The Golden Bear pencil was included in my Palomino Collection pack that I picked up from pencils.com a while back. There were two Golden Bear pencils, one blue and one red.
One thing I really like about these pencils is the design, the colours are very bold, making this an attractive pencil. The blue and red look great in your pen and pencil pot and have the good looks that I felt was missing from the Forest Choice pencil. Even the ferrule has been considered with a splash of red right around the middle.
I think there is one thing missing from the design on these pencils and that is a golden bear! I know Palomino has the horse branding which is included on the Golden Bear pencil but in my opinion this really should be included on this pencil. The gold lettering on the pencil barrel lends itself to the inclusion of a bear image. Hunting around online it seems as though the older pencils did have a golden bear included on the barrel (visit the Woodclinched blog post to see a picture of the old pencil). Bring back the bear Palomino!
I have had mixed feelings about actually using this pencil since I bought it. Initially I wasn't really a fan. I noticed a difference between the graphite in the Forest Choice and the Golden Bear pencils. The Golden Bear seemed to be scratchy and wasn't smooth on the page.
However in preparation for writing this review I have been using my pencil a lot more and my opinion is starting to change. I am not entirely sure that my initial reservations have gone but I am growing more attached to the pencil and enjoying it a lot more. I am just not entirely sure why.
The graphite has a nice tone to it, not too dark but also not too light. I tend to press down hard when I write which usually gives me a dark line on the page. The Golden Bear deals with my heavy hand well. The Golden Bear fares quite well regarding smudging. I haven't noticed too many issues on this front.
The pencil rubber is a great bright orange colour on the blue pencil and a bright blue on the red pencil that I think is great. Performance wise it's ok. Not the best rubber in the world, you still see a lot of the graphite on the page but that could be my heavy hand. However for a pencil rubber, minimal complaints from my side.
I like this pencil. It doesn't top the Forest Choice, but the more I have used the pencil the more I have enjoyed it. I have had to be quite persistent and had I not been looking to review this pencil perhaps I wouldn't have used the Golden Bear pencil at all. Well worth a try.