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My Pen Collection Stats – End of 2023

Posted in Fountain Pens

Another year, another overview of my collection. While I really enjoy the approach I used last year, I realize that such in-depth data visualization is not to everyone’s taste. And, while this is my blog and I can write/share what I like, I’d also like my readers to enjoy my posts.

So, this year, with the help of my non-data-hoarding husband, I’ve put together some stat highlights of my collection. I’ve included only on the fountain pens I currently own, so you will see a discrepancy between the numbers this year and the numbers from previous.

For anyone who needs, or wants, an accessible version of the graphics below, I put together a PDF of the graphics. I’ve also made sure that all of the data in the graphics is also in the text. Feel free to choose the method of reading this post that most appeals to you: text, graphics, or PDF.

A quick note before I get started: click any of the below images to view them larger.

Most Purchased

I took a look at the top three indie and mainstream brands I acquired pens from in 2023. On the indie side, I got 4 pens from Rob’s Penworks, 3 from Stanford Pen Studio, and 2 from Shibui North. On the mainstream side, I got 7 pens from Benu — looks like they’re my new TWSBI — 3 from Nahvalur, and 2 from TWSBI.

I also reviewed the brands I own the most pens from. Iron Feather Creative leads the indie makers at 6 pens, closely followed by Stanford Pen Studio at 5, and 18111 with 4. I should note that I also have 4 pens from ARTUS and Rob’s Penworks; 18111 made the graphic because it’s first in alphabetical order.

Data visualization of the previous two paragraphs.

Pen Origin

It’s always fun to see where my pens are from. Does anyone know of any pen makers in South America or Australia? I seriously doubt there will ever be a pen maker in Antarctica.

I’m pleased with how evenly disbursed my collection is, although I need to buy from a Canadian maker or three.

I have 53 pens from North American makers — 31% of my collection — all from the USA. 55 of my pens are from European makers — 32% of my collection. I have 18 from Italy, 11 from Armenia, 9 from Germany, 7 from Russia, 7 from the United Kingdom (yes, I know that’s not a country, but several UK makers don’t list their location), 2 from Ireland, and 1 from Poland.

Just one South African maker made my 5 pens from Africa — 3% of my collection. And, last, but certainly not least, I have 59 pens from Asian makers — 34% of my collection. I have 30 pens from Japan, 24 pens from Taiwan, and 5 pens from China.

Data visualization of the previous two paragraphs.

Pen Type

While seemingly disparate, I pulled some highlights of the types of pens I own.

First is the distribution type of my pens, separated by mainstream and indie. These won’t add up for my pen collection, as a pen may be, for example, both a special edition and an exclusive. Before I give you the figures, allow me to provide my definition of some terms I’ve used:

  • Special Edition: If a pen edition will be retired sooner than a standard edition, but is not numbered, I call it a special edition.
  • Limited Edition: A limited edition pen is basically a numbered special edition. You know how many pens the edition is limited to. This shouldn’t be confused with Retro 51’s open numbered edition, where each pen is numbered, but there is no pre-set limit to the total number of pens produced.
  • Customized: This is a pen that has after-market customization, like Bokumondoh does.

Of my 110 mainstream pens: 40 are special edition, 38 are standard distribution, 30 are limited edition, 17 are exclusive to a specific store, and 1 each is customized, a prototype, and custom ordered. Breaking down my 62 indie pens: 34 are standard distribution (for an indie maker), 12 are custom orders, 9 are limited editions, 6 are special editions, and 1 is an exclusive.

Next up we have special finishes. I have 15 pens that are hand-painted, 8 that are engraved, and 11 that feature urushi art.

And, last but not least, we have pen age. I stumbled across the post When is a Pen Vintage? from Chronicles of a Fountain Pen and based my pen age classification around their suggestions. I modified the years a bit, though.

I own 1 antique pen — made before 1930 — 2 vintage pens — made between 1930 and 1969 — 1 classic pen — made between 1970 and 1999 — and 168 contemporary pens — made in the 2000s. I’m not really one for vintage or antique pens, and I, thankfully, haven’t fallen in love with classic pens, either.

Data visualization of the Pen Type textual content.


I find retention one of the most interesting stats. I know, technically, it’s never comparing apples to apples given that my tastes and interests will likely continue to change as I continue on my collecting journey. But, I can still look at how many pens I’m keeping versus selling for a given year. I can also keep track of pen purchases in general.

As a reminder, “disposed” is simply the best word I could think of to encompass all forms of no longer owning a pen (e.g. selling, gifting, losing).

In 2016, I only acquired 3 pens; I own 1, 1 is for sale, and 1 is disposed of. In 2017, I acquired 24 pens; I own 1, 1 is for sale, and 21 are disposed of. 2018 saw 37 acquisitions, 13 of which I still own and 24 of which I disposed of. 2019 had an embarrassing 50 purchases, although I only own 18, 1 is for sale, and 31 were disposed of. 2020 and 2021 had 38 acquisitions, of which I still own 21 and 25 respectively, 4 and 5 are for sale, and 13 and 8 have been disposed of. 2022 saw an also embarrassing 46 acquisitions, of which I still own 34, with 6 for sale, and 6 disposed of. Finally, 2023 saw 40 acquisitions, of which I still own 39, with only 1 for sale.

Data visualization of the previous paragraph.


And, of course, I can’t leave out nibs. I also slimmed these stats way down, looking only at the types of grinds and specialty nibs I own, what brand nibs my indie pens are threaded for, and the material my mainstream brand nibs are made of.

Considering all of my nibs (indie and mainstream), I own 13 flex nibs, 10 stub and stub-like nibs, 9 obliques, 3 in the architect family, 3 stacked nibs, and 3 other specialty grinds. I only have indie pens threaded for Bock and Jowo, with 8 and 54, respectively. But, I have a decent distribution of nib materials on my mainstream pens: 2 titanium, 6 21K gold, 16 18K gold, 20 14K gold, and 66 steel.

What did you think of this new format for pen collection stats? Do you prefer it to last year’s Google Data Studio version? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. Make sure to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss any posts. I generally post at least once a week.

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