I could have sworn I wrote about the Jewel Pen Co. Ltd before, but looking through the blog it seems not.
Jewel is one of the oldest British pen companies. It was founded in 1884 by John Calton as an import company for John Holland pens and Mackinnon stylos. As John Holland produced “Jewel” pens in America this is where the name doubtless came from. Within a few years the company was making its own stylos and fountain pens. Neither a great innovator nor a market leader, Jewel nevertheless kept up a steady stream of profitability until 1939, when it was bought by British Pens Ltd. It continued in a semi-autonomous fashion bringing out the occasional new model but declining in market share until 1951, when Jewel closed down.
They were an interesting company that produced a wide range of pens. Probably the biggest outsize pen I’ve had was a Jewel, and I had a tiny, Dinkie-sized pen as well. They covered the whole range of cost, too, from quite rudimentary steel-nibbed school pens like the Ritewell, to very handsome jade and lapis lazuli lever-fillers like the Nos 63 and 83. Like Macniven & Cameron in that respect, Jewel defies the simple-minded classifiers to assign it to a “tier”.
This is a No44, made during the Second World War. Made in black hard rubber with gold-plated trim, it’s not an exceptional pen in any way but it is well made and the plating has survived in excellent condition.
The “Jewel 14ct Super” nib is semi-flexible and somewhat stubbish. In general shape, the pen is quite similar to a pre-war Swan, an impression enhanced by the inserted clip.
Perhaps not the last pen to be made by Jewel, but very close to it, the No 44 shows that the company was capable of turning out a very acceptable pen to the end.