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Gold Nib Color Change

nib gold nib repair change

8 replies to this topic

#1 Strelnikoff

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 15:26

Hi everyone!

 

I've been meaning to post a question here, for some time. First a back story...

 

I've been buying vintage pens for some time, and some sellers had statements "pen completely repaired" or "refurbished"... cleaned and polished, taken apart and put back together. Some are "as is" i.e. no work has been done, at least not by the seller. 

The nibs are sometimes polished and look excellent, sometimes I can see tipping material is low, sometimes tines are misaligned, sometimes everything looks perfect. 

 

The question is - after I use the pen for week or two... or month, the nib changes the color. It goes from shiny gold (if polished) to some form of dark rainbow kind of - reminds me of spring steel which is heat treated... it get's kind of blueish in some areas. Some nibs have it from vent hole to the tip, some everywhere around, some across... 

 

So - what causes this? Was the nib heat treated and gold changes the surface color in contact with ink or water? It is annoying really, I pay the price for perfectly looking pen and nib, and then I get this change.

 

It seems that it does not affect the nib performance (though I'd challenge this observation in case that nib was heat treated, because who knows how it was performing before) ... perhaps sellers should be upfront with what was done to the nib - if they know.

 

Any thoughts? And - would polishing pull this thin out? Maybe it was the polishing that causes this... 

 

Thank you!



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#2 Strelnikoff

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 15:30

I've heard the term "fireblue" ... it does seems like it is due to the heat treatment, and polishing takes out this color - but it comes back after the ink is used... 



#3 abstract49

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 16:52

I am not a metallurgist, but I have never seen gold behave this way. "Gold color" can be achieved several ways with other metals. Looks like steel reaction to heat, as OP suggested.



#4 Strelnikoff

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 16:57

I am not a metallurgist, but I have never seen gold behave this way. "Gold color" can be achieved several ways with other metals. Looks like steel reaction to heat, as OP suggested.

 

I would expect steel to react in this way... not sure about the gold, so that's why I'm puzzled. I mean, it's an gold alloy, and who know's what is reacting... and why, why would the nib change it's color in contact with ink or water. 



#5 abstract49

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 17:53

Just from my very limited knowledge of jewelry, I think anything under 10 ct gold is going to be iffy alloy. The other metals (or whatever elements) may be questionable below that threshold. Is there an authority that governs what can be blended with 24 ct gold to achieve the lower ratings? I don't know the answers. As I said, I am not a metallurgist.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:30

check with a magnet to see if it's gold.

 

Vintage German 30s-70 nibs are mostly stubs and semi-flex (outside of Lamy, Herlitz, Tropen).

The nibs are flat/flattish on the bottom.

Osmia is especially 'sparsam' with the tipping. I've a OBB where there is only a flat little pad of tipping in the middle and none to the outside. Nib works great.

 

When as 'noobie' and living in Germany, I first started getting into pens, I'd thought some shadetree mechanic had stubbed the nibs (In I'd only read about folks doing it at home or sending it off to a nibmeister....and this was before free trade nibmeisters).....but I was wrong, it was all factory stubbing.

So If Vintage German, that's the way the nib was supposed to be no American Bump Under....&stubbed...ie flat.

Semi-flex and stub gives a great pattern.


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.

 

 

 


#7 Strelnikoff

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 23:00

I'll take photos of all nibs that changed color. I have Waterman's #2, #4, one #8 ... I doubt that there's someone "out there" faking the old nibs. If there is such person - I'd say he/she is doing pretty good job. 

 

One thing is certain - my Waterman 58 has manifold nib. And I have noticed it's slightly ... well, not perfectly "round" in the foot. To the extent - the section was ovalized considerably. THen I've noticed this color change, and I wonder if that may be due to someone heating the nib to change the shape... not sure.



#8 Ron Z

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 00:41

14K gold is 58.5% gold, 18K is 75% gold.   The gold is mixed, or alloyed with other metals like copper nickel and zinc, which give it hardness and strength.  Rose gold gets its color from the extra copper used to make the alloy.  Pure gold does not tarnish, but the other metals may, which can result in a color change.    There can also be some coloring from the dyes in the ink.


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#9 sidthecat

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 00:45

I’ve seen that on a couple of my vintage nibs. It looks like a sheen of oil, but it will rub off. I think it may be an element in the ink I was using at the time.



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