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Sheaffer Balance Cap Band Question

Guest Ray Cornett

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Guest Ray Cornett

One of my Ebay wins. Sheaffer Balance, Carmine Red. somewhere around 1939 to the end of the Balance line.


After soaking the cap today there was what I assume to be some extremely stubborn ink on the gold cap band. After polishing a bit to get this ink off I noticed a very faint version of what you see highlighted in the picture but it was on the other side of the cap. Is what I noticed under where the ink was but is now gone some matching detail that I have removed that is now only left on one side or is this tarnish that just ended up making it appear that perhaps there was a design there?


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This is a common thing to see on many fountain pens. Brassing of the cap bands from what looks like drawer wear. The tarnish will either be a dark brown or a dark green brown after much age. This is just where the gold was worn away.


Lay the pen on a flat surface and I am betting that there is a wear mark facing up, and one down. Depending on which directing the pocket clip is facing.

Edited by Wyre

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What did you soak the cap in and was the cap submerged in the solution.

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Guest Ray Cornett

I only soaked it in cool water from the cap for a while. However, after some polishing and buffing it seems to have worked itself out. Whatever it was seems to have been something on the surface. It now looks pretty much good as new all around.



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My guess is that the band is brassed in that spot, and the cleaning/ buffing either revealed it or exacerbated it.

After a good polish, brass and gf look the same, and the band will appear intact. However, if brassed, you'll see that marking again where the gold and brass tarnish differently.


Regards, greg

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Absolutely common on these pens. It's a spot where the plating has worn off and exposed the base metal, brass. As Greg says, polishing will shine up the brass until it resembles the gold fill around it. However, it will eventually darken and look again as it did in the picture you posted above. The vast majority of pens of that age will show some form of brassing or another.

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