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Colors: The Parker 51

Hand painted by Michael Richter
Colors: The Parker 51

After Parker sold over 20 millions "51" pens, I thought it was about time to make a color identification chart of the avaiable colors.

First of all I want to thank Len Provisor who took his time to compare my first versions of the color charts with actual pens of his collection. It's nice to see that people of the Pentrace community help you out on the spot with projects like this.

As I haven't seen all the colors in real life, Len advised me so I still could come up with a pretty realistic chart . After some "colorful" e-mail exchanges we came to the conclusion that the colors shown below are pretty close to the actual colors.

Some colors (e.g. Nassau green) tend to discolor in some cases so, parts or the whole pen may look different, but the characteristics of the colors remain.

I have divided the colors into two parts, Part I for the Vacumatic versions of the Parker 51 (1941-48) and Part II for the later Aeromatic Parker 51 (1947-72) including two prototype colors which were used on slightly smaller Parker 51 sets ("Blood Red" and "Light Blue") test-sold in California.

There are rumors about a bright purple (beeing different from the "Plum"-color) and a blue green (different than "Nassau Green" or "Teal" ), but I haven't found any useful information to replicate those colors.

While rarity is in the case of the 51 pen mostly depending on the cap style, threre are still some colors which aren't found as often as others:

- Above mentioned prototype colors
- Completely or partially (only the hood/gripping section) transparent Demonstrators
- Nassau Green and Mustard are somewhat rare (in good condition because of its discoloration)
- I haven't come across Buckskin Beige either that often
- Plum (not to be confused with Burgundy or even Cordovan Brown; Plum was listed as a different color beside Burgundy in some Parker catalogues)

Other colors aren't as common as black and grey but still wouldn't be considered rare in my opinion.

The information here is as accurate as possible, but you should not take it as absolutely authoritative.
51 Vacumatic Filler Colors
Color Name Years
Cordovan Brown Cordovan Brown 1941-1948
Buckskin Beige (Tan) Buckskin Beige (Tan) 1941-1948
Mustard (Yellowstone) Mustard (Yellowstone) 1941-1948
Nassau Green (Sage green) Nassau Green (Sage green) 1941-1948
Cedar Blue Cedar Blue 1941-1948
Dove Grey Dove Grey 1941-1948
India Black India Black 1941-1948
51 Aerometric Filler Colors
Color Name Years
cocoa Cocoa 1947-1972
Burgandy Burgandy 1947-1972
Plum Plum 1947-1972
Midnight Blue Midnight Blue 1947-1972
Teal Blue Teal Blue 1947-1972
Forest Green Forest Green 1947-1972
Navy Grey Navy Grey 1947-1972
Black Black 1947-1972
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