Ten Dollar Pencils

Pencils costing ten dollars or more
Click to enlarge

When the Musgrave Single Barrel pencil came out, the blog noted that it was priced at $US10 a pencil. (Today it is $14.) This placed the Single Barrel in the same stratospheric market segment as the famous Graf von Faber-Castell Desk Pencil.

Recently I realized there are other very expensive woodcase pencils on the market, and thought it might be fun to take a look at them. I’m defining expensive as costing approximately ten US dollars or more. All of these pencils have a limited production aspect, and a special feature or two. Unexpectedly, I observe that the Graf von Faber-Castell is probably the most traditional and conservative offering here – a cedar wood case pencil with a standard lead, and widely available at retail for many years.

Graf von Faber-Castell No. III Desk Pencil

Official Website

This is one of pencildom’s icons. The fluted design, the beautiful and slightly oversized cedar, and the amazing silver plated cap have made this an instantly recognizable pencil for a quarter century. The pencil line has been extended with less expensive non-silver cap versions and guilloche versions in multiple colours. Something I do note is a current lack of retail availability. I’m not sure if the line is being withdrawn or perhaps refreshed.

Numen Design Unimina Flat: Birch

Official Website

This pencil hasn’t been mentioned at the blog yet, though there is a very popular photo at the pencil talk Instagram account. Handmade from repurposed plywood, it is a beautiful pencil. Numen Design constantly sells out. A few years ago I thought handmade pencils might take off, but there aren’t that many being made and I don’t believe commercial quality ones are easy to make.

Musgrave Single Barrel

Official Website

The inspiration for this post, the Single Barrel was mentioned in 2021. Let’s hope it inspires other manufacturers to dig into their archives.

Les Crayons Caran d’Ache Exotic Woods

Official Website

Mentioned a number of times at pencil talk, this series is now in it’s 10th edition, apparently with patchouli fragrance. There have been some marketing and description issues in the past; it seems quite amazing to have survived all these years.

Shown is the Grey Limba pencil from Series 7.

Caran d’Ache Nespresso Graphite Pencils

Official Website

There have been two editions of the Nespresso pencil, one in Swiss Beech and one in cedar. The least expensive of these six pencils – you might even get one for less than $10 – they’re interesting becuase of the quality construction, interesting lead, and of course the marketing and ability to push what is in some aspects an advertising pencil into the high street.

Shown here is a pencil from the Nespresso 2nd edition with a gold cap, apparently based on a Nespesso flavour called Volluto.

Bosco Woods Pencil

Official Website

A pencil talk favourite, we love this series. It is a tribute to pencil making and the beauty of pencils. After years of availability, it seems to be ending the retail run.

Shown here is Bosco pencil No. 1, made from Japanese Cypress.

So who has some ten dollar pencils? Do you like them?

4 Replies to “Ten Dollar Pencils”

  1. I haven’t heard of the Numen pencil but it looks really special. Thanks for letting us know about these pencils.

  2. Thank you for a very interesting post. I have a GVFC Magnum pencil, which is a lovely writer and very comfortable to use. I bought the pencil by itself to test-out, as I wanted to see what I thought of the pencil before committing to buying a full “Perfect Pencil” set. I’m now saving-up for one!

  3. My new Bosco set arrived today thanks to this post. So worth it! Love the sense of weight throughout that set, the way the oak pencil is genuinely heavy, whilst the walnut is light as a feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *