Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil – 9

The sterling silver Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil.

Two knowledgeable pencil talk readers in particular have regularly sung praises for this writing implement, and those comments assisted me in deciding to purchase one in February.

Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil

The pencil and extender come in a cloth pouch inside a wood box.

Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil

Apart from the material, the “double crown” of the cap is possibly the feature most different from other versions.

Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil

The excellent spring clip has some hallmarks:

Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil


Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil

And a closer view. Note that the eraser cap is also sterling.

Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil

It seems to call for a nice journal.

Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil

And a family portrait. One of them definitely seems to not belong!

Faber-Castell Sterling Silver Perfect Pencil

Regular readers will have heard some of this before – I love the way Faber-Castell has paid tribute to the woodcase pencil in this series. Creating a fantastic pencil and a companion for it that allowed entry into the top writing implement shops in the world’s major cities is a wonderful act that has helped preserve the pencil.

2011 will be Faber-Castell’s 250th anniversary. Perhaps they will unveil a new perfect pencil or even something completely new?

Further reading: Perfect Pencils at pencil talk

27 Replies to “Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil – 9”

  1. Great post, and as usual, great pictures. I’m wondering about the “hallmarks” on the clip, though. Did you get this from Skripta? I don’t have those markings on mine, and I wonder if they aren’t flaws.

    On a related note, it seems all that’s left are the white gold and stainless steel versions. I recently acquired an original brochure from the Limited Edition promotion. There were only 241 of The Stainless Edition (115571), and 99 of the White Gold version (115570). Both feature 3 diamonds. I really like the design, especially the plain eraser cap — I wish they would issue the same but without the diamonds. Of course, they only way I could afford one would be if I were the fastest runner among those present at the time. Someone has been trying to sell a steel version on eBay.de for over a year now.

    F-C is currently putting together a commemorative book for their 250th anniversary (you probably already know about this), and there’s a brand new book out—”The Ultimate Book of Pens” by Barbro Barenfeld—that has one of the Limited Edition pencils on the cover.

    Thanks again…I can’t wait to read your review of the Stainless Steel Perfect Pencil on day…. :)

  2. It is from Skripta-Paris. The marks have what I might call “micro-writing” of which I can make out only a few characters. Flaws? Maybe. But with regard to sterling silver fountain and ballpoint pens, I found this at Faber-Castell’s site: “They can be recognised by the double crown on the cap and the hallmark.”

  3. Great article. As I am not keen on diamonds, this silver version would be the most desirable one for me. About the hallmarks: I was under the impression that hallmarks are not normally used in Germany (I am not 100% sure though), so there could be two reasons why there is a hallmarked version and one without. Either they were produced at different times, or – since hallmarking costs money – they are not hallmarked if they are producted for a country that does not normally use hallmarks.

  4. Germany isn’t a signatory to the Vienna Convention on hallmarking, but most German silver does carry the purity mark – the number 925 in an oval indicating 925 parts per 1000 of pure silver. You can see it laser engraved at the bottom of the extender and on the eraser cap
    The marks on the clip aren’t very clear. The oval ought be the 925 mark again but I can’t read what’s inside. It could be 925 superimposed on a pair of balance scales. One of the other marks would be the mark of an assay office in the country where it was marked. British silver would have a choice of a leopard’s head for London, an anchor for Birmingham, a rose for Sheffield and a castle for Edinburgh. The only other one I know is the Swiss mark – a St Bernard dog’s head. I think they really are intentional marks and not flaws. They’ve been struck with a punch. The clip would be the place since punching any other part would distort and ruin it.
    I’m envious because I only have the UFO version and the Graf pencils are too wide to fit in it.

  5. What a wonderful family portrait and I just love how Rooster Bob takes the limelight. It would be nice to one day see the two wealthy cousins show up in a family portrait, but then again would one rather have a pencil or a good condition Porsche 911.

  6. I’m sorry — I wasn’t clear. The double-ringed capped I was aware of, I was speaking of the marks on the clip.

    Just thought of something…maybe those markings are proof of a centuries-old church order protecting the true secret of the holy grail. The DaSkripta Code.

    Or not.

  7. Did guys in dark glasses driving people carriers chase you?

    If it’s the holy grail of pencils – they’re too late. We already have the PP

  8. I’ve seen them, and I have a cheap version bought at the Faber Castell in Frankfurt. The sterling one, although absolutely gorgeous, it’s a bit pricey for me…

  9. Sean, I understood. Here is an alternate photo:

    Now maybe I’m deluding myself, but I think I see some portrait type impressions, and possibly text in the oval.

  10. I just had a look at the Skripta Paris web site, and they write that the PP is 585 silver? Yours is 925. Are there two version, or, more likely, did they just make a mistake?

