There was a time when only the utmost elite, priests and kings, were taught things like reading and writing. Naturally, high-quality writing instruments have always been sought after. Modern schools in some places have stopped teaching kids how to write by hand. While some people see this as a natural advancement in technology, the ability to write is actually something that generations of people fought for the rights to be allowed to learn. A fine pen is one of life’s luxuries, and luxuries aren’t meant to be free. Some people go to great lengths to honor and preserve the tradition of finely crafted writing instruments and penmanship par excellence. Just how much will the elite pay for a good pen? More than you think. Here are the top 20 most elite and costly pens on earth.
20. Grayson Tighe Limited Edition Fountain and Rollerball Pens – $24,000
The least expensive of our pens, for now, is this incredible rollerball pen for a mere $24,000. It comes in a case with its own signed authenticity certificate. You might not have considered this before, but wherever there is something of value, there’s usually someone who will put in the time to make a duplicate. With your certificate in hand, you can rest assured that this is no knockoff.
19. The Four Seasons Pen – $36,000
The original run of Four Seasons Pens only created and issued 33 pens. The stories differ, but either these pens change color with the season, or they come in four color choices to reflect the four seasons. Modern variants decidedly come in four color stories, but the originals are difficult to get information about. None have yet come up for auction anywhere we can find.
18. Omas Gaia High Luxury Fountain Pen – $40,000
This pen comes with a fairytale. It represents a journey through the earth and mythic lands. Adorned with gold and onyx, hematite and emeralds, the Gaia pen is named for the earth-mother. If you are seeking the perfect gift for a high powered businesswoman, who has everything choose this pen. Every time she signs a new contract, she will be reminded of how high your esteem. However, with only 30 of these available, you may want to move quickly to order yours.
17. Tibaldi Bentley Crew 60th White Gold – $43,000
Here’s a truly unique offering. The Bentley car company partnered with Tibaldi, the top Italian producer of fine writing implements. This unique solid white gold pen is a limited edition like all the pens on this list. Though only forty of this model are available, you can still pick up the slightly less expensive roller ball and yellow gold variations and save a few thousand dollars.
16. Marte Omas Fountain Pen – $43,000
A Geological work of art, this pen is a faithfully reproduced partial topographical map of Mars. Each end sports a set of small diamonds and a handful of radiant red rubies stud the outside. The box alone is a beautiful gift. A spherical wooden box of redwood lined in a vibrant red velvet to honor our red cousin in the sky will keep your astronomical treasure of a pen safe from any alien invasions. We can see the first president of the future colony of Mars signing peace treaties and other vital documents with this pen. Out of the whole collection of the worlds most expensive pens, this is our favorite for its originality.
15. Visconti The Forbidden City H.R.H. Fountain Pen – $50,500
It’s not hard to see where the inspiration for this intriguing pen came from. The Forbidden City was and remains one of the worlds most significant symbols of wealthy eccentricity. The emperors of China along with their guard and a very select few others were allowed inside these walls. The pen doesn’t require royal blood to own, however. This mysterious black resin and intricately rendered detailing can be yours for the bargain sum of $50,500, or you can pay more than that on eBay. The inside out design uses resin over metal instead of the usual reverse to create an enclosed appearance with hidden depths.
14. Visconti Ripple H.R.H. Fountain Pen – $57,000
Undulating waves of pure diamond adorn this masterpiece. You can use the 23KT palladium dream touch nib for clear and precise writing if you’ve got the skill to use a fountain pen. Naturally, this pen also comes with a signature box as well. It simply wouldn’t do to ship such works of jeweled art in a plastic baggie. While this style may be less intricate than many other Visconti pens, it is undeniably handsome exactly as it is with black resin and shimmering stones.
13. Visconti Alchemy H.R.H Fountain Pen – $57,000
Far more than meets the eye, you might at first assume that this pen is an homage to the yin and yang. It has a stand that utilizes white and yellow golden dragon/serpents to hold the pen suspended between them for a weightless airy appeal. However, the true inspiration is Leonardo DaVinci’s alchemical texts as found in the Laurenziana Library of the Medici’s family. This breathtaking red resin and two-tone gold pen recall a time when magic and science were indistinguishable and recorded by hand with ink.
12. Omas Phoenix Platinum Fountain Pen Luxury Limited Edition – $60,000
This rare beauty is decorated with the image of a phoenix on the side. If you’re seeking a symbol of firey rebirth for your next executive decision, you may want to sign with this stunning pen. Though information about it is limited the top appears to be decorated with an inset emerald. Gold and platinum make up most of the body and nib. However, it’s the imagery that makes this pen worthy of inclusion in any executive suite.
11. Perrier-Jouët Anniversary Edition pen by Omas – $134,700
An incredible bicentennial requires an incredible commemoration. The company was founded in 1,811, and so only 1,811 pens were made in this style. One thousand fountain pens and eight hundred eleven roller ball style pens wear this honorary design. Reminiscent of the bottles themselves, Omas used a rare and green Cotton Resin. The detailing is a reference to Emile Gallé’s Belle Epoque Cuvée.
