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Are pens with 'Iridium Point Germany' nibs bad?



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Auzendriel

I was looking for handmade Australian pens on Etsy and eBay, and found that most of the pens have nibs labelled 'Iridium Point Germany' on them. From reading past posts, I understand that these nibs were actually mostly made in China. Should I be staying away from buying such pens? Do they write badly?

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A Smug Dill
35 minutes ago, Auzendriel said:

From reading past posts, I understand that these nibs were actually mostly made in China.

 

They are; but, ”of unspecified, unidentified and unverifiable origin” would be just as good and useful a description. (Just to be clear, I'm not in any way affronted by, or otherwise against, the tacit implication that unbranded Chinese-made products are of questionable quality, even though I'm Chinese and spent my formative years in Hong Kong, before permanently relocating to Australia.)

 

35 minutes ago, Auzendriel said:

Should I be staying away from buying such pens? Do they write badly?

 

Determination of whether any pen “write badly” depends on so many factors, not the least including the individual user's personal expectations and preferences. I'm not aware that, and I don't believe that, IPG nibs are particularly apt to be made of inferior metal alloys prone to structural failures or inelastic deformation. As for the geometry and smoothness of the tipping and/or ‘tuning’ of the nib's tine gap (which affects ink flow or ‘wetness’), there is variation from nib to nib even with non-Chinese big brand names in the industry.
 
 
The IPG nibs are ‘generic’ and, if it's attached to a hand-turned pen sold on Etsy or at a stall in (say) Paddington Markets in Sydney on weekends, I wouldn't expect them to be well-tuned beyond the most basic ‘testing’ by the pen maker that it will write after being dipped in ink. On the other hand, having seen a clip of how Leonardo Officina Italiana tests the nibs on its (not exactly cheap) pens before concluding that a pen is fit to be sent to retailers and/or sold to customers, it really doesn't make the IPG nibs any better or worse in writing performance.

 

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Beechwood
17 minutes ago, Mr.Rene said:

Mostly nibs with iridium point printed ARE NOT iridium...I think. 

 

 

Thats right.

 

Some of you may remember a Sherlock Holmes TV episode where he looks at a handwritten note and says. 'Hmm, written with a Parker Duofold with an Iridium tip', that's quite a good trick for drama set in 1885.

 

IPG nibs are not so bad, I have one in a pen I am using today, an old brass pen that had a goofy nib, the IPG nib is much better but a bit short on personailty.

 

 

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bunnspecial

As kind of indicated, IPG nibs are pretty much as close to a plain, simple, unbranded nib in the fountain pen world.

 

At the end of the day, any nib with a properly cut slit and a properly shaped/aligned tip should reliably deliver ink to the paper. IPG nibs often meet this standard, but sometimes they don't. It's kind of a tossup.

 

I've had IPG nibs that I'd consider good. One of the best ones I can think of(still in a box somewhere around here) wrote a nice and respectably wet medium line and had perhaps a bit more feedback than I like. Otherwise, though, it was about like a carburated car-it could be a bit cantankerous to start the first time it was used for the day, but would start as soon as it was touched to the paper after that.

 

I've had others that were pure junk in at least one if not several ways.

 

So, I'd say the short answer to that is that buying one, you really don't know what you're going to get.

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49 minutes ago, Beechwood said:

 

 

Thats right.

 

Some of you may remember a Sherlock Holmes TV episode where he looks at a handwritten note and says. 'Hmm, written with a Parker Duofold with an Iridium tip', that's quite a good trick for drama set in 1885.

 

IPG nibs are not so bad, I have one in a pen I am using today, an old brass pen that had a goofy nib, the IPG nib is much better but a bit short on personailty.

 

 

If you're thinking of the Cucumberpatch Sherlock, that is most definitely not set in 1885.....  ;)  But I must admit that I did chuckle when I saw that part of the episode...... 

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Beechwood
34 minutes ago, Aysedasi said:

If you're thinking of the Cucumberpatch Sherlock, that is most definitely not set in 1885.....  ;)  But I must admit that I did chuckle when I saw that part of the episode...... 

 

The story was from Hound of the Baskervilles.

 

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Beechwood
17 minutes ago, Aysedasi said:

And the Duofold is mentioned in the original Conan Doyle story?  

 

Just found this...

Capture.JPG

 

 

The last Sherlock Holmes novel was published in 1917.

 

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9 hours ago, Beechwood said:

 

 

The last Sherlock Holmes novel was published in 1917.

 

 And Parker Duofold goes on sale in market in 1921 if I am not wrong...

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Yes, the last novel was published in 1917, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle conntinued to write short stories featuing Sherlock Holmes that were published in various periodicles up unti 1927. 

 

12 stories were written/published between 1921-1927 so it is entirely possible that the later stories were written with a Duofold.

 

 

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Iridium point Germany doesn't necessarily mean the pens are bad - I have had some that have been good writers - but I have also had some stinkers. In the 80's a lot of the unbranded UK school pens had this legend printed on them - and at that time I think they did come from Germany. ( I think my WH Smith pens which I had from 84-92 was one of those - the plastic eventually cracked - not made to last forever).

 

However, you should not pay a lot for them. I've seen folk trying to flog pens with these nibs as family heirlooms, or claim that the gold coloured nibs are real gold. They also turn up in fake pens.  

 

If you are looking for a school pen - then it might be worth a punt. 

 

But if someone is asking for more than £20 for one, even if it is really fancy, I would steer well clear.

 

Faber Castell's grip FP at £15, Platinum's Plasir at £13 and Lamy's Safari at £16 will probably work out better.       

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corgicoupe

Several years ago I was into turning wooden pens, using pen kits primarily from Woodcraft. All the nibs were labeled IPG, and having made about 50 of those pens I only had one that I needed to return to Woodcraft for a replacement because it was not smooth on the paper. Not a single person who received these pens ever commented on the nib being unpleasant to use, quite the contrary.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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Glad I stumbled upon this. I hand-turn pens and found it hard to believe that the kits were from China but the nibs were German (IPG)! Thanks for clarifying.

However as Corgicoupe said I have had good results with these. I test each one and only occasionally have to do some tweaking.

My problem with them is they only seem to be available in Medium and I prefer Broad for signing.

As I posted elsewhere I am struggling to find a compatible nib assembly. Any ideas?

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Bo Bo Olson
On 1/26/2021 at 2:11 PM, Beechwood said:

Hmm, written with a Parker Duofold with an Iridium tip', that's quite a good trick for drama set in 1885.

Was called a Diamond point back then.

Iridium was always more expensive than gold.........in it was mined from the dust of that Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Some places in Italy it was up to two inches thick. Turkey became a supplier after they ran out in Italy.

Tipping was perfected in WW2. Before that the 'rare earth compounds' called  'iridium' like paper towels are called Kleenex, tended to lose chunks.  

In the late teens and '20's companies were changing their compounds a couple times a year looking for cheap durability.

 

""""Pens repointed for 30 cents each. 2 cents extra for the mail.""""""...........1902 Sears replica catalog.

In the day of the nickle beer. The $5 half eagle and the $10 eagle and the $20 double eagle. You were well off with gold coins in your pocket....as you would be today.

Nib cost.

for a # 1 nib, 35 cents for  10K, 16K  $0.43

#4, 50 & 75 cents

#6, ,75 & 1.00

#8, 1.10 1.45.

 

 

I tend to mark 'iridium' as so when talking about rare earth compounds....and iridium when talking so very very seldom about the real thing.

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.

 

 

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