What's the Fuss: Parker Penman Sapphire

Penman Sapphire Scribble on Staple's Bagasse Tablet

More Sapphire Scribbles on Staple's Baggase Tablet

After all the talk, most positive, some bemoaning and forlorn at the ink being discontinued, raves about its colour, I was offered a bottle--for a price.

It is a beautiful colour, resembles several others, but is perhaps more of a pure sapphire.

But, and there is a but, among those raves were the original complaints about its clogging pens. Sure enough I had it in my white Lamy Safari, B nib, and although I use this pen often, it went unused for a couple of days. While this is generally not a problem with Lamy pens, this time, the pen went all cranky on me. It didn't seem to want to write unless I held it vertically.

When I dipped the pen in some cool water, a sea of blue floated to the surface and I was able to write normally--for awhile.

In my Sailor Sapporo with a music nib, the very same Penman Sapphire seemingly adapted better, didn't exhibit writing nausea and the ink colour looks delicious.

So the moral of the story on Parker Penman Sapphire is while it is a beautiful, luscious color, it is also an ink that contains properties that causes clogging in some pens and probably the manufacturer thought it best to withdraw the product from the marketplace.

I am withholding my own vote as to whether this is a keeper.

PS - I sold the ink for the price I paid for it.


  1. Good review. Your experience with Parker Penman Sapphire mirrors my own except that it was my blue ink of choice for a couple of years. The color has an iridescence no other blue can match. Eventually I decided a more well-behaved ink would be a better choice whenever I'm in a blue mood and Namiki Blue fits the bill just fine. Which blue do you prefer?

  2. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

    I haven't tried any Namiki inks yet--now of course I'd love to but I am so over-inked.

    As much as I loved the Penman colour its clogging issues were maddening.

    If I had to chose one blue now I'd say that Dupont Royal Blue is my favourite, but it is not quite as true as the Penman and also not easy to obtain.

    The runner up would be J. Herbin's Eclat de Saphir--not as deep as Penman or Dupont, but a lovely shade and well behaved.