Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz – Ink of the Year 2017

Pelikan Edelstein line is great proof of Pelikan’s marketing team efficiency. Beautifully packaged inks bear promise of amazing writing experience. The line is popular all around the world and concurs with the likes of Pilot Iroshizuku or Graf von Faber-Castell.

Packaging and bottle


The packaging is impressive.

The outer cardboard box is, more or less, standard. It’s not overisized and made from cardboard. The front panel has a slightly slanted extra facet with a colored panel that corresponds to the ink color inside. Care was also taken to keep ink secure in the box – the pair of styrofoam pads rest between the neck of the bottle and the box.

The bottle itself is really, really nice.  The glass is thick, heavy and rectangular but with slightly concave sides. The lettering fits the design. I believe Caran d’Ache Chromatics inks bottles are more interesting, Iroshizuku probably nicer but Edelstein offers great and solid cap.

The inks can be bought in 13 colors, seven standard.

  1. Aventurine
  2. Jade
  3. Mandarin
  4. Onyx
  5. Sapphire
  6. Ruby
  7. Topaz

And 6 LE inks of the year

  1. Turmaline Ink of the Year 2012
  2. Amber Ink of the Year 2013
  3. Garnet Ink of the Year 2014
  4. Amethyst Ink of the Year 2015
  5. Aquamarine Ink of the Year 2016
  6. Smoky Quartz Ink of the Year 2017
I have mixed feelings about Edelstein as a line. The inks aren’t bad. But they’re not as good as the price tag would suggest. On the other hand Pelikan does a great job communicating with pen enthusiasts and engaging them in activities (Pelikan Hub, creating the color of the ink of the year).

My feelings, though, change nothing – each year I’m eager to try their new ink.

This year Pelikan has finally offered brown ink. The color was created and voted by Pelikan-fans. The hue can be described as warm and nicely saturated brown. Happily the color is quite unique. It’s not one of generic red-browns that are omnipresent on the market. This one has some personality.

Color perception is always subjective. Physical properties less so. Let’s examine them.

Flow: the Ink feels dryish. In wetter pens it won’t be an issue but in drier ones, especially those equipped with fine / extra-fine nib the flow may be a little disappointing. It’s ok but if you like, say, J. Herbin Eclat de Saphire, Smokey Quartz is nowhere near in terms of flow. It’s average.

Saturation: level of saturation is satisfying for my needs. The ink doesn’t look oversaturated, it remains fully legible in alli light conditions.

Lubrication: average at best. If your benchmark for lubrication is Sailor, Smoky Quartz may disappoint you. In wet pens it won’t be an issue. In dry nibs, you’ll feel that there’s no free riding on the paper.

Drying time: rather reasonable. 15-20 seconds on Rhodia, 10 – 15 seconds on absorbent paper.

Clogging issues: None experienced. The ink may dry in the nib but only after few minutes. You can leave the pen uncapped for 2-3 minutes and everything should be fine. I’ve tried it in Wing Sung 658 and hard starts were experienced only after leaving the pen uncapped for 4 minutes.

Feathering: practically none. Maybe some barely perceptible feathering on Moleskine.

Bleedthrough: experienced only on Moleskine (crappiest paper ever)

Water resistance: this ink is water resistant. The color washes off but the text remains fully legible even after soaking paper for two hours.

Sheen: none seen on papers that I used.

Ink Splash

Drops of ink on kitchen towel

Software ID

Color range

Maruman, Wing Sung 698, fine nib

Maruman, Przemysław Marciński PERUN – custom pen with JoWo 1.1 nib

Leuchtturm 1917, Przemysław Marciński PERUN – custom pen with JoWo 1.1 nib

Rhodia, Wing Sung 698, fine nib

Moleskine, Wing Sung 698, fine nib

Bleedthrough on Moleskine

Water resistance




4 thoughts on “Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz – Ink of the Year 2017

  1. Thank you. A thorough review as usual. I have only tried the Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite so far and liked the colour but found that it bled through paper when most inks did not. It is described on the box as a “soft” ink which I think means extra runny. By the way, those styrofoam blocks in the packaging make useful pen rests if you carve out a groove.

    Liked by 1 person

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