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Pelikan Edelstein Amber


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#1 lapis

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 15:11

1. Preface
To start off with, I'll concede that this review certainly does have some similarity to that of Pelikan's Edelstein Tanzanite, another favourite of mine. That is because both inks are in the same category of that company. I also thought that any slight review remodelling might save me some time. I first discovered this ink three weeks ago in this thread. Thanks, Holdav! (Interesting place where you live, BTW.)

2. First impressions
I was most fascinated by this ink. No, not because it is a further issue of an ink to this Edelstein edition, and not because it is, after all, yet another "Ink of the Year", but simply because the colour name "amber" means something very special to me. Partly because I can't help thinking about a remnant of amber containing an ancient insect in it, like this...

Amber_insect.jpg

or because when I hear the word "amber", I always think about the myths and mysteriousness (not to mention the loss and reconstruction of same) surrounding the Amber Room in Saint Petersburg, like this...
Amber_room_1.jpg

Both of those photographs were copied from Wikipedia.
The entire colour can thus resemble any very subtle creation, just like a "sunrise" etc. Yes, there are always vast numbers of insights, histories, and interpretations. There are hundreds of greens, reds and so forth but "the" colour of amber may be impossible to reproduce. As already pointed out there are different ambers out there alright but all I'm trying to say is that at least for me, any amber isn't any ol' mix of orange and brown. A unique colour IMO, so let's have a look at it.

Amber_5_tools.jpg

As an important note, may I say here that all of my scans now look pretty authentic -- in comparison with the looks of my inks on my papers -- presumably because I have in the meantime now purchased a new HP Officejet 6700.
I love this colour. It's all I expected. Maybe because I love amber itself. Oops, sorry again... you see, I'm so excited... I mean Amber herself. Likely because there are so many variations all having a "certain" note in common, much more than the hundreds of, say, browns.

3. About the Packaging
The bottle is beautiful, but still not as practical as a MB shoe. The lid is perfect, just like MB's newer lids (Both companies' older lid designs were less well made, and harder to open and close.)
In case you happen to wonder about the size of the bottle, here's a shot together with my M800...

Amber_bottle.jpg

For a much better photo, here's one presented by the company itself...

edelstein-amber-normal.png
What I find to be not good at all is the box...

Amber_box.jpg

For me, it's impossible to whip out the two pieces of sponge residing over the bottle's shoulders in order to get a hold of the bottle or even just the neck. The only way I can get a bottle out of the box is to turn everything upside down so that the bottle can fall out. Now I know why some of you never keep the ink boxes. (Yes, I do because of sunlight and all that.)

4. A fast look at ink properties here
■ Flow: Very good. IMO wetter than a few other Edelstein inks, still not quite as wet as the Tanzanite.
■ Lubrication: Also good.
■ Saturation: High. Not at all a bad property for this type of colour.
■ Shading: Great! "Best" shading I've seen among any of my 10 Edelstein gems.
■ Bleeding: None seen here! (on 90 g/m2 HP Bright White Inkjet Paper). See below; well, let's ignore Moleskine and Leuchtturm 1917 for the time being, okay?
■ Feathering: None seen here, either! (Same paper, same suggestion).
■ Drying time:10-12 seconds, with my 51 B nib on this paper (identical to Tanzanite's and Mandarin's). I make that to be about twice as long as the time a 4001 needs.
■ Maintenance: I find that this ink is easy to maintain. Washing and cleaning seems to be no problem. I also see no nib creeping. I have only used this ink for a few days now but I would still wash and dry the pen at least every few weeks after use, even for a refill of the same ink. MB says 3 months for their iron-gall ink. Let's say you write almost all day, every day with it... then I'd say clean it after every 2-3-4 fillings.
■ Waterproofness: As expected, not very waterproof. But to go on a bit here, this ink does seem to have a special feature. Here's a shot of four Pelikan inks (again, on the above-mentioned paper) all held completely under water in the kitchen sink for 60 seconds:

Amber_water_test.jpg

In comparison with those two other Edelstein inks, Amber it is in any case less water-soluble than Mandarin is, and almost as insoluble as Topaz and the 4001 Blue-Black. That's not bad at all, considering that those last two are much darker colours in the first place. It also goes to show that there appear to be such differences even among the members of the Edelstein family.

5. Various Papers
Here is a quick look at various tiny pieces of paper, each signed by my 51, again, with a B nib.
First, the front sides for those of you interested in feathering...

