ink review : Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine (ink of the year 2016)

a blue-green beauty …

Pen: Lamy All-Star Ocean Blue, M-nib
Paper: Rhodia N° 16 notepad 80 gsm

In 2011 Pelikan introduced the Edelstein series of boutique inks, available in a variety of colours:

  • aventurine (green)
  • jade (light green with bluish undertones)
  • mandarin (orange)
  • onyx (black)
  • ruby (dark red)
  • sapphire (purple-blue)
  • topaz (light blue)

The initial offering did not include a blue-black, but in 2012 Pelikan was quick to remedy this, and added tanzanite to the line-up to complete the offering. The overall theme of the Edelstein ink series is the gemstone – each colour corresponds to the beautiful colour of a gem. The inks themselves are presented in 50 ml high-value bottles, which are truly stunning, and an ornament on every desk.

After releasing the original line-up, Pelikan started the tradition of releasing a yearly “Ink of the Year”. These inks are produced for a year only, and quickly become bottled treasures. Once inventories are depleted, these inks are gone forever.

  • 2012 : turmaline
  • 2013 : amber
  • 2014 : garnet
  • 2015 : amethyst

The ink of the year 2016 is “aquamarine”. Pelikan itself describes the colour as “neither blue nor green; it’s something in between”. This is also the second time that Pelikan turned to its Facebook fans to help choose the colour. And I must say – they’ve chosen wisely. I really like the colour of this ink, and – as Pelikan stated – it sits nicely between blue and green. In my opinion, it’s very similar to other blue-greens I like:

  • iroshizuku ku-jaku : this one remains my favourite, and is a touch more on the blue side
  • diamine schubert (music collection) : this one leans more towards the green side

Pelikan Edelstein inks are known to be on the dry side, but this is a wetter ink, with drying times in the 20 second range. It behaves beautifully on a wide range of paper:

  • Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm – drying time ~20 seconds, no noticeable feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through
  • Paperblanks journal paper – drying time ~20 seconds, no noticeable feathering, a ghost of show-through, no bleed-through
  • Generic notepad paper 70 gsm – drying time ~20 seconds, no noticeable feathering, a ghost of show-through, no bleed-through
  • Moleskine journal – drying time ~10 seconds, no noticeable feathering, show-through and some bleed-through

This definitely is a very well-behaved ink. Water resistance is on the poor side, but still acceptable. The colour disappears quickly, but a greyish ghost image of your writing remains, which is still perfectly readable even after 30 seconds under running tap water.


Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine is a very well-behaving ink, even on lower quality paper. Blue-greens are not for everyone, but if you happen to like them, this one is definitely a winner. A stunning colour worthy of a gemstone !

[Originally published on the Fountain Pen Network, on 19 March 2016]