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Gold Wearing Off An Omas Nib?


dappledawndrawn
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Some years ago I bought an OMAS Arco Paragon, the old range -- it's marked 1999 -- and today I took a look at the two-tone nib and saw to my horror that the gold was wearing off and beginning to tarnish.

 

I can understand palladium plating wearing off a gold nib, but gold?? Have I been faked, or does anyone know anything about the old OMAS nibs?

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The nib should be solid gold so it shouldn't tarnish...can you attach a picture?

 

I love OMAS pens but I have not had good luck with their trim. I am sure if you do a search you will see threads with trim issues. Most of the HT trim on the bottom ring of an Ogiva I have has come off. I cant say I have ever heard of an issue with the gold on an OMAS nib though, but if anyone were to have the issue you describe it would be OMAS.

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  • 8 years later...

I am seeing posts like this with no clear answers. Are we saying OMAS was only saying their nibs are gold when they are not?

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5 hours ago, TwoMiceAndPens said:

I am seeing posts like this with no clear answers. Are we saying OMAS was only saying their nibs are gold when they are not?

No. They were and are correctly hallmarked gold nibs. The piece of gold metal is the same all of the way through and doesn't "wear off." Sometimes hallmarked gold is also gold plated on it's surface maybe to make it more shiny, more hardwearing on the surface or a slightly different color and that can potentially wear off but the gold can only wear into a thinner piece of metal by rubbing. It doesn't look like gold plate wearing off.

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Omas plating is not always the best. The gold nib can take on a kind of patina. Usually it can be cleaned very well with a jeweller's cloth, and will look shiny new again.

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Thank you for your replies. Mine arrived from the a different climate across the hemisphere. I wondered if that has something to do with it. Since GOLD does not patina in this manner, this can not be gold. So I am rather confused. Is it the plating that has tarnish. It did appear after being soaked in water for a couple of days or so during cleaning. It was never used but was tested before posting and a bit of the ink was still there so I had to clean it. I will try to attach a picture or video clip. If you have access to instagram, I have posted a quick video clip showing the tarnish in my latest post under the same username @TwoMiceAndPens 

Edited by TwoMiceAndPens
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E.g. 14K or 18K gold can show discolorations. Not from the gold portion but from other metals in the alloy. Other metals are present in e.g. 14K or 18K gold which is still called „solid gold“. 
 

Depending on the individual composition of the gold this can happen earlier or later and some gold alloys are more prone to this.

 

I have a few Omas and 1960s-1970s Montblanc pens which show a nice copper-red-blueish patina after longer storage which I appreciate a lot. It is a patina/discoloration of other metals in the gold alloy and not „wearing off“.

 

As others have mentioned this can be polished easily. Just be careful on plated two-tone nibs as the polishing will remove the plating sooner or later also.

 

I can agree what has been said regarding plated parts of Omas pens (not solid  gold but gold or rhodium plated). Those can actually wear of (clips, cap bands, …)

 

Cheers

 

Michael

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On 10/24/2021 at 11:13 AM, como said:

Omas plating is not always the best. The gold nib can take on a kind of patina. Usually it can be cleaned very well with a jeweller's cloth, and will look shiny new again.

sorry, my comment was not relevant.

Edited by fabri00
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Thank you for all of your kind replies. I am not bothered by the visual and actually like patina on things. Aesthetically it is right up my alley. What worried me was that the metal was deteriorating so soon after I acquired it. I don't know when the Colonial Brown (perhaps not an ideal name for today's age so I shall simply call it "Brown" from now on) 360 Omas was issued. From memory the 360 was born in the 1990s. So I shall carry on and leave it as is. But it does make me feel very anxious about the others. In all frankness and practicality, I must think of the resale valued of these Omas fountain pens, and all these tarnishes will mean a lot of time spent educating and reassuring potential buyers in the future. Thank you again for all of your reassurances that the integrity of the gold nib is not in question. 

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3 hours ago, fabri00 said:

sorry, my comment was not relevant.

