A pen is a traditional graduation gift, a symbol of learning and intellectual pursuit that has long been given to honor a graduate’s achievement and entry into adulthood. But “traditional'' doesn't have to mean a pen is stodgy or old-fashioned; these days there are high-quality, standout pens for every personality. We’ve picked out some of our favorite pens that make a meaningful grad gift, from the playful and unusual to the graceful and understated.
The Baronfig Squire Rollerball is one of our all-time favorite pens, and this limited edition version makes an especially appropriate grad gift. Engraved with lucky symbols from all around the world, the Good Luck pen is both a superb writing instrument and a talisman for a grad just entering adulthood.
Though a fountain pen is an especially traditional graduation gift, the Benu Briolette is anything but old-fashioned. It glows in the dark and glitters with silver flakes embedded in its body, making a glitzy gift for someone who loves a little sparkle. And beyond the sparkly surface, a pen that acts as a guiding light in the darkness can be a poignant object for a new grad finding their way.
Y-Studio pens are beautiful objects designed to remind us of the weight of our words, an inspiring message for a graduate. They can also be threaded onto a cord and worn around the neck or clipped to a bag, doing double duty as a gorgeous personal accessory and a practical everyday tool that won’t gather dust in a desk drawer.
The Kaweco Sport pen is a modern take on the classic fountain pen that makes an accessible everyday companion. This limited edition version is crystal clear and comes with some great accessories, including a converter, ink cartridges, and a pocket clip. It’s a compact pen that’s meant to be carried around in a pocket, perfect for a graduate who’s getting out into the world.
Another thoroughly modern fountain pen, the Curidas is elegant and suave but has a convenient retractable nib like that of a ballpoint pen, with special technology to keep the ink from drying. It’s a handsome, practical, and eye-catching pen that combines tradition and innovation - perfect for a graduation gift.
This gift set is practical but has pizzazz. It comes with the popular Lamy Al-Star, a smooth-writing pen with an appealingly modern design, and a matching notebook with a bit of flair in the details. These are useful daily tools for a new grad that will appeal to any design lover.
For a more classic gift, the Platinum Century fountain pen has a cigar-shaped body with accents in silver or gold and a 14k gold nib. It has a special mechanism in the cap to prevent the ink from drying out, an added perk for someone new to writing with fountain pens. It’s a classy and smooth writing instrument to honor a grad with.
The Lamy 2000 somehow manages to look both futuristic and totally timeless. It’s a sleek and understated pen that will never go out of style and that writes like a dream. As a graduation gift, it has all the best part of tradition: a feeling of consequence and achievement without being fussy or precious.
Waldmann pens are handsome sterling silver pens with finely engraved patterns. They make elegant and impressive gifts and can be engraved with a name to honor a new graduate. Their sterling silver bodies and classic designs make Waldmann pens the most traditional choice on this list, giving them a sense of weight and consequence that never gets old in a graduation gift.
Looking for more options? Our collection of perfect pens for grads has pens of all shapes, colors, and writing mechanisms in different price ranges.