Ink Review : Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz
--- Ink of the Year 2017 ---
In 2011 Pelikan introduced the Edelstein series of high-end inks, available in a variety of colours. The theme of the Edelstein concept is the gemstone – each ink corresponds to the beautiful colour of a gem. The Edelstein line of inks is presented in 50 ml high-value bottles, that are truly beautiful, and worthy of a place on your desk.
In this review I take a closer look at Smoky Quartz, the Edelstein Ink of the Year 2017. This is a limited edition ink, that could be gone in the near future, although it’s not unheard of for Pelikan to change its mind. In any case, with 2017 slipping past, I thought it appropriate to further examine this ink.
Smoky Quartz is a warm brown ink, that spans a broad palette, ranging from very light (the smoky part) to almost black-brown. It is a rather complex mix, with some orange and grey-green undertones, as evident from the chromatography.
The result is a very fine writing ink, that can handle all nib ranges without a problem. In finer nibs, the ink is more of a light brown, but the broader/wetter your pen, the more the darker brown appearance of the ink comes into the picture. Combine this with some nice shading, and you get an ink that’s worthy of your attention.
To show you the impact of saturation on the ink’s look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. When fully saturated, Smoky Quartz becomes a very dark – almost black – brown.
Technically, the ink behaved perfectly, with good flow and saturation, and a good contrast with the paper even in the finer nibs. With broader nibs there is some really nice shading that enhances your writing. Overall a pleasurable ink to write with. Drying times are quite reasonable in the 10 second range with M-nibs. Smoky Quartz copes well with a wide variety of paper – and can even tolerate the crappy ones. Only on Moleskine, the ink looks quite ugly, and has noticeable feathering and bleed-through. On other papers the ink behaved impeccably, looking good on both white and more yellowish paper.
Surprisingly, Smoky Quartz is a very water-resistant ink (see water test at end of review). With the droplet test - where I drip water on the paper, and keep it there for 15 minutes – readability remained excellent, with only some minor smudging of the text. With running tap water, a perfectly readable green-gray image of your writing remains, even after a 30-second exposure. Respect! This certainly is an ink you can use in the workplace.
Inkxperiment -Eerie Woods
When using Smoky Quartz for drawing, you can get some interesting results – owing to the orange & green-grey undertones in the ink. In the drawing I used 90 gsm sketch paper, that I completely soaked in water. I then spread a line of Smoky Quartz with a brush, and added some accents with a glass pen dipped in bleach, defining the trees. Final touches around the trees were made by dipping the still wet paper with a Q-tip cotton swab with a tiny bit of Smoky Quartz on the tip.
For me, Edelstein Smoky Quartz is one of the best Inks of the Year that Pelikan ever released. It’s a warm brown ink with a broad tonal range, that not only looks nice, but is also very water resistant. This makes it a fine ink for use in the workplace. If you like brown inks, and haven’t gotten a bottle of this ink yet – now is the time. Highly recommended!
my overall score: A+
Technical test results on Rhodia N°16 notepad paper with Lamy Safari, M-nib
Backside of writing samples on different paper types