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  1. Pelikan Edelstein Golden Beryl - Ink of the Year 2021 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 the spotlight shines on the sparkling presence of Golden Beryl, the Edelstein Ink of the Year 2021. Golden Beryl is a limited edition ink, that will most probably be gone in the near future. I got my bottle fairly late in the year, but the ink is still easily available if you’re thinking about buying it before it’s gone. Golden Beryl has a fairly light yellow-orange colour with some added twinkle. For the first time, Pelikan introduced a shimmering ink in the Edelstein line. This Golden Beryl has gold shimmer added to it, and quite a lot of it too. The effect is that of ornamental writing in old manuscripts. Definitely not an ink for everyday use. To be honest, I’m not impressed by this ink. The yellow-orange colour is fairly light, although with better contrast on the paper than I expected. Unfortunately, you really need wet pens and broad nibs to get the best out of this ink – dry pens or fine nibs won’t do! The added glitter is very present, and only loosely bound to the paper. Once dry, the glitter comes off too easy… rub the paper, and you’ll find glitter all over your hands. That said, the choice of gold glitter for this yellow-orange ink is a good one – they blend well together. Personally, I’m not a fan of glitter in my inks. And without the glitter, this Edelstein has not too much going for it. As it stands, this is an ink that I only see myself using for greeting cards and the like. For this purpose, the 50 ml bottle will easily last you a lifetime. The chromatography shows the yellow & orange dyes, that are very water soluble. What remains fixed to the paper is the gold shimmer, and a faint blue-grey component. Based on this info, I didn’t expect any water resistance, and the water test at the end of this review confirms this. Golden Beryl is not an ink that can survive watery accidents. Golden Beryl writes well in broad nibs, with heavy shading and lots of glitter. It did not do well at all with dry pens and finer nibs. With dry pens, the ink exhibits subpar lubrication and feels fairly scratchy. Worse though is that the gold glitter easily clogs up the ink channel, stopping ink flow. I noticed this multiple times when using finer nibs, both with dry pens (Lamy Safari’s) and even with wet Pelikans. The minimum you need is an M-nib, but ideally you use this ink with a broad nib or even wider (BB and calligraphy nibs). As said before, this is more of an ink for ornamental writing, not really usable for everyday writing & journaling. 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 a piece of 52 gsm Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Golden Beryl has a fairly wide colour span, ranging from a faint light-yellow to a much darker yellow-orange. This translates to heavy shading, which - combined with the heavy glitter - looks real good in calligraphy writing, but is much less at its place for normal journaling. I see only limited uses for this ink. Technically, the ink felt quite dry in my Lamy Safari test pens, where it writes a fairly unsaturated line. With the Safari, the ink is actually too light to be useful. For me, the ink only became tolerable when using a wet Pelikan with M nib and above. With the wet pens and broader nibs, Golden Beryl wrote smoothly, and showed its higher-contrast dark yellow-orange tone. It then becomes quite a nice ink to use, with some lovely shading. But still… not an ink I see myself using for normal journaling. For me, this Golden Beryl remains a greeting-card ink with only limited use-case scenarios. Because dry pens don’t do justice to the ink, I used alternative pens for the writing samples. On each scrap of paper I show you: An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation An ink scribble made with an M-nib Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a wet Pelikan with M cursive italic nib A small text sample, written with a wet Pelikan with M-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper, with a B-nib Lamy Safari I’ve also added a few photos to give you another view of the ink. Scanned images and photos often capture different aspects of the ink’s colour & contrast. That’s why I present them both. In this case, the photos capture Golden Beryl’s colour best – the scans of the writing samples are little bit too yellow, and seem to exaggerate the shading. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. The top samples were written with a Lamy Safari, which is typically a dry pen. I also added a few visiting pens – all wet-writing Pelikans. Even with these wet pens, Golden Beryl needs broader nibs. I found it best with M-nibs and above. Related inks To show off related inks, I use my nine-grid format, with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test – all in a very compact format. Golden Beryl’s base colour is fairly similar to several other inks. A good alternative would be Callifolio Heure Dorée… quite similar, but without the glimmer. Inkxperiment – all these worlds … I’ve put myself a challenge to try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I’m reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found these single-ink drawings ideal for experimenting with different techniques. Yellow-orange inks are often great for drawing, and this Golden Beryl is no exception. I could do without the glitter though… the golden shimmer adds some ornamentation when writing, but didn’t do much to enhance my drawings. Inspiration for this inkxperiment comes from the book “2010 – Odyssey Two” by Arthur C. Clarke. In this book, the planet Jupiter gets transformed into a star, and its moons become new worlds for mankind … “All these worlds are yours - except Europa. Attempt no landing there.” The drawing concept started with a little doodle in my daily journal. For the artwork itself, I used an A4 sheet of HP photo paper, and applied water-diluted Golden Beryl to paint in the background. I then used glass jars and pure ink to stamp in the world circles. Next I used cotton swaps to add the background bands. I finally painted in the worlds and star shapes to complete the drawing. The end-result gives you an idea of what can be achieved with Golden Beryl as a drawing ink. Not too bad… a nice ink to draw with. Conclusion With this Ink of the Year, Pelikan tried something new and risky: a shimmering ink with gold particles against the backdrop of a yellow-orange colour. A nice ink for greeting cards, but less well suited for everyday writing and journaling. For me personally, Golden Beryl feels like a missed opportunity. It has too many flaws: only works with wet pens and broad nibs, and glitter and more glitter… One can only hope that this was a one-off experiment, and that 2022’s Ink of the Year turns out to be a more satisfying one (personal opinion of course). Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with a Pelikan M200, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types





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