Most Expensive Pens in the World and Affordable Alternatives (2024)

Look, we all wish we could be ballers, flying private jets, wearing the finest clothes, and jewelry; not having a worry in the world that couldn’t be fixed with money.

While that might be the reality for a few, it’s a fantasy for most.

Just like watches and cars, the most expensive pens in the world are made for the uber-wealthy. These aren’t your usual “grail-worthy” pens. They’re on a whole. Other. Level. 

In this article, we showcase these virtually priceless pens, tell you why they’re so dearly priced, and offer affordable alternatives that are more “down to Earth.”

The Most Expensive Pen Ever Sold: The Fulgor Nocturnus By Tibaldi

The most expensive pen in the world is the Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi which sold for $8 million dollars at auction. Translated from Latin, Fulgor Nocturnus means “night glow” which seems appropriate given the black diamond bling on this precious fountain pen.

Materials: 123 Rubies, 945 Black Diamonds, Gold

The structure and design of the Fulgor Nocturnus are based on the Phi ratio, also known as the Divine Proportion. The body and cap are encrusted with black diamonds with blood-red rubies embellishing the cap.

Alternative: Visconti Divina

The Visconti Divina is also based on the divine proportion, expressed in the twisting, nautilus shape, as well as the proportion of the cap length to the rest of the body.

While Visconti’s current lineup of Divina pens may not be encrusted with diamonds, there was an edition called the Peau D’Ange that had over 200 inlaid Swarovski crystals.  And we believe it's just as beautiful as some of the most expensive pens in the world.

Cost of a current Visconti Divina fountain pen today: $1,295

Savings versus the Fulgor Nocturnus: $7,998,705 (99% savings)

Aurora Diamante Fountain Pen

After seeing the most expensive pen in the world at $8 million, Aurora Diaminte’s $1.47 million price tag seems like a bargain! Aurora only makes one of these pens a year. So, once you become a billionaire, you may have to wait your turn.

Materials: Platinum, 1,919 De Beers Diamonds (30 carats), 18kt gold nib

Since 1919, Aurora continues to make each pen completely from its factory in Torino, Italy. For the Diamante, Aurora encrusts a solid platinum barrel with an incomprehensible amount of diamonds.

Alternative: Aurora 88 Fountain Pen

At its heart, the million-dollar Diamante has the same 18kt writing nib you would find on other premium Aurora fountain pens that look like the most expensive pens in the world at a fraction of the price. Obtain a gorgeous Italian, piston-filling fountain pen that writes like a million bucks with the Aurora 88. Like the Diaminte, the 88 has a piston-filling mechanism with an ink window to see the volume of ink inside the pen. The 88 collection is available in a variety of colorful resins and styles, albeit not crusted in diamonds.

Cost of a current Aurora 88 fountain pen: $895 retail

Savings versus the Aurora Diamante : $1,469,105 (99.9% savings)

Caran d’Ache 1010 Diamonds Fountain Pen

You can set a watch to the consistency of the Swiss Made Caran d’Ache fountain pen. While Switzerland is well known for the quality of its timepieces, it also produces one of the most expensive pens in Caran d’aAche.

Created in homage to the Swiss Haute Horlogerie, the Caran d’Ache 1010 line takes its name after the time in which the hands of the dial show ten past ten. The 1010 Diamonds that embellish this fountain pen reigns it as one of the most expensive pens in the world boasting a price tag exceeding $1 million.  It seamlessly combines opulent elements reminiscent of skeleton watches making it an epitome of luxury and prestige in the realm of writing instruments

Materials: 18kt solid white gold with 850 diamonds, 18kt gold nib

Three types of diamond cuts embellish this million-dollar fountain pen: Brilliant, Emerald, and Baguette-cut. The barrel’s intricate, gear-like design makes the pen look as though it has the guts of a watch. This Swiss-made pen writes with an 18kt gold nib.

