Goldring Onyx Vintage Pistonfiller Fountain Pen


Is it a Pelikan, is it a tortoise? No! It is a Goldring!Goldring, is a vintage brand from East Germany. Therefore, there is a little bit of an inspiration from the fellow brand Pelikan. Allright, allright, inspiration could be more than a bit.

On top of the screw cap of Goldring Onyx, we have a finely engraved branding. And clips has also quite similar decorations with Pelikan clips.


Golding Onyx fountain pen has a piston filling ink system. And on top of the piston knob, there is a blind cap which protects you from the accidents caused by fountain pen illiterate friends.


Unfortunately, I am not sure if my Golding is bearing an original nib or not since some Goldring pens has nibs engraved with Goldring brand and some has “garantiert” nibs like this. Although the nib seems a bit small for the body, it still gives a nice writing performance.


This little nib on Goldring Onyx has the quality to make you happy if you are looking for a flex pen. If one day, you came across with a Goldring pen in a thrift store or an antique market, maybe you could remember this review and give a chance to it.


Zeynep Vintagepen


  1. Hi Zeynep,

    One learns something new everyday. Never heard about this brand from DDR before! Thanks for posting this! The pen bears more than a passing resemblance to classic Pelikans made in the then “West Germany”… How would you rate the build and materials’ quality of this Goldring Onyx vis-à-vis, say, a typical Pelikan 140 from the early 1960s?

    The nib, despite its lackluster appearance, is both wet and flex, which is good and not so common around the same time period in pens made in Western Europe, when rigid and firm nibs became more or less widespread (possibly because an increasingly larger number of people was getting used to ballpoints too).

    Your post reminded me of another brand from a former Eastern Bloc country, produced during the Cold War: Centropen, from Czechoslovakia. The company is still active making all sorts of office and school supplies, including entry level pens with steel nibs



    • Hi R.

      I am glad you liked the review. Interestingly the pen was sturdy enough. The only “weird” thing about it was that the piston was turning reverse. But that’s it. Other than that, some might be quite happy with this pen.


  2. Hi Zeynep,

    Thank you very much for the swift reply.

    Your review has piqued my curiosity. Apparently, this Pelikan 400 lookalike was made in the 1950s. Many minor and not so minor German pen makers were inspired by Pelikan aesthetics in the 50s and 60s, including reputed brands such as Geha, Kaweco, Osmia or Soennecken, plus a smattering of third tier pen makers. It seems the direct inspiration for the Goldring “Onyx” was the Pelikan 400 or 400N made between 1950 and 1956…

    Apparently, chairman Mao used a Goldring pen and pencil set in the 50s:

    Especially successful designs inspire others, sooner or later… Fountain pen history provides us with a few cases; two that immediately spring to mind are the Sheaffer Balance, introduced in 1929, and the Parker 51. Both sparked countless copies all over the globe and two new fashions: pens with both pointed ends in the 1930s (Balance) and hooded nibs from the 40s onwards till at least the mid-60s (51).

    I might try to fetch myself a Goldring.




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