UPDATE: It’s come to our attention that this formulation of Australian Opal Mauve was mis-mixed. According to Robert Oster, about 1/3 of the bottles formulated reached retailers and were sold as is. The correct color of Australian Opal Mauve is considerably more blue-purple and is what is currently available. The ink color shown in this review is no longer available as “Australian Opal Mauve”. Maybe it will re-appear in the future under a different name?
Robert Oster Australian Opal Mauve ($17 per 50ml bottle) is one of my favorite ink colors from 2017 and I cannot believe I hadn’t written a review for it already. So, I’ll start out with an apology for waiting so long to write a review and confess that this will be a wholly biased review.
I swatched this ink color from a sample at the Little Rock Pen Show in 2017 on a whim. Up until this point, I’d mostly tried Oster’s blues and greens and Opal Mauve was so unusual from any of the other colors I’d seen from Oster at that point, that I walked across the aisle of the show and handed Chris at the Vanness table the requisite funds for a whole bottle.
I really wouldn’t describe the color as mauve as the word as developed such a disreputable association over the years. It is absolutely luminous. It hovers between lavender and red-violet with an occasional flash of deep violet or pink shading depending on whether it gets dark or light.
Look at that range of color! It is like a purple opal for sure.
Even with a fine nib, its still fully legible for writing with a plummy tone — not too pinky but not a dark purple either. If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you might remember a few years back I was on a hunt for a smoky plum ink? Opal Mauve is a little bit pinker than what I had originally envisioned but a heck of a lot closer than any of the inks I tried.
Opal Mauve has little-to-no water resistance but would make lovely shading inks for painting.
Compared to some other inks in my stash, Opal Mauve certainly has the greatest range of color shading. Colorverse #4 Einstein Ring is a bit darker. Private Reserve Arabian Rose is very close in color but does not have the same range of shading not does Rohrer and Klingner Alt. Bordeaux.
Like I said at the beginning, this is one of my favorite inks from Robert Oster and one of my favorite ink colors in general. The color is beautiful, with tons of shading and color variation. The hue is unique but legible. Not that I could ever narrow my inks down to a Top 5, but if I could, this would probably be in that list.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 16 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Midori bullet pencil modified dip nib holder with Zebra G titanium nib ($33.50 per 10-pack), Acrylic dip nib pen (Approx. $18), Shawn Newton Esterbrook Nib Holder with #9556 nib
- Swatches: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Book ($10) & Col-o-dex Rotary Cards ($15)
- Brush: Blick Synthetic Round #0
- Ink: Robert Oster Australian Opal Mauve ($17 for 50ml bottle)