Out of this world
It's not easy selling an $89,900 pen.
Former Bermuda resident Mervin Mascarenhas, has yet to find a buyer for a luxury pen he constructed out of meteorite material, two months after putting it on the market in Canada.
But the owner of pen company Mascarenhas Luxury Creations isn't discouraged.
“It will take time,” Mr Mascarenhas said. “I do believe the right buyer will come along. I haven't made a pen that hasn't sold. I am prepared mentally, even if it takes a year. I am not too worried, because it's a niche market.”
The pen is made of diamonds and 18 carat white gold, space dust, and meteorite material, and has ‘Mascarenhas' written on it and ‘Unique 1/1', to indicate it's one of a kind.
He anticipates the purchaser will be a collector who just wants to own a cool pen.
“The buyer could come from anywhere, Bermuda, Toronto, Vancouver,” he said.
Mr Mascarenhas isn't saying exactly where he got the meteorite material.
“I have documentation for the buyer,” he said. “But I will say there are people who source meteorites.”
He and his wife left Bermuda in 2002, after living here for about ten years. They now live in Kelowna, British Columbia.
He currently has to work another job to pay the bills, but ultimately he'd like to open a physical store for his business.
In Bermuda, he worked in the restaurant industry, and started woodworking after taking a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning course at the Bermuda College. At first he made jewellery boxes and pictures frames.
When he moved to Canada he took with him some Bermuda cedar, and started working on pens in the basement of his new home. He has a number of machines there including a lathe and a band saw.
“I was told cedar was a collector's item in Bermuda,” he said. “Cedar is a beautiful wood to work with compared to other hard woods. The finishing makes for a very nice piece. I love the aroma of Bermuda cedar, and it is one of the best-looking woods in the world.”
He started out simply wanting to make something of his own. “It was just a hobby,” he said.
But after four years, his friends started asking to buy the pens and Mascarenhas Luxury Creations was born.
He made the meteorite pen as a creative challenge.
“A meteorite is just a piece of iron and nickel fragments melded together,” Mr Mascarenhas said. “I had to wrack my brain to figure out how I was going to incorporate those into a pen.”
Some of his pens are made from abalone shells from New Zealand while others are made from Bermuda cedar. His normal price range is between $90 and $3,500.
His meteorite pen has attracted the attention of the Canadian media, and an article about his work will appear in the next issue of Iconic Concierge.