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How to Tell What Cross Pen You Have? – 6 Things to Do

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how to tell what cross pen you have

With nearly two centuries of history, the Cross pen company is renowned for crafting high-quality and durable pens. It has already released 4 types of pens, which are fountain pens, ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, and multifunction pens.

However, determining the specific models of your Cross pen can be challenging without expertise.

How to tell what Cross pen you have? Dive in to learn more about key characteristics such as materials, historical clues, distinctive design, and other features that define each Cross pen model.

Ways to Tell What Cross Pen You Have


Step 1: Check for materials


Cross has used a diverse range of materials to produce its pens. Understanding the materials used in your Cross pen can provide insights into its model and construction. Here are some additional details about the materials found in Cross pens’ caps and barrels:

  1. Fountain pens: lacquer, PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), chrome, translucent lacquer, and even wood.
  2. Ballpoint pens: Brass, chrome, chromium, gold-plated, lacquer, PVD, translucent lacquer, and wood.
  3. Multifunction pens: Lacquer and chrome.
  4. Rollerball pens: Lacquer, resin, PVD, chrome, and translucent lacquer.

Step 2: Check for trims


The trim of a pen refers to the decorative band that encircles the pen. These trim components are typically found on the cap, clip, center band, and finial of the pen. The trim adds visual appeal and can vary in material depending on the pen type:

  1. Fountain pens: Chrome, rhodium, PVD, gold, gold-plated, platinum-plated, and silver.
  2. Ballpoint pens: Chrome, rhodium, gold, PVD, gold-plated, and platinum-plated.
  3. Multifunction pens: Chrome, PVD, and gold.
  4. Rollerball pens: Chrome, rhodium, gold-plated, PVD, and platinum-plated.

Step 3: Check for nibs


After identifying your pen type, you can check for pen nibs to get more information.

Cross fountain pen nibs are made from many materials, helping you distinguish and recognize your Cross pen. Cross provides nibs in two widths, which are medium and fine. Here are the specific widths and materials of each type of Cross pen:

Fountain pens

  • Nib width: Medium, fine
  • Nib material: Stainless steel, hand-finished stainless steel with rose gold plating, ground stainless steel plated with PVD.


Although most fountain pens’ nibs have a medium width, this can be adjusted upon request.

You can get these details at the nibs of the pen. For example, your nib is engraved with 18k gold, M; it means your pen nib is made of 18k gold and has a nib width of medium size.

Ballpoint pens, multifunction pens, rollerball pens

  • Have a round, metal ball nib.

Step 4: Look for the name or year


Cross pens typically have a name associated with the Cross pen series or model, such as Signet, Solo, Century, or Townsend. You will know the year of manufacture of your pens because some Cross pens are made in certain years.

  1. Check the pen itself, the nib, or any engravings on the pen body for the year or name.
  2. Besides, you can use a magnifying glass to observe the area around and above the clip for engraved detail about the pen’s place of manufacture.

For example, if you see the year 1846, USA on the nib, your Cross pen was made in the USA in 1846. This could be a Vintage Cross pen.

Step 5: Examine the refill cartridge


Remove the pen’s cap and barrel and look closely at the refill cartridge or converter metal housing inside. You can refer to the assembly diagram to know how to disassemble each Cross fountain pen part correctly.

Pay attention to the shape profile and Cross pen identifier, such as the number or logo on the cartridge. This can provide clues to help you date Cross pens.

For example, if you notice a date code 0917 on the metal housing, your pen was manufactured in September 2017. If the date code is 0805, your pen was manufactured in August 2005.

Step 6: Research online


Once you have gathered the information about the type of pen, name, year of production, manufacturer, and refill cartridge, conduct an online search using the details you have.

Look for official Cross pen websites, pen enthusiast forums, or online retailers specializing in writing instruments. Cross’s official website may have resources or a product catalog to help you identify your pen.

What to Do if My Cross Pens is Out of Production?

Reach out to Cross directly to inquire about the options available for your discontinued cross pens. You can visit their website or contact their customer service for assistance. Provide them with details about your pen and the issue you are facing.

In case your Cross pen is out of production, Cross will replace your pen with another pen of equivalent value and function. This is because Cross offers a lifetime warranty for its customers.

Thus, you will not be able to get a new pen with the same design as your old Cross pen. In return, you will be sent back a pen of the same type of equivalent utility.


The Cross pens history encompasses over 175 years of craftsmanship and elegant design, making it a renowned manufacturer of fine writing instruments.

How to tell what cross pen you have? By following our identification guide, you can easily determine the Cross pen model by inspecting the design, engraving, location of manufacture, refill cartridge, and other distinguishing features.

Besides, referring to Cross’s official resources, such as user guides and online catalogs, can provide further assistance in determining the exact model.

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