, but still fairly stiff.

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

#10 FountainPages


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Posted 31 January 2015 - 18:09

Personally, you can't go wrong with any of the pens you site. My preference is for the Lamy. I use an EF on mine and find it wonderful. If you want a very springy nib., I would suggest the Graf von Faber-Castell but they are expensive. I have an Intuition purchased before a fairly significant price hike...18K nib that is very springy. That said, I have both steel and gold and have no particular preference to either so long as they write well.


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Mark Twain

#11 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 18:19

I think even the modern 200's nib, a 'true' regular flex....in many companies now make semi-nails that folks might thing are regular flex. are as good a my '90's M400 and '90's Celebry pens. Those Celebry pens are = in gold and steel.


I am much impressed by the modern 200 nib...some 6-8 of them have been trans-mailed through my hands...and I finally got a 215....nice 'springy' regular flex nib.


I had caused some misunderstanding when calling those nibs 'springy' regular flex, in some one with Japanese "Springy Nibs" rightfully said the 200 nib is not "Springy."


"Springy" like modern MB or the Falcon, has good tine bend, and less than those Pelikan's I wrote about tine spread....semi-vintage Pelikans and the 200 have @ 3X light down stroke with a well mashed nib. "Springy" has about a 2 X tine spread to down stroke.

There is as much tine bend in "springy" as semi-flex, but not as much tine spread ie, 3 X.

"Springy" is referred to as 'soft'.


The 200's nib is a nice regular flex nib with a bit of spring to it.


There are other problems where, some one has a semi-vintage or vintage American regular flex nib...that some don't quite perhaps have as much spring to it as the Pelikan 200's nib. Such as an Esterbrook.

Some might well match a 200's nib. I'm not up on American nibs, other than to know the nail came in earlier there than in other places.


All I can suggest is to look in the American pen sub sections to find out which pens in what era had good regular flex nibs besides the nails. One can get a good used pen for so much less than new....two pens for the price of one...perhaps three. :)


As much as I hate to recommend a Falcon....in it's a pale imitation of a semi-flex....out side the modified nib....again I don't know how much tine spread the Falcon Mod has.


What I do suggest is a semi-flex in the vintage (medium-small&long posting) Pelikan 140 or the standard sized & nice posting) Geha 790. :thumbup:


If it must be, modern, unused....well you are on your own.

Being from the silver dime days of Standard & Medium-large pens....prefer their balance to the modern clunky Large pens.


If you insist on a Large pen....I can not help you. I really like the '50-65 German nibs with a bit of flex....not that they are "FLEX" nibs. :wallbash:


Most of the folks, as far as I can tell,  that have bought a 140 or 790 at my recommendation are happy with a grand nib and a very good pen. 


If you insist on a new pen, then the Pelikan 200 is the way to go. I'd not buy a M400 made after '98...blobby semi-nail nibs. :angry:


I have a 400n ('55), semi-flex B's nib in my 605 :notworthy1: , and can well understand putting a 200's nib in it. I like the medium large pen, it's slightly wide girth, it's lightness and it is still a nimble pen.

You can get a new nib for a 200 for @ $25...and have a whole range of nib widths.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 31 January 2015 - 18:42.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




#12 owenj


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Posted 31 January 2015 - 18:33

I've own(ed) a version of all three pens, and will caution that the Japanese nibs are going to be different width-wise even if you get the same size (Lamy F isn't as narrow as a Japanese F).  The Lamy is the closest to a "nail" of the three, though I didn't find the Platinum to be particularly soft either. 


They all have wonderful nibs, and should be nicely smooth.  I think the Pilot will be the "softest" though certainly not a flex nib.  I like nails and soft nibs--it all depends on what you feel like writing with.  So, even though it's a bump up in price, have you considered a Pilot Justus 95?  You can adjust the softness on that (again, softness, not flex).


Have you thought about what filling system you'd prefer?  They're all different on these pens, with the Platinum probably being my least favorite as I find the Platinum converters can be a bit sticky.  The Lamy will also be just about indestructible, while the other two will show scratches easier.

#13 Lovely_Pen



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Posted 01 February 2015 - 00:37

Thanks for all the responses!


I should have also mentioned that I'm not really looking for a flex nib, just something very smooth and a body that is well crafted. I'm largely attracted to the pens I mentioned because I've fallen in love with their overall looks and attributes. The gold is of course an added bonus, but I'm not expecting the heavens to part or anything dramatic :) I really just want a nice sized pen with a smooth nib, that's comfortable to hold for lengthy writing sessions. I'm a college student, and next year I'll be a senior--which means I'll have to write a senior paper (35 pages minimum) in order to graduate...I have this fantasy of writing my drafts with a fountain pen instead of a computer (call me crazy).


The Platinum has that nice cap sealing technology, the Pilot has a nice large converter, and the Lamy 2000 just seems like an incredibly robust pen. From what I've heard about the Lamy's sweet spot though, I think I might have to shelve that pen for another time. I really love the bodies of both the Century 3776 Nice Pur and the Custom 74...

μὴ ζήτει τὰ γινόμενα γίνεσθαι ὡς θέλειςἀλλὰ θέλε τὰ γινόμενα ὡς γίνεται 

καὶεὐροήσεις. - Epictetus



#14 Buzz_130



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Posted 01 February 2015 - 12:21

Both of your finalists are great choices!  As you are looking at Japanese pens, carefully consider the type of nib you want to use.  Platinum and Pilot nibs run narrower than their Western counterparts, and both Japanese companies offer some excellent nibs.  I really enjoy the "soft" nibs offered by Platinum, and I find the Pilot nibs to have a great touch.


The Platinum seal mechanism is outstanding.  I use nano inks from both Platinum and Sailor without any worries.  



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