Ink Dips: Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire

Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire writing sample

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.

Pelikan M205 blue demonstrator

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.

Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire writing sample

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!”

Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire writing sample

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.

Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire writing sample

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.)

7 thoughts on “Ink Dips: Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire

  1. Once again, seeing the Aurora Blue temps me to buy it.

    Everything about PE Sapphire says it is an ink I should like it. I like purple inks, I like blue inks, and I like well-behaved, easy inks, but this ink just doesn’t speak to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aurora Blue is an excellent standard blue. I think Aurora Blue and Black are both first-rate standard inks, which is one reason I’m really looking forward to Aurora Blue Black. The Aurora inks are a little pricey per bottle, compared to J. Herbin or Waterman, but not compared to Edelstein. 🙂

      You remind me that one of my favorite underrated blue inks is J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir, which is along the same lines as Edelstein Sapphire, but with more liveliness. Éclat de Saphir rocks. What I personally can’t live with in the Edelstein is that it starts off purple. But there’s a softness or lack of forcefulness in its color that should be noted, too. I personally like softer, more pastel inks, but I have come to learn that many people don’t feel the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will definitely look into J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir. I think you nailed what is missing for me in the Edelstein’s color- liveliness. That is what I look for in an ink. It can be soft, bright, bold, or murky and I will most likely like it if it has a liveliness to it. I hadn’t realized that before now. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks like a blue that is on the cool side of the spectrum. I am on the fence with this one. It looks like a nice color, but I’m not moved enough to get a sample.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have not tried it myself. I cannot see any purple either, but I will take your word for it.
    Mind you, that Aurora Blue in your post looks awesome. I have a bottle from the London Pen Show that I have not yet opened:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh good — I hope many people love it. It’s a very nice ink, objectively speaking. But all I see is the purple tint.

      In fact, when it glistens so purple as it first goes down on paper, in the dim recesses of my memory I’m transported back to grade-school mimeographs. Ayy, the pain. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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