Alternative: Laban Galileo Fountain Pen

The pattern of overlapping gears and complex metalwork is also seen on a significantly less expensive fountain pen. Since the 1980s, Laban continues to build on its reputation for producing high-class writing instruments designed with metal overlays. The Galileo collection honors the discoveries of the early astronomer with a complex metalwork overlaid on a resin base.

Instead of an 18kt gold nib, the Laban writes with a stainless steel nib, which reduces the price to an approachable $280 retail.

Cost of a Laban Galileo fountain pen: $280

Savings versus the Caran d’Ache 1010 Diamonds fountain pen: $999,720 (99.9% savings)

Montblanc Boheme Royal

Of course, how could this be a list of the most expensive pens in the world if we don’t mention Montblanc. The paragon of pen luxury makes quite a few precious limited editions. One of the most unique pen (and expensive) pens is the pocket-sized, diamond-covered Boheme Royal at $1.5 million.

Materials: 18kt solid gold with 1,430 diamonds, 18kt gold retractable nib

Like the Nike “Swoosh” or the bitten Apple logo, the Montblanc “snowflake” is synonymous with the brand’s identity and commands a dear price over other pens. The Boheme is to another extreme. 19 diamonds embellish the infamous Montblanc snowflake logo.

Considering the pen’s smaller, pocket-worthy size, you certainly aren’t paying extra for an extra-large pen. What also makes it different than the other most expensive  pens in the world on this list is the fact this fountain pen has a retractable nib.

The Boheme Royal is available in either all-white diamonds or with a pattern of alternating black and white diamonds.

Alternative: Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen

The Pilot Vanishing Point is a highly collectible, retractable-nib fountain pen in its own right. Thankfully, it’s significantly less costly than the Montblanc Boheme Royal.

Each year, Pilot introduces a new, limited edition design made in limited quantities that matches the year it was made (2,023 pens made in 2023, for example). Despite the fact that these pens aren’t encrusted in diamonds, they are still valuable and tend to appreciate over time in the secondary market.

Cost of a Pilot Vanishing Point Limited Edition (new 2023 edition): $400

Savings versus the Montblanc Boheme Royale fountain pen: $1,499,600 (99.9% savings)

Montegrappa Ancient Mexican Civilizations Fountain Pen

To recognize the advancements and culture of ancient Mexican civilizations, Montegrappa launched a limited edition unlike any other in the company’s 100-year history. For this pen, depictions of Mayan gods, architecture, and sacrificial tools were arranged in a totem for the year of the prophesized apocalypse

When it comes to their limited editions, Montegrappa usually offers a few tiers of exclusivity, depending on how serious of a collector you are (and how much the budget will allow). Montegrappa made only 20 of this dearly-priced fountain pen which is also known as one of "the most expensive pens in the world", made from solid gold, costing $143,000.

Materials: 18kt solid gold, 18kt gold nib

What, no diamonds? Yes, a pen doesn’t need to be peppered with bling in order to justify its cost. For this pen, Mongtegrappa sculpts the Mayan gods and architecture using lost wax casting.

Alternative: Retro 51 Tornado Dino Fossil Fountain Pen

Many Retro 51 pen designs are made using an acid-etching technique that sculpts the surface of the metal barrel, often finished in brass, copper, pewter, or stainless steel. Like the Montegrappa Ancient Mexican Civilizations pen, the pen decorations can be intricate, honoring history, culture, and influential figures.

Cost of a Retro 51 Tornado fountain pen: $116

Savings versus the Montegrappa Ancient Mexican Civilizations fountain pen: $142,884 (99.9% savings)

What Makes These Most Costly Pens So Valuable?



As we surveyed the most expensive pens in the world on this list, the materials tend to be precious (and expensive) in nature. Precious metals like gold and platinum cost many hundreds of dollars per ounce. Diamonds, a common component for most of the priciest of pens, cost at least $5,000 per carat weight.



