Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ink Review: Pelikan Edelstein Onyx

One of things I love about fountain pens is all of the beautiful ink colours that are available.  With all of those choices, I'm not that interested in more "standard" ink colours like black or dark blue, but I thought I owed it to all of you to try at least one black ink, given that black is probably the most commonly used ink "colour" out there.  Pelikan Edelstein Onyx is the black ink I ended up choosing.

Pelikan Edelstein Onyx in Rhodia dotPad.

I find this ink hard to review, because I'm not really sure what I even want in a black ink.  Do I want the deepest, darkest black around, or do I want a more nuanced black, with hints of other colours in it?  I really don't know, but I do think that Pelikan Edelstein Onyx might be a good balance between those two extremes.  To me, it looks like a neutral black (no undertones of other colours) with a hint of shading, but it is definitely not a deep, dark black.  It's probably more of a very dark grey than it is a true black.  And frankly, I like it.  I don't find it a particularly exciting ink, and I don't love it (I doubt whether I'd love any black ink), but I do like it.  And sometimes it is nice to use an ink that's more under-stated and doesn't call too much attention to itself.

Pelikan Edelstein Onyx in Paperblanks journal with lines from the poem "So Much Happiness" by Naomi Shihab Nye.

One thing I do love about Pelikan Edelstein Onyx is the flow.  It's just perfect for me and my pen (Lamy Safari with an F nib) - very smooth but not too wet.  I feel like I could write forever with this ink (well, until it ran out, of course!).  It's also a very well-behaved ink - I could see essentially no feathering or bleedthrough even on the cheap papers I tried it on.  This is an ink I enjoy using even if the colour is not amazing.

Not a scan.  I was disappointed with the quality of my scans after I uploaded them to Blogger in my last couple of ink reviews, so I decided to try a simple photo instead.  I think this worked better.

Overall, I think Pelikan Edelstein Onyx is a good ink, though if you prefer very deep true blacks you should look elsewhere.  If you don't mind your black inks having a bit more personality, then this may be the ink for you!  This ink performed very well and was a true joy to write with, so I'm sure I'll be checking out more of the colours in the Edelstein series in the future.  An ink this nice combined with a colour that I love sounds like it would be just about perfect.

What do you look for in black inks?

Related reviews: The Pen Addict, Pentulant, Ink Nouveau.


  1. I never thought I could love a black ink, either -- until I met Private Reserve Velvet Black! After trying many blacks, it's still my favorite. Though a close second is Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi -- a soft black (if such a black can exist).

    1. I like the sound of the Take-Sumi ink; I think that the "soft" blacks are probably more my thing than the deep, true blacks. Who knows, maybe one day I will fall in love with a black ink as well!

  2. I am more of a Black-Blue ink least right now. I have recently tried Noodler's Black-Blue ink and like the way it writes. In any ink, I look for little to no feathering. Little bleed through, and the faster drying, the better.

    I was curious, where do you purchase your inks at?

    1. All of the inks I have reviewed so far I bought as samples in a single order from Goulet Pens. I was very happy with their service; however, the cost to ship to Canada seemed a bit high so I may look elsewhere for my next ink samples.

      And I like blue-black as well! I think it's a bit more interesting than a standard black or blue. I haven't tried a blue-black fountain pen ink yet though...

  3. MiataGrrl, I like Private Reserve's inks, too. They're deeply saturated, and suit me. PR's founder died a while back, and his obit may be worth a look. He seemed to me to hearken to an older America of talented individualists putting out pretty good products at middling prices. Jack/Ohio

  4. I also like "soft" blacks. My go-to black is J. Herbin Pearle Noir. It's one of the best behaving inks I've used. It works beautifully in every pen I own. Never fails.


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