Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima Blue Auroloide

Aurora Optima fountain pen blue and gold

Aurora Optima Blue/Gold with broad nib. We’re having a strange spring here. The weather seems like it’s been either cold and snowy or 68 degrees and sunny.  Except when it’s been both over the course of a single day.  Which, okay, I totally enjoy.

Yesterday, however, was just gray, with a few snowflakes. I’m not usually a fan of blue pens with gold trim, but on a boring day I found this beautifully warm and inviting.

Aurora Optima fountain pen blue and gold with KWZ Azure #1 ink

And I’m not a big user of broad nibs.  But this one gives blue ink extra pizzazz.

KWZ Azure #1 ink

For comparison, I used the same pen a few weeks ago with Aurora Blue.

Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima Demonstrator

Aurora Optima chrome demonstrator fountain pen

Aurora Optima demonstrator with fine nib. It is Italian Pen Week here at Fountain Pen Follies.  Actually, I have no other inked pens that haven’t already been Pens of the Day. But Italian Pen Week sounds better.  Lemons to lemonade, that’s my motto.

Aurora Optima chrome demonstrator fountain pen

There’s not much to say about this fantastic pen, except that it’s really perfect.

Aurora Optima chrome demonstrator fountain pen with Waterman Serenity Blue ink

Right now the pen contains Waterman Serenity Blue, so I could compare a standard blue ink color to KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold.  Serenity Blue is a darn good ink: well-behaved in most pens, well-behaved on most papers.  And it’s safe for this beautiful Aurora.

Bung Box First Love Sapphire: Another Glimpse

Bung Box First Love Sapphire writing sample

I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that a friend gave me a sample of my very first Bung Box ink, First Love Sapphire.

And I posted a writing sample from an Aurora Optima with a fine nib.

But here’s a quick look at Bung Box First Love Sapphire from both the Optima and a much different pen, a Kaweco Sport with 1.1 mm calligraphy nib.

I find it really interesting. The ink color is consistent, but the impression it makes, on me at least, is very different.

Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima Blue Auroloide


Aurora Optima Blue/Chrome with fine nib. I do keep using this pen.  It’s hard not to.  Also my friend just got one, so we are pen twins, and I had to get our two matching pens together on a playdate.

Her Optima has Aurora’s cursive italic, which is wide and really neat. It is a very crisp italic, with amazing line variation, and it wrote with the lightest of touches. Mine has a fine nib.


The ink is Bung Box First Love Sapphire.  In this pen, it really has sapphire sparkle.



Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima Burgundy Auroloide


Aurora Optima Burgundy with medium nib. This beautiful Optima is a great match for the KWZ Maroon #2 I’m testing.


I just reviewed KWZ Maroon, which I loved, so I wanted to give Maroon #2 a fair shake by putting it in a special pen.


Aurora took its red pen down a different path by making it a sophisticated burgundy. It has a rich, dark color, featuring deep wine reds and black, with chrome trim.

In bright light or sunlight, the acrylic shines and sparkles, but the photo above was taken on an overcast day, and brings out the name and logo: “Aurora Italia, Fabbrica Italiana Di Pennea Serbatoio.” Which Google roughly translates as Aurora of Italy, Italian Factory of Fountain Pens. But as usual, the Italian sounds much better. Grazie mille, Aurora Italia.

Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima Blue Auroloide


Aurora Optima Blue/Chrome with fine nib. I filled this Optima for two reasons. First, it seemed like a perfect match for the color of KWZ Azure #3 ink, which I wanted to try. Second, Aurora has announced a forthcoming blue and green Optima 365 limited edition. And I’m tempted. So it’s time to appreciate what I already have.


First, the ink, which is a knockout. Not much shading; great color.


Second, this is such a beautiful pen. So I think that’s that. Phew.

What I Bought in 2015: Pens


I like to do an end-of-the-year “accounting” of the pens I bought, not to create the illusion that there’s any business-like veneer over my acquisitiveness, but more like an assessment, to see if I can learn anything.

This year was just fantastic.  I got great pens this year.  I did totally blow the budget in the last week.  But I’m still thrilled.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima 365


Aurora Optima 365 with medium nib. Yes, this was Pen of the Day two weeks ago, too. It’s so worth the repeat.

But it has a new ink this time. My friend sent me a sample of Conway Stewart Kingsand, which I think is a really lovely ink, perfect for the pen and for the time of year.


Conway Stewart is out of business, unfortunately, but a number of stores still have the inks in stock. Moreover, Conway Stewart inks were made by Diamine, and to me, Kingsand looks very much like Diamine Ochre. I hope to put on my ink detective hat and investigate it. That hat? It’s a deerstalker. Of course.