Tibaldi, Montblanc, Aurora, Caran d’Ache, and Montegrappa are all established brand names in the pen world with decades of experience in crafting luxury writing instruments. While their resumes are long, their image is also as important. It’s why the Montblanc “snowflake” is instantly recognizable, even if the average person doesn’t know anything about fountain pens. For those seeking Montblanc alternatives, brands like Tibaldi, Aurora, Caran d’Ache, and Montegrappa offer comparable quality and luxury in writing instruments.

Luxury brands like Montblanc allocate significant resources from their marketing budget to associate their writing instruments with iconic figures.  Having the image of renowned Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh attached to their brand is a powerful connection that vaults the prestige of Montblanc. Influential people set the trends for the rest of us who desire an increase in status.

Fine pens, especially the most expensive pens in the world like those we described in this article, are status items more than they are functional writing tools. The pen, and the brand, say something about its owner.



Although pens are available in all shapes and sizes, most pens conform to the basic structure of having a long, cylindrical body with a cap and a nib. At its minimalist core, a pen is a stick that makes marks on paper with ink. So, when a manufacturer can elevate the design of a pen beyond our wildest imagination, they are usually rewarded with a higher perceived value.

Looking at the most expensive pens in the world, it seems like all you have to do is encrust a tube with diamonds and attach a nib. Slap a million-dollar price tag and you’re set, right? In addition to the brand value, the pen’s design and inspiration factor greatly in the perceived value of the writing instrument.

Take the Caran d’Ache 1010 Diamond limited edition, for example. Not only does it have diamonds, but three different types of cuts and a barrel sculpted to appear like the inner workings of a watch. Those who already collect expensive watches will understand the reference and appreciate the fine attention to detail in expressing the pen’s theme and design.



While I can’t personally imagine writing my daily to-do list with a million-dollar pen, the writing experience should be the best possible if I’m going to invest that much money in one expensive pen. 18kt gold is one of the highest quality materials to make into a nib because it is soft, pliable, and responsive to the page. Gold is also one of the most desirable metals in the world.

As you saw with the alternative suggestions on this list, there are plenty of pens that utilize the 18kt gold nib. Even with the most premium writing tips, they only cost 0.00001% of the most expensive pens in the world. That tells us the most essential part - the writing experience - of a luxury pen can be accessible to the masses, not just the privileged few. This is especially true when considering the best luxury ballpoint pens, which offer a premium writing experience without the premium price tag of the most expensive pens.

Montblanc Pens: Leaders of the Most Expensive  Pens

Although we presently don’t represent the Montblanc brand (they don’t do business with companies that sell online only), we can appreciate the enthusiasm they generate with their limited edition releases.

Each year, Montblanc delights collectors with new limited editions that pay homage to great writers, famous figures, classic literature, and spectacles of human achievement. A recent example is the “First Ascent to the Mont Blanc” limited edition. It honors the first mountaineers that summited Mont Blanc in 1786 and served as the inspirational spirit behind the company’s iconic name.

These luxury pens cost in the tens of thousands and some of the limited editions do not even list their price, as they must be at least six figures if not more.

Montblanc continues to push the boundaries of its designs, exploring new techniques to describe the pen as an art form. Each edition incorporates elements that describe the theme in flawless detail.

Since Montblanc continues to be the dominant force in the luxury & most expensive pen market, these limited editions will continue to appreciate in value among collectors.

However, we realize that most of our pen pals might not be in the fortunate financial situation to collect the most expensive pens in the world, Montblanc or otherwise. So, we hope that you will explore the alternatives suggested in this article, and feel free to use the Goldspot Pens website as a resource to shop for an amazing deal on a fine writing instrument.

To find a worthy pen for yourself or as a gift, make use of the search filtering tools to narrow down your selection by nib material (e.g. stainless steel, 18kt gold), pen material (resin, sterling silver, etc.), and price. We feel confident you’ll be able to find a great writing instrument for a fair price you can afford.

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