Here are the abbreviations that I use in my descriptions of vintage pens for sale. If you would like a full definition of any of these terms, please visit The Southern Scribe’s Guide to Pen Jargon.
BCHR = black chased hard rubber
BHR = black hard rubber
BF = button filler (e.g. Parker Duofold)
CPT = chrome plated trim
CF = crescent filler (e.g. Conklin)
ED = eyedropper filler (many brands)
GFT = gold filled trim
LF = lever filler (many brands)
NPT = nickel plated trim
PIF = piston filler (e.g. Pelikan, Montblanc)
PF = plunger filler (e.g. Sheaffer, Wahl)
RBHR = red & black hard rubber (mottled or woodgrain)
RHR = red hard rubber
RT = ringtop pen
VAC = Vacumatic filler (e.g. Parker)
I use the following terms (and abbreviations) to describe the condition of writing instruments that I offer for sale. I grade conservatively, because I would rather have you pleasantly surprised than disappointed.
M = Mint = new, factory fresh, no signs of use.
NM = Near Mint = little used with no visible wear; also new items that are shopworn.
EXC = Excellent = used but not damaged; manufacturer’s imprints are strong; may have a slight patina to the surfaces, but no ‘scars’ (teeth marks, dents, scratches, brassing) to the plastic, hard rubber or metal trim.
F = Fine = shows modest signs of use; may be slight brassing to the metal trim in heavy wear areas (tip of the clip); imprint may be worn; could be tiny waves in metal overlays or minor scratches in the plastic.
G = Good = fully functional as a writing instrument; noticeable signs of wear or aging (like brassing of metal trim, scratches or teeth marks, dings in metal caps); not a valuable collectible, but still a good writer.
I do not sell pens that fall below these condition standards. The good bits and pieces go into my parts bins.
Here are a few other points to note:
- Everything is in proper working order, unless otherwise noted.
- The condition grade primarily describes the amount of wear. Discoloration of plastics usually does not occur because of wear (it is usually due to aging of the material). This is why I mention unusually good color, or discoloration, separately from wear. Any cosmetic damage or flaws are also mentioned in the description.
- Any engraved initials or names are described.
- All pens have 14k solid gold nibs, unless otherwise noted.
- Production dates are approximate and to the best of my knowledge.
- I normally do not replace missing or hardened pencil erasers as they are rarely used, and proper size erasers are often no longer available. (Parker Insignia erasers will fit some vintage pencils.)
- The length of pens mentioned in the descriptions refers to the length when the pen is capped.
If you have questions, please ask. I’d rather make sure you are comfortable with your purchase before you buy.