Monday, October 29, 2018

Fountain Pen Ink Review: Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

As a regular fountain pen user and collector, I join hundreds of enthusiasts from around the world in our watch not only for new pens but also for new fountain pen ink colors. I eagerly wait for announcements of special edition pens, limited edition inks, new notebooks, and their ETAs to the far east where I live.

This year, Pelikan of Germany has added a new color to their Edelstein ink series. Edelstein Olivine is Pelikan's Ink of the Year for 2018, the seventh ink to be named such. Ink of Year colors includes Turmaline, Amber, Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, and Smoky Quartz. The Edelstein ink collection also includes eight more colors: Onyx, Tanzanite, Sapphire, Topaz, Jade, Aventurine, Mandarin, and Ruby. Olivine, as well as the other Edelstein Ink of the Year colors, are limited and available for the current year only, and I'm so happy that has kindly sent a bottle for this review.

Pelikan has a wide collection of fountain inks from its three series: 4001 inks, Fount India, and Edelstein. Edelstein is the German and Norwegian word for "gemstones". These higher-end inks from Pelikan correspond to the beautiful colors of gemstones and contain a special ingredient to ensure extra smooth writing.

Edelstein inks are presented in a unique 50 ml high-value glass flacon. The Edelstein flacon is an elegant rectangular glass bottle with a thick base and wide opening for easier ink filling. An eye candy, the flacon's design is one of a kind, and one of the most elegant ink bottles available in the market today.

Edelstein inks are presented in an elegant 50 ml glass flacon.

The Edelstein flacon has an equally elegant cap with the Pelikan logo embossed in silver. 

The flacon's wide opening makes ink filling easier, and it can accommodate bigger pens.

Olivine is a deep, dark green ink that looks more like a forest green color than olive. This color confusion bothered me for a while. Don't be surprised about the color, though. According to The Pelikan's Perch, this ink actually got its name from a gemstone with a typical olive-green color derived from traces of nickel. The mineral also takes on a reddish color, thought to be a result of iron oxidation. There it is. Edelstein Olivine got its name from a gemstone, not from olives.

A single pass/swab of Olivine. This ink is truly versatile. It can be deep and dark, but it can also be light and dramatic.

Double passes/swabs of Olivine shows a dark green ink, but also reveals a faint reddish sheen where the ink pooled before it dried.

I do not have many greens in my ink collection to compare Olivine with, but here is a side-by-side comparison with Diamine POGI, an Olive Green ink specially mixed for the Philippine market.

Pelikan Edelstein ink writing sample from a Pelikan M400 with a broad nib. It took a while to dry at 23 seconds, but ink drying times vary depending on nib wetness, paper quality, and the writer's hand stroke. Olivine could dry faster if written using a fine or medium nib.

Here is Olivine from a Bexley Intrepid with an extremely wet stub nib. It looks like a very dark green-black ink with no shading at all.

Shading is seen in most Edelstein inks but this -- like its drying time -- depends on a combination of factors: nib wetness, paper quality, and the writer's hand stroke. I tested Olivine in pens with wet broad and stub nibs. The writing samples from these nibs looked almost green-black after the ink dried. These are seen in the two photos above. However, when I tried Olivine in a wide 1.5 italic Lamy nib, shading was more obvious, and the ink color became more dramatic and meaningful.

Edelstein Olivine from a 1.5 Lamy nib on Pukka notebook paper. 

Lastly, let me add that Pelikan's packaging for their Eldestein inks is truly impressive, and possibly one of the best. The flacon has inner and outer boxes to ensure that the glass has full protection whether it's in transit or in storage. The flacon and its box both bear the ink's color, making it easy to find an ink you are looking for.

It is helpful that Pelikan includes the ink's name not only on the flacon (see images above) but also on their specific boxes. Locating inks is faster and easier with box labels.

The Edelstein flacon is first encased in an inner box, while the outer box provides additional protection.

Thick pads are added around the cap for reinforced protection. As I said, this packaging is impressive.

Olivine came out of Pelikan's 2016 social media contest which allowed fans to choose the 2018 Edelstein Ink of the Year. An entry for a dark green ink eventually won over 1,200 suggestions sent to Pelikan, which fans all over the world now enjoy. "Created and voted by Pelikan-fans for Pelikan-fans," Edelstein Olivine is a must-have ink color for anyone who loves to write with a fountain pen. This ink has a beautiful dark green color, produces excellent shading, and comes in an impressive and elegant packaging. If I were you, I'd get a bottle of Olivine now, because when it's gone, it's gone!

I received the ink in this review at no cost from, Pelikan's authorized and exclusive distributor in the Philippines. Pelikan products including Edelstein inks are exclusively available at, a specialty store in the Philippines selling fountain pens, inks, paper products, and calligraphy supplies. has stores in Eastwood Mall, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Glorietta 4, SM Aura Premiere, SM Megamall, SM Cebu, and Ayala Mall Cebu. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, click here.

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