Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire is a lovely soft blue ink, a periwinkle, with a purple tint that’s especially pronounced when the ink is wet. It’s an extremely well-behaved ink, with silky smooth flow, and nice shading. It’s very nice. Except, I hate it.
I know Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire well: I used to own a bottle. I know that no reasonable person could make a reasonable complaint about this ink. If you like the color, it’s a great choice. But I hate it.
So, this is the downside to Ink Dips. You pull a sample of Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire out of the Clown Car of Inks, and you already know you hate the color. But okay. The rules of Ink Dips are simple: try the ink. I made up the rules, so I would follow the rules.
It went into a pen I adore, a blue Pelikan M205 with fine nib. If anything could make a person appreciate a blue ink, it’s seeing it in this pen.
Besides, maybe I would have changed my mind about Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire in the past few years. “I can change,” as LCD Soundsystem say. For example, Sailor Oku-Yama was an ink I had tried before and not liked, until it became an Ink Dip. Maybe that would happen here, too.
Here’s a writing sample of Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire on cream-colored paper. Music and lyrics by LCD Soundsystem.
It’s such a nice ink. But I did not change.
My problem with Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire is the bait and switch. There’s nothing I enjoy in inkdom more than a blue ink. (Except maybe a blue black!) But I don’t enjoy a purple ink as much. So a blue ink that goes on purple is just mean, to someone like me. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a Trojan horse. It’s an enemy pretending to be a friend.
I had a Latin teacher in high school who used to say, at some particularly egregious student mistake, “ayy, the pain.” As I’d watch this ink make glistening purply letters on the page, I could only think, “ayy, the pain.”
Admittedly, that’s better than “The horror! The horror!”
And, oh, sure, the purple tint is most visible when the ink is wet. Edelstein dries down more blue. But am I going to unsee the purple? Does that memory fade? No. I can’t forget a swindle like that.
Here’s a writing sample of Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire next to two well-known standard blue inks of medium color and low saturation.
That LCD Soundsystem song does say, “it’s good in the dark.” For me, that may be the perfect description of Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire.
But let me be the first to suggest that many people may adore this color. Which is great. My aversion to it is emotional or instinctual, not reasoned. Thanks, amygdala. It’s a pretty ink. I just hate it.
But let’s say you, dear reader, don’t love blue, but you do like purple. Then Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire could be the perfect blue ink for you. You’ll be all, “Oh normally I hate blue ink, but this one has that lovely purple blush.”
And you won’t find a better-behaved ink. In fact, everyone who might like a purple-tinted soft blue ink should buy this one. (Buy it all. Every single bottle. Please.)