Prismacolor Turquoise Pencil

Cap of the Prismacolor Turquoise pencil.

Here’s a modern pencil with a unique retro look and quite a bit of history. The Eagle Turquoise dates from at least 1901 (according to the Berol UK website) and is mentioned in Petroski’s The Pencil. It was made by Eagle (which became Berol), and eventually acquired by Sanford.

The pencil is turquoise (did I have to state that?) with silver stamping, and has a noticeable metal cap. It’s not a common feature. The cap has a faint red stripe.

It is imprinted:

USA ‘Chemi-Sealed’ Prismacolor Turquoise 02263 (375) 2B

The five digit number varies with the pencil grade.

It’s a good pencil, and does indeed seem quite strong. It writes smoothly and darkly without the graphite crumbling – no complaints.

The box (a typical art supply tin) has this description:

“The long-standing tradition of Turquoise professional drawing pencils continues to set the industry standard for the highest quality in technical and fine art drawing. Pure and smooth laydown in a wide variety of grades, the lead sharpens to a perfect point for a scartchless, glossy line in any weight.”

The “Prismacolor” branding is much more emphasized than the “Turquoise” name.

I happen to have a couple of older boxes of Turquoise pencils from the Berol and Eagle eras, shown below.
Boxes of Vintage Turquoise pencil.

The newer box says, “Turquiose Eagle Drawing Pencils with strong, smooth durable leads precision graded in 17 degrees.”

The older box is more verbose:

“Stronger points…Developed by seven years of intensive research, the super-bonding process (U.S. Patent Nos. 1,854,905 and 1,892,508) welds the Turquoise lead and wood into a solid unit that effectively resists point breakage.

“Exact grading…Scientific proportioning of graphite and clay in 17 different lead formulas akes every Turquoise true-to-grade. The super bonding process prevents any change in this basic perfection and guarantees lasting uniformity.

“Smoother leads..The correct content of rare lubricating waxes is permanently retained in the leads by the impervious coating deposited on them in the super bonding process.”

Wow! Would it be possible to market a pencil in this manner today? I love all the references to science and research.

The older pencils actually have the patent numbers printed on the pencils!

The Turquoise is a winner – a reasonably priced high quality modern pencil, with some design flair and a century of history. What’s not to like?

Caps of the Prismacolor Turquoise pencil.

30 Replies to “Prismacolor Turquoise Pencil”

  1. I liked them at first. Unfortunately, in the darker grades, the quality can be inconsistent. While some 5-7B’s were smooth as butter, some had more than a few scratchy particles. It’s too bad, because they really are sharp looking!

  2. Thanks for the review! I had not heard of this pencil, but I quite like the look of them, I will have to track some down.

  3. USA ‘Chemi-Sealed’ Prismacolor Turquoise 02263 (375) 2B

    Or the New Version: Prismacolor Turquoise 02263 (375) 2B; with the USA engraved. The newer pencils have a very bad paint job, but the lead is great, also, the red line is barely getting printed.

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  5. Those were my favorites back in elementary school, I never really used them for drawing, they were my general pencils. The ones sold in Mexico were Berol (not sure about now) and were more easily found in dozens of the same grade, HB was the most popular. Also, I collected the little caps of every pencil I finished.

  6. whoa
    theses pencils are fright

    i gotta hunt some down

    there my birthstone color after all :]

  7. Hi, I have a question I was hoping that you could answer:
    Is there a difference in the older “Berol” colored pencils and the Prismacolor premier? Is one better than the other? Thanks much. :)

  8. Just picked some of these up today for around $0.80 USD in the art section of our university bookstore and would add that the cedar aroma was amazing. Nice added bonus.

  9. These are my Favorite pencils , just got to find them cheaper that 2 dollars a piece at my local art store

  10. I bought yesterday a couple of this pencils at Servicio Parker, a 52 year old store wich sell fountain pens in Medellín city, they were new old stock from the 70’s as well as a Venus Esterbrook -Venus dibujo profesional- since Berol bought Venus Esterbrook in 1971 the Turquoise -H- was marked Eagle not tipped, two -HB- one Eagle, one Berol both with ferrules and eraser, -B- Eagle not tipped, -2B 4B 5B- ferrule and eraser all of then rounded and finally a -6B- from recent production marked -Colombia Turquoise Paper Mate- since Sanford just manufacture 6B, HB 2H in Bogotá. The Eagle Pencil Company established in Colombia in 1956.