  11. Memm, 585 is a gold mark indicating 58.5% pure gold or 14 karat gold. it looks like they made a mistake.

    I did some research staring with French hallmarks (since Scripta is a French shop) et voila the French guarantee mark for 925 silver is a portrait of Minerva in profile looking right. I can’t think why there should be two of them and I can’t find anything like the oval except for an out of date mark of an oval with an owl in it that was used to re mark second hand silver. I tried makers’ marks but French marks are all diamond shaped and German ones are a series of marks.
    Anyway, I think we can say these are definitely hallmarks not faults.

  12. Thanks Michael for that information! I’m completely unfamiliar with hallmark conventions, and a little surprise to find out that the receiving country super-imposed their own hallmark in addition to the originating country.

    Thanks again.

  13. Gold, silver or platinum imported into the UK is re-marked unless it has the Common Control Mark.
    I’m not certain but I suppose that French law is somewhat similar – and it makes sense. The pencil doesn’t have the 925 on scales mark so it would be assayed and marked in France ebfore sale.

  14. Perhaps a silly question, but here goes. I have been told by more than one dealer that the silver perfect pencil is no longer available. I am assuming this means the silver plated version, which seems to have been replaced by the platinum plated model. But isn’t the sterling silver still in production? Faber-Castell lists it on its web site at $395 (USD). I’m struggling with the choice (assuming the sterling is still available at all). Should one really pay a hefty premium for sterling, which has the benefit of greater heft and luxuriousness, with the downside of tarnish and maintenance that platinum plate will not entail.

    Thoughts anyone?

  15. @David: Hmm! The Graf extender is a”must have” for pencil folks, but I find it more of a show piece than a practical item. I would go for the green 9000 or try to find an old model on EBay (without sharpener – the slim one, to the left on the family photo).

    IMHO the current version of the Graf extender, silver or not, has a couple of flaws, when it comes to versatility: It will take Graf pencils only, no other brand will fit – and it is heavy, which means the pencil becomes top heavy, when the silver cap is posted.

    Very nice and informative article really beautiful photos – every time I read your blog, I learn something new, this time about hallmarks.

    BTW. The family portrait is really nice – but aren’t the oldest cousin absent? (the silver version with the eraser in the extender?):-)
    Regards Henrik

  16. I guess I fell for the “show” aspect of the “perfect” and sprung for a platinum plate model — just completed a MAJOR cleanup of my home office desk and just had to have a new little wood box with a shiny thing inside. My first obsessive-complusive pencil purchase — hopefully this won’t go the way of my out of control fountain pen collection! Will report back to the troops when the new “prefect” arrives.

  17. Michael, thank you for this information! That is a really valuable contribution.

    Henrik, there may be several family members not in the photo – I certainly don’t claim this is a complete list. (For example, in the mechanical pencil area, one can see that Faber-Castell has released various alternative product versions in Asia, for example.)

    David, hope you enjoy the purchase!

  18. I like the idea of the perfect pencil. The silver model is beautiful although I personally found it a bit heavy for doing a lot of writing. Does anyone know if the UFO model is lighter? It’s obviously a lot cheaper, but is it any good?

  19. I love my sterling silver Perfect Pencil and I use it with other pencils because I won’t pay $10 for a shortened pencil that isn’t superior to other premium pencils selling at a fraction of that price. I fashioned a removable clear plastic sleeve/shim that sits discreetly inside the extender so that thinner pencils fit snugly.

    I use Hagerty’s silver polish which has a tarnish preventative agent that keeps my extender free from tarnish for about a year. The platinum plate version (which I own too) is beautiful but nothing beats sterling silver’s patina.

    The green 9000 extender is decent but I’ve had quite a few of them crack and it feels a bit too thick to hold when you’re down to the last bit of pencil. The much slimmer sterling silver and platinum plate extenders just feel closer to the diameter of a pencil than the other models.

    One last thought, I never considered any of the Perfect Pencils (including the green 9000) to be something I would post on a pencil in general use. To me, they are to be used as extenders for when a pencil gets too short to hold comfortably and as protectors of pencil points. What I love about writing with pencils is that they are so light in the hand that there’s a freedom that you don’t get with heavier writing instruments. An extender is a necessary evil because I don’t like wasting pencils.

  20. I recentely buy such a pencil. second left on foto. In a beautifull case with silverlike top closing. The case containes also a individual number tag. My quenstion is: Is it possible to investigate the productiondate of the pencil using the individual number……?

  21. I have to say the Faber Perfect Pencil in Green Plastic…what a great item: inexpensive and has all the benefits of it’s more grand brothers in silver…

    $10 is a great deal…I have a few extras tucked away should they quit making them. Also the small green pencil with eraser is perfect also…the Faber B grade is excellent for everyday writing tasks.

    Why don’t other companies do something with this idea of the pencil length extender/protector/sharpener/with pocket clip, that accepts almost all pencil types?? Excellent item for those of us who still use wood pencils…and a great gift to our younger friends to keep wood pencil use a priority!

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