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Each year Lamy release a limited edition Safari and accompanying ink. In 2016 this was the famous Dark Lilac. Over time there have also been limited edition Studios, Scalas, and Al_Stars and this year the latter received the Charged Green finish plus a matching ink. Available in cartridges and bottles (US only ?), this did not sell well with pens still being available years later. It was 2019 or 2020 when I bought mine, with a box of five cartridges in the blister pack, from the bargain bin at my local WH Smith (UK based newsagent and stationary chain store).

Caveat time. I realise I am reviewing an ink here which was released six years ago and so will be hard to come by. Originally this article was to be written as a source of interest, however I found that Lamy Charged Green ink can still be found at some vendors for normal prices, though anyone interested may have to be prepared for some web hunting work.

Initial Impressions

Originally I thought this was intended to be used as a highlighter and would be too bright for everyday writing. It is bright, but when compared to actual highlighters (see comparisons at the end) I realised it might actually be too dark, plus it is missing the fluorescent element you usually find. As I had it loaded in to a BB nibbed pen I never thought it would be usable. Testing for this piece proved me wrong.

Swabbing Impressions

Believe it or not but the above swatch was made with my usual four passes which should have resulted in a graduated effect. Instead we see two colours, a lighter yellow-green around the edges and an apple green (?) for the darker patches. It is a little darker where the third and fourth passes were applied, but you do see a similar patch at the start of the area where the second pass was started.

Writing Impressions

On the Midori MD paper the Franklin Christoph needlepoint wrote well and produced surprisingly dark writing, though the lack of shading is not unusual for this type of nib. The OMAS produced two tone results, which is relatively attractive to look at. Additionally there was very little feathering, something I normally see on this paper with wet nibs. The Franklin Christoph SIG nib worked well with this ink and there is no real difference in levels of saturation between this and the previous nib despite it being a lot dryer than the OMAS. With the Pelikan Pelikano there was next to no shading however the results were still good.

It is interesting how the ink looks lighter on the Black’n’Red Optik paper when compared with the Midori MD. There was some shading on this occasion with the needlepoint, however there was less with the OMAS. In some respects the writing with the latter looks better as a result. This time the writing from the SIG nib was lighter than that of the OMAS and this was the one time where the text produced by the Pelikano was possibly a bit too light for easy reading.

The Tomoe River paper produced slightly lighter writing again. It is almost as if the ability of the Midori MD to absorb more ink helped with legibility. Having said that the Pelikano writing is better to me on this paper than on the Optik. What is interesting, as a side note, is that the Bock BB nib in the pen I presently use with this ink actually produced narrower lines than the OMAS broad nib (which is wet) and the Franklin-Christoph SIG, with the latter being based on a JoWo broad. The splodge of spread ink at the bottom does show a good range of hues for this ink, greater than on the swatch card.

Shading and Sheen

There is a significant difference in the levels of shading with Charged Green, however there are only really two hues seen with actual writing, a light and a dark. Still there is a noticeable difference between the two and the results I consider to be quite attractive.

This is not a sheening ink.

Flow and Consistency

Lamy Charged Green flows very well. I saw no indications of any reluctance to be moved up and down a converter when upended. I think this ink will work well with virtually any pen.

Drying Times

I would suggest this ink has an ‘average’ drying time, which is not surprising as many Lamy inks fall in to this category. The 5 second test does show that it will smudge and left handed people may have to be cautious as a result.

Packaging

Care of the Goulet Pens blog.
Care of The Pen Shop.

From what I can tell the bottles were only available in the USA. In the UK I only saw boxes of cartridges and I am not sure if they were available separately from the pen unless you went online. I used a syringe to decant my five cartridges to a vial prior to filling a pen (and then moving the ink once more to the converter used for the writing tests above).

Swab Comparisons

There were a couple of inks in my swatch set I thought would be close and which I included here. Additionally, after my initial impression this would was meant for use as a highlighter, I had to compare Lamy Charged Green with Pelikan Highlighter Yellow.

I had to take a photo for the ‘fluorescent’ effect of highlighter ink appears to make it near invisible under the harsh light of the scanner. Needless to say when you do compare the two you can see Charged Green was never intended for this use.

Here I compare Charged Green with the three inks I thought would be similar, however in reality it is a lot lighter and comes across more as a yellow with a green tint in this comparison.

Cost

In the UK Lamy have always sold the special and limited edition inks (ignoring the Crystal range) for the same price as their regular line up. This will have been no different with Charged Green. Looking around, despite being a 2016 release, The Pen Shop still have some boxes of cartridges available online.

Views

Mention Lamy inks and many people will yawn. After all virtually every pen they sell comes with either a cartridge or bottle containing their blue ink. A colour suitable for school use. A boring colour. Additionally Lamy green and red are both poor when compared to their rivals, and this is what people think about, especially as the inks are at the low end of the market price wise. It is often forgotten the black is very popular and the turquoise is regular touted as being a favourite of many a reviewer. So where does Charged Green sit? After all it came out at the same time as Dark Lilac, an ink so over hyped that touts and chancers still try and sell part used bottles for over $100. The fact this was not widely distributed and also that I can find it still for sale in the UK shows it was not popular however …. I do rather like this ink. Sure it is a tad too light, but it provides us with the feeling of summer. It is a happy ink and one that I would suggest will work even in the most stubborn of pens, something this brand is usually very good at.

If you did pick up this ink and have not yet tried it I suggest you do even if, like me, you end up using a syringe to move it from a Lamy cartridge to a converter. It might not be for everyone but I am glad Lamy made it.

Tools Used

  • The Well Appointed Desk Col-o-ring ink testing cards.
  • Midori MD A5 paper (cream page writing sample).
  • Black’n’Red Optik A5 paper (white page writing sample).
  • Rhodia Dotpad No. 16 (drying tests).
  • GoodINKPressions A5 Tomoe River 68 gsm paper (white paper, this ink blot test at bottom).

Pens Used

  • J. Herbin glass dip pen with the tip slightly smoothed (used the writing on the ink test cards).
  • Franklin-Christoph 451 CDLI with a Mike Masuyama Needlepoint steel nib.
  • OMAS 360 GM with a broad 18k gold nib.
  • Franklin-Christoph 19 ‘1911’ with a broad SIG steel nib.
  • Pelikan Pelikano with a starter/A steel nib (also used for the drying test and writing in the pocket book).
  • Letter opener for the ink smear on the Tomoe River paper.