The Jewel Oma



I’ve written in more general terms about that old-established firm, The Jewel Pen Company, back here In 1913 Jewel bought the Alliance Pen Company which may have provided them with manufacturing facilities that they did not have before. In the following year they increased their production capability further by acquiring George Shand Ltd. New Jewel models followed: safety retractables, new stylos and in 1921 their first lever filler.


The Oma appeared in 1922, described both as a lever-filler and a safety screw cap. Though this example now shows some corrosion on the lever and clip, it’s a sound and appealing pen. The flat-top style with a slight taper at the barrel end is very much of its period, but the chased pattern of very fine lines is less often seen. Unusually, the clip is fixed with tiny screws. The pen has the original 14ct Oma nib.


I’ve puzzled over the name “Oma” without coming to any conclusion. To those of German or Dutch ancestry, “Oma” is “grandmother” but in this context it seems unlikely that this was meaning intended. Perhaps, like “Onoto”, it’s a meaningless but easily remembered word that Jewel hoped would catch on. It appears not to have done so, because despite its durability, the Oma is a great rarity today.

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