Amber_feathering.jpg

And now, the backsides. Question: Can a piece of paper have a backside? Answer: Yes, at least one of these does! These patches are in exactly the same order shown above. I.e. Moleskine is up top, to the left. I know very well that many of you don't consider Moleskine to be up top at all! Har, har...

Amber_bleeding.jpg

6. Ink Comparisons
Here are swabs of a few inks which came to mind. No, they aren't all that similar; yes, some are much too yellow or orange or brown. I just thought it might be interesting to include a few candidates which -- for one reason or another -- did seem to me to possibly have an amber-like effect.

Amber_22_comparisons.jpg

By Jove... two Herbins don't look bad, either! After all, they are named "Ambers". Anybody out there who has Diamine's Amber?

7. Availability
This Pelikan U. S. site says that the recommended retail price is $ 20 (for each and every Edelstein ink, whether it is an "Ink of the Year" or not). I bought this ink from my store (where I don't work, and which I don't own) for a current equivalent of $ 15.21 (very roughly, of course).
For the sake of comparison, a few suggested retail list prices per ml (here in Germany, today) are as follows: Pelikan 4001s = 0.14 Euros; Watermans = 0.15; Edelsteins = 0.28; CdAs = 0.48. So, whether or not you're all that hot, you'll still have to admit that these Edelsteins are in the mid-priced field.
Pelikan being Pelikan means that you can probably get it all over the world (like MB, Waterman, Parker etc.).

8. Note
On the box's backside, I read "Extra soft ink". That means -- after a long talk to Pelikan here in Hannover (funnily enough in English-speaking countries usually printed "Hanover") -- the following: A. In comparison to the 4001 ink predecessors, these new Edelstein issues have a better flow and lubrication, and B. They have been designed to be even more maintenance-free and thus more "FP-friendlier". I couldn't agree more with this statement.

9. Summary
■ This ink's colour is similar to those of two Herbin amber inks.
■ Box and bottle are actually good-looking but it's hard to unpack the bottle out of the box. Also, the bottle isn't all that practical to get out the last few drops.
■ The bottle lid is outstanding, just like those of MB's new shoes.
■ Many of you might be dispirited by that fact that their prices are rather high. One ml of these costs exactly twice as much as the older 4001 inks. For further comments on all this jazz, you might want to look at a similar question posed about a different ink here.
■ It has all the properties I have always been looking for. It more than fulfils my expectations. Varied characters, bright but not too bright, ditto dark, ditto orangy, ditto brownish. Fantastic shading, good flow and good maintenance. What more do I want??
■ All in all this is IMO a great ink. I find it "better" i.e. at least more interesting than a few other Edelstein inks. Regarding the colour itself, it's different from any of the other nine Edelstein offers. If it's too expensive for you, then just don't purchase it. Whatever your verdict, all best wishes.

Mike


Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


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#2 The Good Captain

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 17:06

Another concise and excellent review, my friend. I might be even persuaded to purchase a bottle.
It even looks as good as Twisted Spire but possibly doesn't taste quite as appealing.

Edited by The Good Captain, 16 March 2013 - 17:06.

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#3 Laura N

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 17:36

Thank you for such a great review.

#4 djpyle

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 18:11

Great review! I was anxious to see how this one would look. Love the shading. I think I might have to get a bottle.

#5 Frank C

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 18:24

Thanks for the review. I have the other edelstein inks, so I will probably get this one. I liked the way you showed how it works with different pens. I will probably use it in my new tortoise M800.
"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
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#6 whichwatch

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 18:25

First review I've seen of this ink - and a terrific job. Thanks very much!

I've got it in mind for my Pelikan M800 Tortoise, but suppose I will try a sample before investing in a bottle. I already have Noodlers Texas Pecan (Dromgoole's exclusive) which seems similar, plus a large bottle of Akkerman Bekakt Haags which is a nice darker brown.


Thanks again for a fine review.

Edited by whichwatch, 16 March 2013 - 18:26.


#7 encremental

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 20:02

Thanks for the superb review, Mike! And exactly the colour I was hoping for.

I remember how all the Edelstein inks got a very poor reception when they first came to market - so much so that I have been reluctant to try any until quite recently. I am now the proud owner of six of them, and they are all excellent, with the possible exception of Ruby, which is a bit feeble. As soon as this is available in the UK, I'm there.

John

Diamine's Amber is a yellowish orange, or an orangeish yellow. Quite nice by its own lights, but nothing like this.

