Apollo XV 75, 1972
Embedded with lunar dust,

This FP cap and barrel was made out of titanium.  Even the nib was made of titanium!

What made this pen even more special was the plate that you see on the barrel.  Moon dust retrieved by Apollo XV astronauts James B. Irwin and David R. Scott was embedded into powdered gold through a process known as sintering, and formed into small panels.  These panels were then mounted on the barrel.

The panel's inscription reads

Traces of Lunar Material
Apollo 15

Based upon PR from the firm, at first it was thought that only 3 of these special pens were made and presented to the US State Department.  President Nixon kept one and took the other two on his historic trip to China in 1972, opening the door to normal US-China relations.  The President presented them to Yao Wen-yuan, Municipal Representative of the City of Shanghai, and Nan P'ing, the Chairman of Chekiang Provincial Revolutionary Committee.    Thus this unique Parker 75 pen was involved with the trip that paved the way for normalized relations with the People's Republic of China.

It was later learned that Parker secretly made an additional two FPs.  Apparently one escaped captivity and surfaced at the Chicago 2000 pen show auction.  I mentioned this in the website update after the show and that this pen reached the hammer price of $4500.  Subsequent to the auction, this FP and the Atlas booster pen sold for approximately $20,000!!

On Feb 23, 2001 this FP and the Atlas booster pen changed hands once more via a Bonhams auction.  The hammer price ended at GBP 16,000!!  Including the buyer's premium of 15% this puts the price at over GBP 18,400 before any V.A.T. and transaction fees.  Or in terms closer to home this amounts to around US $26,500 for this FP alone, likely to be a new world record for the single highest price ever paid for a Parker 75 FP.  Boy, this certainly is a far cry from the $4500 attained when sold at auction during the Chicago 2000 pen show!

Here is the photograph that Parker made of this special pen.  Click the picture for a larger 100K version.


Update of 12-31-02

Here are more pictures of the pen in its unfinished state, which had flat tassies.

(Send me email if you are interested in acquiring this unique piece of history for your collection.)


Here is an official promotional picture of the pen made by Parker.  

You'll notice that there are Chinese characters in the picture, the translation for the caption "Peace through Understanding through Communications".  This makes sense because this package was presented by President Richard Nixon to two Chinese officials during his ground-breaking trip to China as written above.  Oh, one more detail, those two pens given by Nixon had titanium nibs installing, something that is extremely difficult to find.