  11. I’ve been purchasing these pencils for years, and recently I got a new batch from I’ve got my old Prismacolor Turquoise HBs and new ones, but for some reason they are different!

    The old ones are marked as Made in USA, and have a 02262 code on it.
    The new ones are marked as Made in Mexico, and have a 2262 code on it.

    The difference in quality is astounding, the new ones seem to be knockoffs, the texture of the wood is different instead of uniform like the old USA ones, and the graphite is very soft; it’s as if I’d moved to a shitty 3B. Buyers BEWARE! Don’t buy these mexican pencils!

  12. Hi:

    My father passed away in 1989. I have approximately 20 boxes, each containing boxes, 12 in a box “Eagle “Chemi-Sealed” (Super Bonded) Turquoise Drawing Pencils Leads made with 100% “Electronic Graphite for matchless fine-point strength. The side of the box states 375 Turquoise 2H.

    I would like to know what these pencils are worth and how do I go about selling them? They have to be at least 40 years old in perfect shape.

  13. Sounds like something that some pencil collectors might appreciate. Also curious as to how would you go about estimating the value of a vintage item like this. E-bay would probably be an option.

  14. I bought some new ones yesterday. These are made in the USA, so I guess they are still available. On the other hand, this was a small shop and who knows how long these pencils have been there.

    p.s. Does anyone know a good site for buying pencils online? All I can get where I live is Ticonderogas and generics.

  15. Wow, lots of things I’ve never seen – whole new pencil worlds! Thank you!

  16. I’d used these pencils almost exclusively since I was fourteen years old in 1976.
    I’ve stopped using them about a year ago as they have become total crap.
    I teach drawing and students were coming in with these pencils that I’d recommended and they just weren’t doing what they were supposed to do. The grading was beyond inconsistent and many times reversed. They have also become loaded with hard spots and air pockets. I didn’t know about this change in quality personally as I had stockpiled my own stash from years ago.
    I would recommend trying Tombow Mono Professional pencils.
    My comments here aren’t based on usage for writing, but for making full valued realistic drawings. If you want some info on other brands, I’ve made reviews in an album on my facebook page….
    Happy drawing!!!!

  17. I have 3 boxes of 7H Eagle (Chemi-Sealed)Turquoise Drawing Pencils in the original Copper Box Super Bonded was wondering if anyone is interested I also have a couple of Venus 7H 3800 boxes of pencils as well and a few loose ones, the boxes alone are amazing. Kimberly 5H cabo Wald and a 12 pack of Musgrave 817 MONONA No2 Penciles.

  18. Wait, I’m confused – are Berol and Prismacolor the same company? Or is the “prismacolor” mentioned here completely separate from the brand of colored pencils?

  19. ColorGaia, Berol is a former company (and brand name). Prismacolor is an ongoing brand name that has had different company owners over the years.

  20. Hi!
    Any idea how these compare to the Sanford Eagle 2HB (discontinued)? I used to use the SE 2HB in grade school back in the 80s and loved it?

  21. I used Berol Turquoise for years. I didn’t realize that Prismacolor took the name and look of the old Berol pencils. So when I restocked, I didn’t notice the change. I find the new ones have VERY inconsistent lead quality vs. the old Berols. I find frequent hard chips which scratch the paper surface when trying to make even transitions, and leave dark lines which require repair. This has been consistent across various hardnesses. I quit using them as the time to fix inconsistancies is genuinely frustrating. I’ve been buying old stock Berol pencils.

  22. Just found an old stash of my father’s in his desk. They were made in Toronto Canada!

  23. I have a bunch of vintage E5 5375- 6 boxes of 12 and E4 5375-10 boxes of 12 also Staedtler/Mars 100 30 washproof for use drafting film

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