#8 lapis

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 20:30

Thanks for your thanks, everybody. I now feel so relieved that I think I'd like to open up a huge cask of Twisted Spire for us all but since I don't know of any retailers in this neck o' the woods, I guess we'll have to stick to a dozen one-liter bottles of Franconian wine (from around Würzburg). As John just pointed out, I too have the feeling that these inks are better than their reputation. At least better than many of us thought right after they were first issued.

Mike :)

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#9 The Good Captain

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 20:43

Thanks for your thanks, everybody. I now feel so relieved that I think I'd like to open up a huge cask of Twisted Spire for us all but since I don't know of any retailers in this neck o' the woods, I guess we'll have to stick to a dozen one-liter bottles of Franconian wine (from around Würzburg). As John just pointed out, I too have the feeling that these inks are better than their reputation. At least better than many of us thought right after they were first issued.

Mike :)

You see, the similarity is most disconcerting.
Posted Image
However, I can safely say that the TS does NOT dry very quickly on Clairefontaine paper.


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"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"


#10 lapis

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 20:49

... and they are all excellent, with the possible exception of Ruby, which is a bit feeble...

Oops, see, I'm now starting to get forgetful.

That Ruby is my second last favourite of all ten. My very last favourite is the Plum. I think I mentioned it in my review here some time ago, that that ink didn't look like a plum at all, but rather like some radiant pink lipstick. The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie ?
Nonetheless, that plum ink also yields a great array of colour variations depending on which pens are used. One of the most interesting features of a good ink creation, IMO.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#11 lapis

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 21:13

Thanks for your thanks, everybody. I now feel so relieved that I think I'd like to open up a huge cask of Twisted Spire for us all but since I don't know of any retailers in this neck o' the woods, I guess we'll have to stick to a dozen one-liter bottles of Franconian wine (from around Würzburg). As John just pointed out, I too have the feeling that these inks are better than their reputation. At least better than many of us thought right after they were first issued.

Mike :)

You see, the similarity is most disconcerting.
Posted Image
However, I can safely say that the TS does NOT dry very quickly on Clairefontaine paper.

If you think that that similarity is most disconcerting, try a glass of this amber:
Posted Image


Note the % Vol.


Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#12 The Good Captain

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 23:27

Thanks for your thanks, everybody. I now feel so relieved that I think I'd like to open up a huge cask of Twisted Spire for us all but since I don't know of any retailers in this neck o' the woods, I guess we'll have to stick to a dozen one-liter bottles of Franconian wine (from around Würzburg). As John just pointed out, I too have the feeling that these inks are better than their reputation. At least better than many of us thought right after they were first issued.

Mike :)

You see, the similarity is most disconcerting.
Posted Image
However, I can safely say that the TS does NOT dry very quickly on Clairefontaine paper.

If you think that that similarity is most disconcerting, try a glass of this amber:
Posted Image


Note the % Vol.


Now, that's seriously bullet-proof.

The Good Captain
 
"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"


#13 K. Cakes

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 00:28

Great review. I was expecting something more like Ambre de Birmanie though, this looks much duller than amber, but it has excellent shading.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

#14 Cubane

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 00:30

Guys, can you stop posting pictures of delicious alcohol? I'm using a colour like this as my math ink (Standardgraph Maize Yellow) and now all I can see in my notes is mead... :roflmho:

Edited by Cubane, 17 March 2013 - 00:32.


#15 lapis

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:12

Guys, can you stop posting pictures of delicious alcohol? I'm using a colour like this as my math ink (Standardgraph Maize Yellow) and now all I can see in my notes is mead... :roflmho:

Your C8H8 looks good, but I don' see any correlations regarding the colour of this ink itself ...

Mike

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#16 Cubane

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 13:32

Your C8H8 looks good, but I don' see any correlations regarding the colour of this ink itself ...

Mike


That's probably a good thing, the stuff would explode the moment you fill a pen with it... or try to drink it...

#17 Axial

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 13:40

This looks a bit like DIamine Golden Brown, but with much less shading.

#18 reprieve

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 15:24

Now I'm looking forward to this ink! It's not quite the shade I was expecting, but I really like the color (and shading) shown in your writing sample. Thanks for posting this.

#19 amberleadavis

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:31

Some one really awesome sent me a bottle for my birthday. Here's the quick picture.

Posted Image

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#20 amberleadavis

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:33

At the LV Pen Posse meeting today, we played with this ink....loaded it up into a Pelikan BBB that was modified by John Mottishaw.

Be sure to look at the images on my website to avoid the compression issues.



Posted Image

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

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