In the early decades of the 19th century, three brothers Lothar von Faber, Johann Faber and Eberhard Faber were born and raised in Stein, a small place located close to the prosperous old city of Nuremberg. Nuremberg is also well known as the hometown of the famous artist Albrecht Dürer

Lothar, the eldest brother, was the main decision maker amongst the three. He sent his youngest brotther Eberhard, to the new world, as his parents' graphite pencil factory in Stein was too small to support all three of them. Once in New York, Eberhard established a branch of A.W. Faber in 1849. In 1861, Eberhard founded his own graphite pencil factory Eberhard Faber in New York. 

Johann was also involved in the family business but left the company in 1876. He opened his own factory for graphite pencils, color pencils and other writing and drawing products in Nuremberg. Due to an over-production of pencils, the result of the global economic crisis of 1929, the companies A.W. Faber and Johann Faber merged. In 1932 the company Johann Faber Nuremberg was partially taken over by A.W. Faber-Castell in Stein.

The brand Goldfaber was registered as a trademark for the Johann Faber graphite pencil factory in 1935. Goldfaber graphite pencils were renowned for their high-quality and their outstanding design with the gold striped barrel. For this reason Faber-Castell has kept the name Goldfaber until today. 

When the company Johann Faber was fully taken over by A.W. Faber Stein in 1942, the brand name Goldfaber changed to A.W. Faber-Castell. Around 1948 drawing pencils existed in 6 different degrees of hardness, graphite copy pencils in 4 writing degrees and color pencils in 24 colors. The Goldfaber copying pencils had a round shape with gold and blue stripes.

In 2017, Faber-Castell relaunched its Creative Studio assortment, introducing Goldfaber Color Pencils and Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils. The Goldfaber color and watercolor pencils are made in Germany using the latest innovative production techniques. Together with the existing Goldfaber Graphite Pencils, Goldfaber and Goldfaber Aqua now stand for wood-cased pencils in the hobby segment of Faber-Castell.