Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used 30 personalized pens to ink her name on the articles of impeachment passed against President Donald Trump before sending the articles over to the Senate for trial — and those souvenier writing implements could fetch up to $1.5 million — or a cold $50,00 each — at auction according to a political memorabilia expert.
It is not uncommon for politicians who sign bills to use dozens of specialized pens to sign important bills — presidents frequently hand out “game-used” pens to bill sponsors — but Pelosi caught flack for using customized pens, engraved with her official signature, to ink strokes of her signature on the impeachment documents. Critics contended that while the practice is customary, Pelosi was defying her own demand that the impeachment process be viewed as a “somber” occasion by gleefully handing off souvenir pens to House impeachment managers and House committee chairmen.
Pelosi’s office likely orders hundreds of pens with her signature on them, and reports at the time suggest the pens, which are plated in brass and ordered in bulk from the Coventry, Rhode Island, company, Garland Writing Instruments, cost the Speaker’s office just under $20 each. Both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have ordered similar collectible pens from Garland, though Trump does, occasionally, use Cross pens plated in 14 karat gold, per the Associated Press.
“Bill signer pens” can fetch big bucks, but most top out at a thousand dollars. The Pelosi pens, though, one expert told the Washington Examiner, could command a million dollar-plus price tag if they are eventually made available to collectors as a set.
“Maryland-based Alexander Historical Auctions said that the 30 customized, black and gold pens Pelosi used to sign the articles of impeachment against President Trump could fetch up to $50,000 each at auction,” per the Examiner.
“There’s nothing like them,” Alexander Historical Auctions head, Bill Panagopulos, told the outlet. They could command even more if the Senate votes to convict President Trump, though that’s not likely to happen.
In order to make any significant money on the pens, though, they’d have to be collected and put back together into a set. But each pen is worth considerable cash on its own, and not just to Democrats. Museums, like the Smithsonian Museum of American History, would likely consider the pens significant pieces of presidential memorabilia, and pay handsomely for a pen or two to add to their collection.
The pens, though, probably have immeasurable value to at least one person: President Donald Trump. In his remarks to the Senate, ahead of Trump’s impeachment trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly made reference to the pens as evidence that Pelosi and her House colleagues considered impeachment a political foil and not necessarily the solemn, serious process they claimed.
“Yesterday, the Speaker celebrated impeachment with souvenir pens, bearing her own golden signature, brought in on silver platters. The House’s partisan process distilled into one last perfect visual. Not solemn or serious. A transparently political exercise from beginning to end,” McConnell said in a speech and on social media. “The Speaker distributed souvenir pens, souvenir pens to her own colleagues emblazoned with her golden signature that literally came in on silver platters. The pens literally came in on silver platters. Golden pens on silver platters.”