Ink Review: Lamy Crystal Agate

By Jessica Coles

Today we continue down the path of Lamy Crystal inks.  I picked up two of these cute bottles at the Dromgoole’s table in Atlanta during the Atlanta pen show; Lamy Azurite and Lamy Agate ($16 each for 30mL).

I have noticed a trend across many ink brands towards more well made but smaller bottles. I am not sure yet if I like this trend, especially for inks that I love. However, the less ink in the bottle means it is easier to achieve an empty ink bottle; this also means less guilt about collecting multiple colors.

I love the detail Lamy put into these bottles including the band at the bottom of the bottle which matches the ink color.  On the Agate bottle, this is hard to notice since it is also the color of the metal cap.  But it is there!

In testing Lamy Crystal Agate, I chose a TWSBI Eco-T with a 1.1 nib so I could see the shading at its best and I think this was a great choice.  Agate is an ink that loves to shade and the contrast between the two tones is beautiful.

In the writing sample below, Agate has medium flow (neither wet nor dry) and it dries at a good pace to keep up with my handwriting (approximately 20 seconds). I noticed that as I wrote, the ink was a warm gray as I wrote but changed to a cool grey with green undertones as it dried.  This can be a good trait as it is fun to watch, or it can be negative if you find yourself unable to stop watching ink dry!

There was no bleeding or feathering on my paper (I used a Birmingham Pen Company Tomoe River notebook).

When you look closely at the swatch, the gray ink shows a few of its component colors; blue and green. I have found that gray is usually a very complex color in ink – not just a washed out black.

This can be seen more clearly on Col-o-Ring cards along with the shading of Agate.  There even appears to be a touch of purple at the edges of the darkest areas.

Comparing Lamy Crystal Agate to other swatches in my collection showed that it is closest to Diamine Silver Fox (one of my favorite gray inks) although a few shades darker, more in line with Diamine Graphite in darkness level.  Neither Diamine ink shows the complexity that is present in Lamy Crystal Agate, however.  To compare the shading and the mixture of color, I threw ink a swatch of Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall.

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Agate.  The bottle is beautiful and well designed containing a reasonable amount of ink; the price, although higher than standard Lamy inks, is still at the lower end of ink prices and the ink itself is lovely. I’m glad I picked up Agate and plan to add it to my standard rotation.

I think the Lamy Crystal inks have been an amazing addition to their standard line-up and I’m glad they’ve been added in permanently.  If you pick up a bottle, you may find yourself wanting to display it as well!


Disclaimer: All items in this review were purchased by me.  For more information, visit our About page.


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1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. I must have this. I may have to stalk Dromgoole’s, since I actually live fairly close to it. Thanks for the review!

    But isn’t the color stripe on the bottom of the cap, not the bottle? I didn’t spot it until I went back and looked at the Azurite review.

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