10. Montblanc Limited Edition Boheme Papillon – $198,000
The Bohemian Butterfly or Boheme Papillon is a gem-studded extravaganza worthy of a necklace. With 1400 diamonds and sapphires this pen comes in three color stories. The pure white, yellow gold and rose gold editions of this pen may vary slightly in price, but in design and beauty, they are alike. The sweeping flurries of precious stones are undoubtedly worthy of the name. For those seeking a pen worthy of mounting in a display case of its own, the Boheme Papillon is one of the loveliest exhibit worthy pieces you can find.
9. Prince Rainier III Limited Edition 81 – $256,000
The beloved Prince of Monaco died at age 81. As a result, there are only 81 of these beautifully regal commemorative pens. The lattice pattern on this pen is created from 996 diamonds and 92 exceptionally clear rubies. The clip ring uses an additional 19 rubies, and the nib is made of gold. As heirloom pieces worthy of royalty go, this pen is among the finest. There are royal tiaras that are worth less than one of these fine instruments.
8. La Modernista Diamonds Caran d’Ache – $265,000
The Caran d’Ache La Modernista Diamonds pen is as much diamond as it is pen. With 5000 small diamonds on the body and a number of sapphires, this modern Spanish art inspired pen was made for the 1995 Paris Pens Show. The design was inspired most by the architectural works of Antoni Gaudi who was known for his works of Catalan Modernism. This architectural jewelers piece can be your go-to power pen for signing all your contracts for just over a quarter of a million dollars.
7. Caran d’Ache Gotica – $487,000
Sporting 7.1 carats of diamonds and entirely covered in rosettes and fleurs de lise, this pen is inspired by gothic architecture. The resemblance to gothic churches is a common theme in luxury items. This is no surprise given that churches have remained the largest vessels of wealth in the world for centuries. The beautiful cathedral window style design elements speak to a time when wealthy patrons gifted considerable sums to their local churches to create beautiful houses of worship for all to share. You can occasionally snap up one of these beauties for a fraction of their value on sites like eBay.
6. Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels Mystery Masterpiece -$730,000
Something about this pen reminds us of one of those hidden picture app games that have become so popular. The intertwined rows of diamonds and rubies on this pen hide stars, butterflies and other familiar shapes. The collaboration that created this pen stems from a shared century in business. Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels both opened in 1906. In 2006 they chose to celebrate together as purveyors of astounding accessories.
5. Heaven Gold by Anita Tan – $995,510
As with the remainder of this list, the Heaven Gold has been hailed as the most expensive pen in the world, though the title has belonged to another since at least 2010. This pink gold beauty is the penultimate (no pun intended) in girlish chic. The heart, flower and diamond-shaped collections of Tsavorite gemstones and colored diamonds make for a simple and feminine touch. Showing your love to your favorite self-made millionairess or heiress with this pen is sure to let her know you think her every word is priceless.
4. 1010 Diamonds by Caran d’Ache – $1 Million
When you need a pen that goes with your watch perfectly, the 1010 is the only name in the book. This horological inspired pen shows off its gears in the most deluxe display of gearpunk style in the known world. Whether you love watches or alternate history timelines, this gleaming golden pen is a must-have for the timepiece lover and alt culture guru alike.
3. The Aurora Diamante – $1.47 Million
Exclusivity defined, the Aurora Diamante is so luxe that only a single pen is produced for sale each year. That makes this pen one of the most elusive and sought after writing implements in the world to date, almost as rare as a ming vase. With over two thousand diamonds, this pen has no trouble sparking interest in everyone who sees it.
2. Johannes Kepler High Artistry Stella Nova Limited Edition 1 – $1.5 Million
Johannes Kepler was a 16th-century scientist and mathematician. He was also known as an astronomer and an astrologer, and this pen is designed with his life’s achievements in mind. The cap shows phases of the moon, and when combined with the body this pen is made with 570 diamonds and 5,294 sapphires. It’s vibrant blue, and shimmering diamond details are reminiscent of all things lunar and mysterious. You can carry this piece of bejeweled scientific history in your pocket for a cool $1.5 million.
1. Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi (Auctioned 2010) – $8 Million
With a name that translates to mean Night Glow, this pen is certain to light up the evening for any billionaire who needs a better pen in their life. Fulgor Nocturnus is ruthenium plated with 18k gold and set with 945 black diamonds. Several dozen rubies add contrast to this dark and exotic pen. It is the only one of its kind, as well it should be. Even the nib is plated with platinum. Unfortunately, you’ll have to convince the owner to sell it to you first.
As status symbols go, pens may not be what people default to, but it makes more sense than you might expect. A good pen can serve you in many ways, and the old cliche about how they are mightier than a sword is especially true in this era. Use yours to write a manifesto, a million dollar business plan or a contract that will protect your family for generations. Whatever you need to record, a sensational and high-class pen will not let you down like a pack of dollar store cheapies. Plus, it makes you look good. Which pen are you planning to add to your collection before you sign your next vital document?