For the last couple of months, I have been searching for the right blue black for my writing needs: it needed to be wet, smooth, dark without looking black and as saturated as possible while still rinsing out easily (with water only) from a vintage celluloid pen. I had tried every shade of dark blue and blue black from my usual go-to brands Herbin, R&K, and Diamine and was ready to attempt mixing my own ink using the recipe of Waterman Blue, Black and Purple that girlieg33k posted in a thread on this site, when my last two blue black samples arrived from the Goulet Pen Company: Caran d’Ache Magnetic Blue and Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite. This was my first Caran d’Ache ink and my second ink from Edelstein. (I recently tried Topaz and was disappointed for two reasons: 1. I was expecting the Edelstein line to be on the wetter side and 2. Topaz, when dry, was nowhere near as vibrant as what I thought a color named after the gemstone should look like....)
In the wet nib of the 1950s 146 and on Rhodia paper, Magnetic Blue and Tanzanite look very similar with Tanzanite being a little more saturated. Both inks were well behaved and started immediately even when resting the pen uncapped for a minute. Both colors neither feathered nor bled through even when dripped in heaping blobs on the page. Yet, the experience of writing with both inks differed greatly.
Magnetic Blue reminded me of many of the Montblanc inks I’ve used that look beautiful on the page but that don’t suit my heavier hand. Don’t get me wrong; writing with the ink was not unpleasant, but the ink’s average flow and smoothness failed to meet the expectations I had for a $30 bottle of ink. I did not have the magnetic attraction to this ink that I wanted to have and after playing with it for 20 min I was more than ready to empty it out of my pen. I will say that Magnetic Blue was extremely easy to clean.
I was a little nervous about filling Tanzanite in my pen because the pigments clung somewhat menacingly to the walls of the plastic Goulet vials. But, I put my trust in Pelikan's track record and took the plunge. The moment the nib touched the page I was blown away. (Tanzanite performed very differently from its sister ink Topaz.) The ink has a perfect flow that does not feel runny or slippery but rather provides just the right amount of smoothness to allow a nib to flex and dance across the page with ease. If I had to sum up this ink in one word it would be: LUSCIOUS. Unlike with Magnetic Blue, the attraction was definitely there; this was not an ink that I could pull myself away from and rinse out of my pen in order to try a sample from one of the other color families I ordered. Needless to say, I used every drop of Tanzanite before cleaning the pen. So, did the ink pass the cleaning test? YES! In fact, it rinsed out just as easily as Magnetic Blue.
Bonus: I thought I was losing it when I started to see a very subtle reddish shimmering halo around some of the letters written in Tanzanite. A day later, I could still see something there. This sheen was nowhere near as intense as the sun-kissed golden puddles of Sargasso Sea, but warranted further investigation. I dipped a q-tip in what was left of the vial and applied it to the page and am pleased to report that it was no mirage; around the edges of the wetter areas the ink formed a coppery sheen!
Based on my needs, Tanzanite is the clear winner of the two and the closest ink out of all the samples I’ve tried to my ideal blue black. I will be picking up a bottle before the fall semester starts and am excited to finally have a blue black ink to add to my rotation of colors for this pen!