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In 1950 a new system for the date coding was introduced where the two digits only indicated the year, not the quarter hence "50" means made in 1950, this system was used in the US until 1955 and in Canada a few years longer..
It has been assumed that Parker began marking some of their pens on the trim or cap bands to allow for dating in 1970.
Possibly anticipating the 1980 official start of date coding in France and the UK, this could have led to the presumption that the dating actually began in 1970, but proof of this has still to be found.
The quarter marker changed in 1988 from E, C, L, I to III, II, I or none (last quarter) according to the below table.
Using the words "Quality pen", one letter per year, followed by a quarter marker, allowing for dating within a ten year span.
So far the earliest date coded pens found have had the code NL for 1979, and all of these pens were made in the US.
The stamp initially had three dots and for each quarter one dot was filed down leaving none for the fourth quarter.
Since production was overlapping examples exist with either the imprint 28 or .8. Also, since this coding system extended over a decade, a pen marked 38 could be produced the third quarter either in 1938 or 1948.
In 2000 the code again underwent a small change when the quarter switched sides with the year and there was a dot between them "Q.
III" There are however inconsistencies, such as missing dots and quarter codes appearing on the wrong side of the year code.