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Pelikan Edelstein Golden Beryl (Ink of the Year 2021)


namrehsnoom
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Pelikan Edelstein Golden Beryl - Ink of the Year 2021

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.”

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
 

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Wow, what a fantastic review! I've never seen so many different papers used, with clear photos....

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Another wonderful review @namrehsnoom - thank you as always.  I have to confess I always take a quick peek at the inkxperiment before going back to read the rest - they really are such a highlight.

 

I actually like Golden Beryl - but I think that's because I bought it specifically to go with a silly gold pen with a fat nib and use it only there (and for a bit of sketching). I may well get an extra bottle before it runs out just in case!

 

I can see only too well that it's impractical for every day use, but have still enjoyed it - but then I seem to have been perpetually covered in glitter since my daughter was a small child in the early 2000s. I still find it lurking in unexpected corners waiting to jump into my eyebrows or onto any plain black garment it comes near.

 

In the context of many of the other Edelstein colours, this one ranks high for me though - so many of them just haven't hit the mark at all.

 

 

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Thanks for another wonderful review, @namrehsnoom!  Love the inky experiment, and all those "not for everyday use" declarations make me want to get a bottle and use it every day!  And all the "not for fine or dry nibs" statements make me want to put it in my review pen!  Just call me an inky rebel!  Tell me what not to do with an ink, and suddenly, I want to do it!  (Now that I've exceeded my daily exclamation mark quota, I'll just go back to making thumbnail images for my reviews, a yawn-inducing task that definitely does not warrant any exclamation marks.)

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A beautiful review. And unlike @mizgeorge, I read chronologically, and leave the best for the end. And while the ink spells trouble with all that glitter and and unreadable colour, it brought a smile to my face on this exceptionally grey day. So thank you :)

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I'm actually surprised -- I had been assuming that Golden Beryl would be too light to be legible on the page.

Thanks for the review.  And maybe not.... :headsmack:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Thank you for yet another amazing review! Like you I’m left disappointed by this ink. I do like the base colour, and I don’t mind shimmering inks, but this one has a rather bad flow and clogs up way too easily, and the shimmers smear off easily too. It even clogged up my Pelikan M200 and some particles stayed behind the piston seal and can’t be removed anymore. This one is probably my most regretted purchase of recent years. 
 

I hope Pelikan will go back to regular inks for their future Edelstein releases.

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30 minutes ago, lgsoltek said:

Thank you for yet another amazing review! Like you I’m left disappointed by this ink. I do like the base colour, and I don’t mind shimmering inks, but this one has a rather bad flow and clogs up way too easily, and the shimmers smear off easily too. It even clogged up my Pelikan M200 and some particles stayed behind the piston seal and can’t be removed anymore. This one is probably my most regretted purchase of recent years. 
 

I hope Pelikan will go back to regular inks for their future Edelstein releases.

There just seems to be too much shimmer for an ink going through tiny channels in a feed.

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13 hours ago, LizEF said:

… all those "not for everyday use" declarations make me want to get a bottle and use it every day!  And all the "not for fine or dry nibs" statements make me want to put it in my review pen!  Just call me an inky rebel! …

😉 grin… But I actually wonder whether glitter inks would work at all with EF nibs, or clog up the pen immediately. I found this Golden Beryl to be a horror with an F-nib (let alone an EF) … Could be that other glitter inks work better…. but I’ll gladly leave that to others to explore.

 

13 hours ago, mizgeorge said:

… I actually like Golden Beryl - but I think that's because I bought it specifically to go with a silly gold pen with a fat nib and use it only there (and for a bit of sketching). …

In its sweet spot (wet pens + broad nibs) I like it too. I will definitely use it for Xmas cards later this year. But I think I will use a glass dip pen then instead of risking a wet-writing Pelikan again (just cleaned it out of my M205 Demonstrator, and that took quite some work to get the glitter out - and there’s still some gold dust left on the piston seal).

