Fountain pens have an air of refinement and luxury about them that often relates to business and banking. Yet, for something designed to be used every day, some pens manage to cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. For the most expensive pens in the world, you could even end up spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.
The most expensive pen in the world is currently the Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi, which sold for an incredible $8 million at a charity auction in Shanghai. Fulgor Nocturnus is Latin for “night glow” which accurately describes the glow from the nearly 1,000 black diamonds found on the pen.
Following that astronomical price, even the remaining top 10 most expensive pens still cost more than $100,000. They are all made from luxury materials and cast by industry-leading brands.
In this article, we’ll explore the extreme wealth that goes into producing the finest writing utensils the world has ever seen. Ready, set, PEN!
Table of Contents
#1. Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi
The most expensive pen in the world is currently the Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi, which sold for an incredible $8 million at an auction in Shanghai. The pen contains almost 1,000 black diamonds and 123 rubies (including 16 on the top of the cap).
The nib is also crafted from 18K gold and features a small diamond at its center. As the most expensive pen in the world, the Fulgor Nocturnus is also the most exclusive with only one unit ever produced.
#2. Montblanc Boheme Royal Pen
The Boheme Royal Pen by Montblanc is one of the most expensive pens in the world, coming in at a retail price of $1.5 million. This limited-edition piece was designed to look like a miniature version of the Montblanc Diamond Studded Royal Crown. The body of the pen is crafted from 18K white gold and set with 565 brilliant-cut diamonds.
The nib is also cast from solid 18K gold and features a white gold casing. Although it’s not the most expensive pen in the world, the Boheme Royal Pen is still quite exclusive. In total, only nine were ever made and each one is unique due to the different colored gemstones used on the crown-like cap.
#3. Aurora Diamante
In third place, we have the Aurora Diamante, which was designed to be the most expensive pen ever made when it was released in 2006. The Aurora Diamante was made with a barrel crafted from solid white gold and set with 30 carats of diamonds. The nib is also cast from solid 18K gold and features a white gold casing.
To make this pen even more exclusive, only eight were ever made and each one was designed to have a different colored gemstone on the cap. The Aurora Diamante was so exclusive that its original retail price was never made public but it’s been rumored to be over $1 million. Today, they are estimated to be worth $1.28 million with inflation.
#4. Heaven Gold Pen by Anita Tan
After seeing the Mystery Masterpiece, the next most expensive pen in the world may seem relatively simple. The Heaven Gold pen by Anita Tan is a limited-edition piece designed by legendary pen producer Anita Tan. It features a simple yet sleek 18K gold barrel with a small-cap that’s decorated with three small diamond-encrusted charms—a heart, a flower, and a diamond.
Although it’s less flashy than some of the other pens on our list, the Heaven Gold pen is incredibly rare and its high price mainly comes down to the quality of the diamonds used. Each diamond was hand-selected for brightness and clarity, adding to the total final price.
#5. Mystery Masterpiece by Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels
Coming in halfway down our list, the Mystery Masterpiece is a rather odd-looking pen but with a $730,000 price tag, you wouldn’t exactly want a standard-issue fountain pen. This stunning piece of artwork was crafted through a joint effort between Montblanc and Van Cleef &Arpels. It was released as a limited-edition model and comes in three editions.
No matter which edition you purchase, the skeletal barrel of the pen is cast in pure white gold and set with row after row of diamonds. At the neck of the barrel, you’ll find an intricate inlay of rubies, emeralds, or sapphires, depending on the edition.
#6. Caran d’Ache Gothica Pen
Directly following a precedent set by the La Modernista, Swiss-based pen manufacturer Caran d’Ache set out to make an additional high-priced pen that could wow buyers and set new records. What they came up with is the $476,000 Gothica pen. Unlike other models listed above, the Gothica is not a limited-edition model but it’s not exactly easy to come by.
The Gothica features a six-sided hexagonal barrel cast in solid sterling silver, coated in pure rhodium, and then beset with several carats of rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. The design is meant to call back to gothic architecture and is finished with several rows of fleur-de-lis.
#7. La Modernista Diamond Pen
As with many of the entries on our list, the La Modernista Diamond is a limited-edition pen with only eight units released in 2001. Swiss-based pen manufacturer Caran d’Ache designed and manufactured this stunning piece in honor of Antonio Gaudi and today, it’s worth more than a quarter-million dollars.
Much of the pen’s value can be attributed to its solid platinum barrel adorned with over 3,000 diamonds. It also features a retractable 18-karat gold nib and comes in a case made from black leather. As if that wasn’t enough, the pen is also handmade, adding to its image as a limited-edition piece.
