Fountain Pen Restoration

Double Jewel Parker 51

Finally! I stumbled on this set a while ago as I have wanted to add a double jewel 51 to my collection for quite some time.  Double Jeweled 51s commenced the first year that Parker introduced the 51 – 1941.  First year Double Jewels are priced at a premium and separate themselves in many ways.  They had the date imprint on the blind cap and several caps from first year 51s are exceptional and rare.  The set that I acquired is not a first year set, but I am happy to have finally found one to use.  As a bonus, there is a pencil and well preserved box.

Below, you can see the exploded view of the components.  The only difference from the other 51 Vacumatics that I have written about ~

Black And Gold Parker 51 Vacumatic ~ September 25, 2008

Final Year For Parker 51 Vacumatics – 1948 ~ January 15, 2009

and several others (see Categories at right)

is that the blind cap has a jewel on the end as opposed to the conical blind cap.  Thus the term “double jewel”.  The blind cap for this pen can be seen in the lower left of the photo, with the jewel to the left of the cap.

All of the parts are present below, so the restoration was very straightforward.

I need to clean the pen thoroughly first as there was old ink stains throughout as well as the usual diaphragm remnants in the barrel.  Make certain that they are completely removed before proceeding to put the new diaphragm assembly back into the rear of the pen.  I used a debutante size diaphragm on this pen as with all of these Vacumatics.  The furniture is all gold and I used a combination of my Ultrasonic Cleaner and a jewelers cloth to polish the caps (both pen and pencil), nib and clips.  Note the ring that sits on the barrel between the barrel and the hood.  I believe the gold in the middle of the silver on these rings is gold plate and be very careful cleaning these as the gold plate can wear off.  I was careful to leave this alone and you can see from the second photo below that the gold remains.

I won’t go into detail on the restoration of this set as you can refer to one of the links above or in the Parker 51 Categories on the right of this page.  The most important items to remember, in my opinion, are to fully clean the inside of the barrel, to fully remove the old diaphragm pellet from the filler unit cup, and to make sure that the diaphragm is cut to the right length and seats perfectly in the barrel (use a gooseneck flashlight to confirm this) after the filler unit is fully replaced.

Below is the completed set.

As with the single jewel 51 Vacumatics, the double jewels came in four primary colors – India Black (this pen), Cordovan Brown, Cedar Blue, and Dove Grey.  Three more rare colors were Buckskin (tan), Nassau Green, and Yellowstone (mustard).  As mentioned, the Double Jewels are very highly sought after, with particular attention being paid to first year (1941) models.

The matching pencil is a twist mechanism and is turned clockwise to advance the lead.  The eraser is intact and the lead loads by inserting through the tip and twisting counter-clockwise.  Later pencils, produced with Aerometric 51s had mechanisms that advanced the lead by pushing down on the cap.

Photobucket

This set was produced in the fourth quarter of 1948, at the end of the Vacumatic 51 run.  By this time the Aerometric was being rolled out to replace the Vacumatic Filling system.  This also marked the end of the Double Jewels, as Aerometrics were only produced with a Single Cap Jewel.

The date stamp for these pens is on the barrel, just below the ring.  First year models differ and their date stamps can usually be found on the blind cap.

The box that this set came in is still in quite good shape.  This box is brown faux leather with gold trim and was one of the common boxes designed for Parker and used for Double Jewel sets.  Sets with original boxes certainly make these pens and pencils more valuable and are great display pieces.  I was very lucky to find these all together.

So, after all of these years of collecting, I finally found one of these, was able to restore it, and I look forward to trying it out in the near future.

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April 9, 2010 - Posted by | Parker 51, Parker Pen Company, Uncategorized | ,

5 Comments »

  1. Absolutely stunning find, Phil. I’m glad you didn’t have to work too hard to get this one back into shape. I’ve got to ask, where did you find that beauty, in the wild or on eBay?

    Comment by Jon | April 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by L Lim. L Lim said: shares: Double Jewel Parker 51: Finally! I stumbled on this set a while ago as I have wanted to add a double jewel… http://bit.ly/d1GpeD […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Double Jewel Parker 51 « Fountain Pen Restoration -- Topsy.com | April 28, 2010 | Reply

  3. My aunt passed away & left me a Parker Vacumatic Pen in Cordovan Body & Top I guess from your colors listed above.

    How can I found out its value & marketability??

    Regards

    Carl DeAngelo; Cell 936-697-1067

    Comment by carl deangelo | August 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Carl,

      Thank you for the email. Vacumatic 51s are nice pens, but almost always need restoration. As to value, if it is a double jewel, it is worth more than a single jewel by quite a bit. The second thing to look for is the cap. If it is without dents and has a blue painted diamond, that adds to the value as well. Without looking at it, I would say that a single jewel, unrestored, would fall in the $40 to $100 range, depending on condition. A double jewel would bring twice that amount or more, given the year of production.

      Another way to check the value, would be to go to ebay and search for Parker 51s up for auction and try to find one that looks like yours. Then track the auction to see how much the winning bid is for.

      I hope this helps a bit.

      Regards,

      Phil Munson

      Comment by all of us | August 17, 2010 | Reply

  4. Phil,
    I have a Parker 51 black pen and pencil set in the original
    box. They are solid 14k gold in near mint condition. the only thing wrong is the jewel on the pencil is missing, which i can get replaced for $10. How much do you think the
    set is worth? My father has had this pen set since the 1940’s.

    Comment by Dan Federice | November 6, 2010 | Reply


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