 

9 hours ago, lgsoltek said:

… It even clogged up my Pelikan M200 and some particles stayed behind the piston seal and can’t be removed anymore. …
…,I hope Pelikan will go back to regular inks for their future Edelstein releases.

The horror!  When I read your reply, I immediately cleaned the three Pelikans I had filled with it. And that took some time!  For me, this ink is now banned from any pen that I cannot disassemble completely. I normally don’t buy glimmer inks, but I have most of the Inks of the Year, so I just couldn’t let this one go. But I do hope that this remains a one-of experiment.

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2 hours ago, namrehsnoom said:

But I actually wonder whether glitter inks would work at all with EF nibs, or clog up the pen immediately

Wonder no more!  I have a playlist.  Granted, it's only 4 inks so far (my voters are ignoring the remaining glitter inks), but it shows that some declarations about glitter in EF nibs are false.  The short of it:

  • Diamine Blue Lightning worked perfectly (but also isn't overloaded with glitter)
  • De Atramentis Pearlescent Whiskey Brown Copper has enough glitter in it to clog a horse
  • I'm not sure why Robert Oster Heart of Gold didn't flow well - could be too dry, could be too much glitter, could be the glitter particles are too large...  (or some combination)
  • Jacques Herbin Emeraude de Chivor needed the tines flossed about every 48 hours, but otherwise flowed well.

I still have these glitter inks to test:

  • Colorverse Ham #65 Glistening
  • Diamine Shimmer-tastic Shimmering Seas
  • Jacques Herbin 1670 Collection Gris Orage
  • Nemosine Blue Snowball Nebula TwINKle
  • PenBBS #406 Dark Moon Myriad Stars

My suspicious is that as long as the glitter is fine enough, and there isn't an excessive amount, and the ink itself is wet, it will work just fine in an EF nib.

 

2 hours ago, namrehsnoom said:

For me, this ink is now banned from any pen that I cannot disassemble completely.

Yeah, that's my policy for glitter inks - that, and "use a cartridge" - converters have pistons and some (e.g. Lamy with that black bit at the opening and Pilot CON-40 with its cage) have spots where glitter can get trapped and you have to disassemble the converter to get the last of the glitter out - cartridges have no such problem (and even if they did, it's not painful to just chuck the thing into the nearest trash can).  I like Pilot's cartridge for Parallels, with its steel ball, for glitter ink - nice strong agitator.

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Liz, I'm not sure that the size of the nib tip is a relevant factor with whether a shimmer ink will clog a pen. Under the metal of the nib, it is all about the channels through the feed apparatus and along the channel just under the nib itself (which will have the same kind of spacing and contact no matter the nib tip size, assuming we are sticking with one brand of feed and nib). The tipping size effects the amount of ink being laid down on paper, but I don't see how it would effect clogging, especially the kind that occurs during disuse.

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Great review as always, nam. I don't see any orange in it myself, just brown. The pics on the various samples all show a yellow/brown rather than a yellow/orange but that may be this monitor because I know Heure Doree definitely leans orange in other reviews.

 

I'm using the Beryl in a green-marble M200 F that I haven't used in forever and, since I usually pair an ink with a pen anyway, I'm content to leave it in that pen without having to worry about cleaning it out except for an occasional flush and refill.

 

I was pleasantly surprised that it doesn't dry out on the nib at all quickly and yet it dries fairly fast on copy. I can do sudokus with it with nary a hard start. I haven't tried running my finger over it to see if the glitter sheds.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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16 minutes ago, TSherbs said:

Liz, I'm not sure that the size of the nib tip is a relevant factor with whether a shimmer ink will clog a pen. Under the metal of the nib, it is all about the channels through the feed apparatus and along the channel just under the nib itself (which will have the same kind of spacing and contact no matter the nib tip size, assuming we are sticking with one brand of feed and nib). The tipping size effects the amount of ink being laid down on paper, but I don't see how it would effect clogging, especially the kind that occurs during disuse.