#8. Prince Rainier III Limited Edition 81 Pen
Next on our list, we have another limited-edition pen designed to honor the Prince of Monaco, Rainier III. This intricate fountain pen was designed and manufactured by Montblanc in 2005 after the prince passed away following a long life of fairytale bliss with Hollywood legend Grace Kelly.
The Prince Rainier III Limited Edition 81 pen is cast from solid 18K white gold beset with 8 carats of diamonds and rubies placed in a spiral Chevron pattern. The nib is also set with additional rubies and engraved to commemorate the prince’s life. Between the fine materials used to create the pen and the symbolism behind it, Montblanc sold this iconic writing utensil for an astounding $256,000.
#9. Limited Edition Boheme Papillion Pen by Montblanc
Following the Perrier-Jouët Anniversary pen, the next most expensive pen in the world is the limited edition Boheme Paillion pen by Montblanc. Montblanc is well renowned for their high-quality yet high-priced writing utensils but they truly stole the show with their $198,000 gold and gemstone-encrusted masterpiece.
The Limited Edition Boheme Papillion is decorated with more than 1,000 gemstones, many of which are diamonds. There are also six different varieties, all of which represent a specific theme and color palette. As a limited edition item, there are only a few of these pens in the world, which helps to increase their value.
#10. Perrier-Jouët Anniversary Edition Pen by OMAS
In tenth place is the Perrier-Jouët Anniversary Edition pen by OMAS, which was created to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French champagne house. It was released in 2002 and retailed for $134,700. The pen is made from a finely engraved gold set against a dark green resin material that evokes the trademark green bottles of Perrier-Jouët champagne.
The nib of the pen is also constructed from 18K gold and features a fine PJ engraving, harkening to the champagne house that the pen commemorates. Along the barrel, you’ll also find detailed anemone flower engravings that embody the Belle Epoque origins of Perrier-Jouët.
#11. Samurai Prestige Lighter and Pen Set by S.T. Dupont
In our eleventh-place spot, we have a pen and lighter set sold by S.T. Dupont for $66,000. Although much of the value can be attributed to the lighter, this pen is not sold separately and, therefore, is deserving of a place on our list.
The Samurai Prestige pen is designed to look like a small letter knife sheathed in a scabbard. It rests on a stand and comes with a miniature katana that can be used as an actual letter knife. The pen itself is cast from rose gold and features several small diamonds along the barrel.
Fountain pens have been around for more than a century and have long been a symbol of wealth and luxury. In recent years, however, some pen manufacturers have taken this luxurious image to new extremes.
Although they may be too pricey for the average person, it’s fascinating to see the level of wealth and craftsmanship that goes into these unique writing utensils, particularly the most expensive pen in the world—the Fulgor Nocturnus.
Common Inquiries About Expensive Fountain Pens
What is the World’s Most Expensive Pen?
As of the time of this writing, this distinction belongs to the Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi. This fountain pen sold for an incredible $8 million at a charity auction in Shanghai.
This very expensive fountain pen features several precious gemstones, 945 black diamonds and 123 rubies if you’re counting.
What are the Expensive Pens?
There are a lot of expensive fountain pens in the world.
Fountain pen making isn’t just about making pens, it’s a display of expert design and craftsmanship by some of the most skilled artisans in the world.
This list talked about some of the most expensive pens. The expensive pens on this list cost as much as they do because they are limited edition pens designed for special occasions or VIPs or because they are made with very expensive materials like white gold, rose gold, black diamonds and rubies among others.
These pens are also unique because of the partnerships that created them. The Mystery Masterpiece by Montblanc for example was a joint venture by Montblanc and Van Cleef and Arpels. Joint ventures like this will naturally produce some of the world’s most expensive pens.
How do I choose a Luxury Pen?
There are a lot of pens in the world. So a lot of this comes down to personal preference and intent.
If your intent is to use your fountain pen for writing in addition to display, you’ll want to pick one that feels good in your hand and that you won’t be terribly concerned about dropping or bumping from time to time.
If you are a fountain pen collector who wants to collect and display the most rare and expensive fountain pens in the world then the rarest pen is the Fulgor Nocturnus. It’s a truly unique writing tool. Only one of these writing instruments was ever produced and procuring it might be hard to come by.
Short of that, consider what luxury fountain pen or pens might compliment the decorating themes that you use in your home or office or wherever you plan on displaying your luxury writing instruments.