The following is an excerpt from the Berea Hardwoods catalog No. 10. Used
with permission. Copyright Berea Hardwoods 2005.
AN EXPLANATION OF PLATING
Since plating is such an important part of writing instrument kits we would like
to offer a brief explanation of plating in general and of the plating we use.
GOLD PLATING. Gold plating is ultimately not durable when exposed to
abrasion. There just is no "free lunch". Gold plating can be made more durable
depending on the method used to plate, additives to the gold, and techniques
employed. No matter what, however, is done all gold plating will wear off over
time when abraded. This is simply a fact of physics. Plating other than gold can
be very durable. The following is an explanation of the various plating we use.
GOLD. All gold plating used on our kits is 24K "upgrade gold". Upgrade
means that the parts are plated using the rack method and that small amounts of
cobalt or palladium are added to the plating chemicals. This enhances the
durability of the gold plating. The tumbled method, which we do not use,
produces an inferior gold plating and is less costly.
TITANIUM GOLD. This method produces extremely durable and the most
durable plating. The process used is called PVD (particle vapor deposition).
Titanium nitride matched to the color of gold is molecularly bonded to the part
and then 24K gold is bonded (sputtered) on the part to achieve a color match to
our other gold parts. The parts are again re-plated after this. The final result
is that the parts will virtually never show wear. We pioneered this process for
writing instruments and are not aware of another company using the exact process
we are. . .
CHROME. This is an extremely durable plating. Under normal use
this plating should hold up for many years[.]
PLATINUM. This [is] a very durable hard plating. We use real
platinum rather than rhodium and it should be expected to hold up under normal
careful use for many years.
BLACK TITANIUM. This is titanium oxide molecularly bonded (PVD). This
plating is unbelievably hard and durable. It will last for many, many
The following was added by Ernie McFarlane.
BLACK CHROME. This is the same durable black chrome plating that is found on the parts in almost every pen kit. The improved black chrome is an extremely durable, rich, and bright black plating.
COPPER. The bright and satin copper platings have a proprietary coating over the copper. This coating provides superior durability and tarnish resistance. Bear Tooth Woods is proud to be the original designer of the copper plating, and we are the exclusive reseller of copper plating for Berea Hardwoods. The quality of the Berea kits and the proprietary coating means that Bear Tooth Woods is still the best place to get your copper plated pens. Do not risk buying from the knock-offs with their inferior kits and unproven platings.