I agree.  I've seen lots of people saying "glitter ink doesn't work in EF nibs".  Well, I've proved them wrong.  It's about the feed and the flow rather than the tipping size (simple reasoning could work that out, IMO).  I think the myth came simply because the EF line is harder to see.

 

IMO, there are plenty of myths about super-fine nibs.  Maybe one day I'll go to a pen show and do a "class" or presentation or whatever, about those myths. :) (But I don't want to hijack this thread for that.)

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I agree with others here in this: I like a bit of shimmer (I own Chivor which is beautiful), but I will only put it in a cheap pen that I can take apart.

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And at this point I will only put shimmer inks in something with a broader nib, having started out with the old version of J Herbin Rouge Hematite (with the big flat flakes of gold, not the dust particles).  Put that ink in a $5 Chinese pen with a fude nib.

A lot of shimmer inks went into a 1980s-era Pelikan M100 with a 1 mm stub nib.  Until one time when I was cleaning the pen out I heard some sort of horrible cracking noise coming from the piston knob or that end of the barrel....  And haven't had a chance to get the pen repaired (there are higher priority pens on the "to be repaired" list).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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13 hours ago, LizEF said:

Yeah, that's my policy for glitter inks - that, and "use a cartridge" - converters have pistons and some (e.g. Lamy with that black bit at the opening and Pilot CON-40 with its cage) have spots where glitter can get trapped and you have to disassemble the converter to get the last of the glitter out - cartridges have no such problem (and even if they did, it's not painful to just chuck the thing into the nearest trash can).  I like Pilot's cartridge for Parallels, with its steel ball, for glitter ink - nice strong agitator.

 

One of my CON-40 is yet another victim of Golden Beryl. Some of the particles went behind the piston. With CON-40 being not able to be disassembled (CON-40 is a really PITA to clean already), I have to live with the fact that these particles will stay there forever. Ugh.

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On 10/23/2021 at 11:41 AM, lgsoltek said:

It even clogged up my Pelikan M200 and some particles stayed behind the piston seal and can’t be removed anymore.

 

16 hours ago, namrehsnoom said:

The horror!  When I read your reply, I immediately cleaned the three Pelikans I had filled with it. And that took some time!

 

Dang! And to think I bought a second M200 Gold-Marbled fountain pen, with the express intention of using Edelstein Golden Beryl in it! (I haven't inked the pen yet, or opened up that bottle of ink for that matter, even though I've received them several weeks ago.)

 

12 hours ago, LizEF said:

I've seen lots of people saying "glitter ink doesn't work in EF nibs".  Well, I've proved them wrong.

 

Bravo! 👏

 

:notworthy1: Thank you very much for being the champion of EF nibs and their users, when it comes to reviewing inks and dispelling unfounded, unfavourable myths.

 

29 minutes ago, lgsoltek said:

One of my CON-40 is yet another victim of Golden Beryl. Some of the particles went behind the piston. With CON-40 being not able to be disassembled

 

I think I'll try the ink in a Sailor Lecoule or Profit Junior with a Medium-Fine nib. Every Sailor converter I've ever used is ready to be disassembled for deep cleaning, and the friction-fit nib and feed are pretty easy to pull out of the gripping section to soak and clean in an ultrasonic cleaner.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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57 minutes ago, lgsoltek said:

With CON-40 being not able to be disassembled

Really?  I could have sworn I'd disassembled one once.  Maybe it was one of my CON-50s...  I've heard the cage pulls out of the CON-40, but that won't help for stuff behind the piston.  Sorry for your glittery invaders! :( 

 

25 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

Bravo! 👏

 

:notworthy1: Thank you very much for being the champion of EF nibs and their users, when it comes to reviewing inks and dispelling unfounded, unfavourable myths.

:) Gladly!  I've learned a lot, and that has helped me understand all my pens better.  (It does sometimes lead me to increased annoyance when someone spouts nonsense about EF nibs as if that nonsense were indisputable fact, but it's mild annoyance. :D )

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Absolutely stunning review of a glowing ink!  

