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Metal Pen Component Plating

Each pen is made from a combination of materials. Typically, the main focus of the pen is its body, or cap and the body, which are made from a number of spectacular materials such as wood, resins, and synthetic materials. But, each pen is also made from a number of metal components that are often available in several finish types.

A writing instrument gets significant use and abuse, which will cause all of these finishes to wear over time. While we try to use finishes that will hold up, it is important to note that dirt, oils and other chemicals in combination with physical abrasions will eventually wear through all finishes.
Most of the metal parts are plated with different finish types. The most common are listed below. All of the finish platings are applied to the base metal to protect the components and make them look nice. Over time, the plating may wear off.

Here is a little information on the types of finishes from which the metal components are often made.


One of the most popular materials is chrome. Chrome is a durable material that wears well. Its shiny finish is often found as the main color on a pen, or sometimes as an accent color.


This is a high-end finish that has an appearance that is very similar to chrome, but with a slightly silver tint. It handles wear well and is a great choice for high-end pens.

Black Titanium

This finish has a darker tint to its look, but still has a very high sheen. It is great as an accent color and goes well with darker colors. It has good wear characteristics.

Gold / Gold Color

Most of the gold colored pens are not real made from gold, they are a gold color with a protective top coat. A few of the pens are available with real gold accents colors and will be marked as 18K / 24K gold in the description. Gold has poor wear characteristics which is why it is only used as an accent color.

Stainless Steel

This is a very durable finish, since all of the stainless steel pens are 100% stainless steel. The finish may dull over time, but it will not wear off. Excellent wear characteristics.


Some pens use a black finish, which is either a black coating over metal or in some cases is manufactured from a black plastic material.


A few pens, primarily the bullet pens, are made from brass. Those materials are made from brass, not plated with brass, which will maintain or develop a darker brass patina over time. Excellent wear characteristics.