Lamy released their crystal inks in 2018, they are aimed at the premium end of the market and are priced accordingly. It is not clear why they named them crystal inks when other companies most notably Pelikan and Monteverde have used the name before for a range of inks.
They have been very hard to obtain in this part of the world. I obtained my from the Desk Bandit in Australia paying $AUD29.95 a bottle. It was annoying that they day after I received the inks they were released by two NZ sellers Inkt at $NZ24.99 a bottle and PenClassics for $22.49. Significantly less than what I paid in Australian dollars. Still, I also bought some Chinese inks I wanted to try that I can't get anywhere else.
Bentoite is a rare blue barium titanium silicate mineral with a rare 5-pointed crystal form. There is an even rarer 6 pointed form with only about 24 samples known. Benitoite fluoresces under short wave ultraviolet light, appearing bright blue to bluish white in colour. George Louderback an American geologist first described Benitoite in 1907. He named it Benitoite because it was found
near the headwaters of the San Benito River in San Benito County, California.
It can be found in other places but gemstone quality Benitoite has only ever been found in California. In 1985 it became the official state gemstone of California.
The ink comes in a 30ml bottle (nearly a dollar for every ml at the price I paid). The bottle is triangular , unfortunately not obvious in the photo. The bottle packaging is also quite simple.
I chose this colour because everything I had read or seen about this ink indicated it really was the colour as seen on the box. Imagine my surprise when I opened the bottle.
It looked quite navy. Bright but still navy. On absorbent paper it may be dark but at the edges one can see the promised colour. A sort of greyish blue, not quite steel blue but with some of that quality.
I swatched my col-o-ring and Tomoe river paper at the same time and was so disappointed. It was a bright navy blue but then something happened. As it dried it became the promised colour.
I was really liking the colour unfortunately I chose the wrong pen to ink. My last review I used a Herbert pen, which was a pen I bought on a whim while I was waiting for one I had custom ordered. To be honest I was disappointed with the custom made pen when I got it and I am not sure why, however I inked it for this review. The two pens I received have the same nib (Jowo #6 fine) but the writing experience with the nib is different in the two pens. I think it writes better in the pen bought on a whim, not the one I inked for this review. The end result was I didn’t really do much writing – I liked the ink but was not enjoying the pen, I know I could ink something else but….
Got to this point and knew I had to try another pen as I wasn’t being fair on the ink. I inked up a Conklin with a stub nib and tried again on Tomoe River,
Somewhere else I read these inks were a little on the dry side. I don't agree but I do think a broader nib or a wetter pen will bring out more from the ink. I really like this and am loving the hint of shade with the stub nib.
I got to this point of the review and could not find my Tomoe swatch - I needed it to water test. I am currently waiting for another swatch to dry so I can complete. In the mean time I can say this is ink is on the pricey side but it is a nice blue ink that could be used anywhere. I have inked 3 pens now and have been using it a lot at work - it behaves even on cheap copy paper.
Water testing and this ink is impressively waterproof and I am not sure it is sold as such. The first photo is after a had put the dried swatch under a running tap and you can see some of the ink is lifting and running off.
I was quite surprised by how little lifted so put the swatch under the tap again and no more ink was washed away. The run off this time was clear. I am definitely recommending this ink!