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An Interesting (At Least To Me) Discovery On A Transitional J

esterbrook transitional ribbed cap jewel

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#1 fullfederhalter



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Posted 13 July 2019 - 19:58

I found this black Esterbrook transitional J pen with a 3 ribbed jewel and a bandless dollar pencil at the flea market today.   It was very sunny out, and when I looked down at the top of the pen cap I saw that the jewel is a very deep translucent red.   It looks almost black in normal light, but strong light penetrates the jewel and reflects back from the silver of the tassie.  It's hard to photograph, but I am attaching a picture taken in sunlight.  It reminds me of the deep red bakelite plastic used by Parker on some of its early pens, but could be something else.  I have a few other 3 ribbed caps, but all of the jewels are definitely black.  I tried to search for any other mention of this without success.  Does anyone have information about these jewels?

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  • Estie1.jpg
  • Estie2.jpg

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#2 Misfit


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Posted 15 July 2019 - 01:11

That is quite interesting to see. According to people with art degrees, there is no true black. If you turn up the saturation of any color on your computer, it looks black.

Edited by Misfit, 15 July 2019 - 01:12.

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#3 inkstainedruth


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Posted 15 July 2019 - 03:58


I have a couple of Trannies, I think (I know there's at least one toaster top jewel).   I'm now going to have to get a good look at the jewels on them.  And maybe on the other J series pens I have as well, because now I'm curious.  I know that all the jewels are black (I don't have any of the red or green jeweled nurse's pens) but I'm thinking that the jewels are invariably a matte black and NOT something translucent looking like in the photo....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

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#4 Hobiwan


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Posted 15 July 2019 - 07:56

I bought a green trannie with a top like that 5 or 6 years ago.  Thought it was just an anomaly.  Looks like the factory got a shipment of "black" plastic stock they didn't inspect closely :D   Adds that little extra boost to the rarity, eh?


Now you'll have everyone re-inspecting their trannie collection. 

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#5 FarmBoy


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Posted 16 July 2019 - 03:18

This is more common than you might think.

I have found the more reddish or translucent the more fragile the jewel.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: esterbrook, transitional, ribbed cap jewel

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