No need to be sorry. I didn't even see your comments 🙂

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35 minutes ago, TwoMiceAndPens said:

Thank you for all of your kind replies. I am not bothered by the visual and actually like patina on things. Aesthetically it is right up my alley. What worried me was that the metal was deteriorating so soon after I acquired it. I don't know when the Colonial Brown (perhaps not an ideal name for today's age so I shall simply call it "Brown" from now on) 360 Omas was issued. From memory the 360 was born in the 1990s. So I shall carry on and leave it as is. But it does make me feel very anxious about the others. In all frankness and practicality, I must think of the resale valued of these Omas fountain pens, and all these tarnishes will mean a lot of time spent educating and reassuring potential buyers in the future. Thank you again for all of your reassurances that the integrity of the gold nib is not in question. 

@TwoMiceAndPens I finally understood what you meant, after seeing your Instagram video. Am I right that this pen has rhodium-plated 18k gold nib? It seems so to me. If that's the case, the rhodium plating job is not so good. You can get it re-plated. Many pen restorers don't do rhodium plating, so you need to ask around a bit to find one that does. Good luck! It's a nice pen!

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Oh, it's a plated gold nib (rhodium plating over gold).

Yes, this plating can wear off (or polished away). It is a very thin layer of electroplated rhodium over solid gold. 

 

And yes, as @como pointed out it can be replated.

 

Cheers

 

Michael

 

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23 hours ago, TwoMiceAndPens said:

Thank you for all of your kind replies. I am not bothered by the visual and actually like patina on things. Aesthetically it is right up my alley. What worried me was that the metal was deteriorating so soon after I acquired it. I don't know when the Colonial Brown (perhaps not an ideal name for today's age so I shall simply call it "Brown" from now on) 360 Omas was issued. From memory the 360 was born in the 1990s. So I shall carry on and leave it as is. But it does make me feel very anxious about the others. In all frankness and practicality, I must think of the resale valued of these Omas fountain pens, and all these tarnishes will mean a lot of time spent educating and reassuring potential buyers in the future. Thank you again for all of your reassurances that the integrity of the gold nib is not in question. 

 

besides your reported experience on the rhodium plated nib, I've never had problems with Omas nibs, often they are among my best nibs, actually.

The Coloniale brown is quite an interestingly unusual colour, and not too many pens of this colour are around, some of them were Prototypes.

large.1097368037_P1080962-3OmasParagonColoniale.jpg.3851eb481c75eca2c5d45af43d0d2c1b.jpg

 

(by the way, in Italian, coloniale has stuck as a definition of a particularly light brown colour  - which does come from the colour of the uniforms of the colonial troops... granted - , but in everyday use the reference to such origin is forgotten, and it is just used to define such colour, which English more often defines as kaki...)

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  • 2 weeks later...

@sansenriI have that Paragon Colonial and my nib also has signs of oxidation. I believe it can easily be buffed with a jewelers cloth. The pink gold that was used for this edition is especially prone to discoloration because of the copper used in the alloy.

 

The color was also controversial in Italy at the time. I remember a pen store owner saying something about the disgraceful  color and assumed it reminded him of German WWII uniforms. 
 

I remember seeing the pen in window displays in 2003 (?) with an image of what may have been a cigar factory or tobacco plantation? I always assumed that was the marketing team’s story - cigars.

 

I didn’t buy the pen in Italy at the time but got the 360 version back in

New York. I didn’t love it and sold it, but got the Paragon later from a seller to complete my collection of Omas’ color of the year pens - grey, Venice blue, Colonial brown.

 

I’ve just sent in the brown one for nib work (the factory M is quite broad) and am looking forward to getting it back. The idiosyncratic color and name seem interesting to me now, unusual. I remember that fashion houses at the time were also turning out items in this odd light brown.

 

Btw, the Venice blue Paragon rings all lost their “HT” plating fairly quickly. I’m accepting that as the desirable signs of an original Omas wabi-sabi effect. 😁

 

Final comment: I have some older Pelikan M800 pens where the gold parts of the nibs also show oxidation if left unused for a few years.

"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live."

– Lin Yu-T'ang

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all for all the additional info! Collecting in a rather "niche" area from a place like New Zealand can be extra tricky, especially after the pandemic which affects international postal services and costs. Omas fountain pens being one of these. Often it feels like collecting stamps while camped up on Mt Everest.

 

Thanks again!

Edited by TwoMiceAndPens
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