root of grading disagreement stems, really, from the use of grade to convey
value. It might not matter whether "moderate brassing" indicates
that a pen grades Excellent or just Very Good , were in not for the impact
that difference has on price. So, to be blunt, a big part of grading has
to do with pricing. One should seek accurately graded pens so as to pay
proper prices for pens and to have the chance one day to sell at proper
the "right price for the pen" is the key point to identify, since in the
retail arena grading is being used to convey value. To an expert,
independent of labels, a $100 pen is a $100 pen (a somewhat recursive
reference) whether one then labels that pen as VG or as Near Mint.
Whether we apply a conservative "VG", an overly optimistic "near mint"
or a painfully qualified "Excellent++ except for moderate brassing, tooth
marks, and weak imprint", the trick is for the pen to end up at the
proper price. The risk, as with all vintage collectables hobbies,
is to encounter overgrading with associated overpricing. Of course,
dealing with that can take a lifetime to learn :-)
is Vacumania.com's grading guide, for pens found at this site.
|New Old Stock
unused pen asserted to have been never sold. Uncertainty exists as to
confirming how the unsold status possibly cold be confirmed.
||Pen never met ink. Unused.
||Pen has been inked. Otherwise
superb. Expect sharp imprints, unbrassed trim
||Minimal wear. Trace high
point brass IS allowed (eg. the clip ball of a Parker Duofold). Imprints
sharp. Threads intact and functioning
||A gray zone grade offered
as a concession to pens a nominal flaw away from Excellent. One feature
is off. Imprint weak or a bit more brassing than is conveyed by Excellent.
Consider Extra-Fine to mean "Pen is Excellent except for X", with X representing
one weaker detail
||Still a nice pen. Moderate
brassing, weaker imprint, more wear to plastic (light teethmarks) etc all
can be in play. Pen still is clean and presentable.
||The slippery slope continues.
Light imprint, heavier brassing, stress lines (but not hairlines
or cracks) to cap-lip, etc.
||User grade pens have a large
flaw that is of great significance to value, independent of other grading
features. Most commonly, user grade will reference a Hairline cap
crack, barrel crack, bad cosmetic flaw, etc. Note that the flaw will be
described, and the overall grade will be provided independent of the flaw
that renders the pen USER GRADE.
The nib (The writing point, which in the old days actually *was* called
the "pen", when the fancy barrel and cap we tend to focus on now, was just
the pen holder)
||No evidence of wear or ink
||Signs of Ink Exposure
||Mild Wear. No damage
||Moderate Wear. Modest signs
of adjustment or of straightening
||More worn. A bit if bend/ripple
||Quite Worn. more flawed
||Severe flaw. Crack.
Missing Iridium. etc.
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