 

Truth be told, I have only sampled one glitter ink and it put me off them all.  

 

But I confess that I now have in my possession Diamine's Inkvent Calendar for 2021 (which I have not opened nor have I looked at any of the reviews thus far) with the intention of enjoying starting on December 1st.  And I know some of the inks are glitter (shimmer, etc) inks.  Based upon the above comments, and those of others, I have devoted an inexpensive pen with a B nib and an empty cartridge in which to fill and enjoy these inks. 

 

But thank you again for such a masterful ink review! 

 

 

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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On 10/23/2021 at 9:12 PM, namrehsnoom said:

But I actually wonder whether glitter inks would work at all with EF nibs, or clog up the pen immediately. I found this Golden Beryl to be a horror with an F-nib (let alone an EF) … Could be that other glitter inks work better…. but I’ll gladly leave that to others to explore.

 

I'd be happy to ”explore” that, but — at the risk of being accused of overthinking it — I need to figure out what (the minimum functional and/or performance requirements of) “works (at all, or better) with EF nibs” means in that context.

  1. The pen, when filled with the ink in question, needs to write, i.e. put legible marks in the colour of the ink on the page.
  2. Being a shimmer ink, shimmer particles laid on the page should be evident to the naked eye, without being so sparse that it takes a loupe or microscope to spot.
  3. The pen will remain ready to write when the user next puts the nib to the page after pausing, while the pen is in hand and uncapped, for X seconds, i.e. will not hard-start after a brief pause while in use.
  4. The pen will not hard-start after being capped and unused for X days (or X hours) due the shimmer particles clogging the tine gap on the nib or the ink channel in the feed.

Where failure to satisfy points 3 and/or 4 above is observed, one could reasonably be conclude the pen-nib-ink combination “does not work well”; but, to be fair, one still needs to establish that the same problem would not be encountered with that pen when filled with a non-shimmer ink, or fitted with a non-EF nib. Otherwise, for all we know, it may be that the pen has about the same cap seal performance of a Parker Sonnet, and just about any (including non-shimmer) ink would have dried out and/or clogged the feed in two weeks.

 

I looked at the Wing Sung 3008 piston-filled demonstrator pens in my (wife's) pen cup that are dedicated to (predominantly Diamine) shimmer inks, but they were all last-filled some 12 to 24 months ago, and most of them have dried out since; and every single one of them, including those still with ink visibly sloshing around in their barrels, failed to write. I spent half of Sunday evening disassembling and cleaning 16 of those pens, and are now ready to refill them with the same shimmer inks. (For what it's worth, I didn't observe any shimmer particles getting trapped either on against sides of the piston plug, or ‘above’ it in the direction of the driver knob, in any of the pens in spite of their all being stored with nib pointing upwards in that pen cup.)

 

But if I just write with them successfully immediately after filling (through the nib and feed), that'd be just with ink that as already in the feed, and does not prove the shimmer would not clog the pathway from ink reservoir to feed (and all the way down to the nib's tip). Trying to fill the barrel through the back-end and then reinstalling the piston and driver knob would be problematic, even though that's a good way to establish that all the ink that ends up on the page where the nib has been could only have flowed from the reservoir through the feed to the nib.

 

So, what would ‘prove’ that a particular ink works (well enough) in an EF-nibbed pen?

 

As has been alluded to before, if shimmer particles are trapped between the tines and cause a ‘clog’, that would not be due to the tipping size per se but the width of the tine gap being too narrow; the difference in ink flow rate between writing with an EF nib (with a tight tine gap) and an M nib (with an equally tight tine gap) would not matter.

 

And if the shimmer ink clogs the ink channel in the feed somehow, either while writing is paused or after the pen has been capped and unused for hours (or days), then it more likely has to do with the pen having an ineffective cap seal, and not because the insoluble shimmer particles — which should be much smaller in diameter than the ink channel's width — have clogged the feed where a non-particulate ink wouldn't have.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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