(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
The Lamy Crystal Ink line is named after various gemstones and includes eight colors: Agate, Azurite, Beryl, Obsidian, Peridot, Rhodonite, Ruby, and Topaz.
Lamy Crystal inks come in beautiful triangular-shaped bottles with silver caps. The bottles are deep enough that you can get a good fill even with large nibs.
I tested Lamy Crystal Agate on Rhodia Dot paper using Lamy Vistas in various nib sizes. Agate is a gray color that leans toward the green side of gray (unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the green cast to the ink in my photos). It’s fairly light when using fine, medium, and even broad nibs though in swabs it ranges from medium to dark. It’s a dry ink, and it is not waterproof.
On a Col-o-dex card with a dip pen, the ink is much darker, though it does not have much, if any, shading and has absolutely no sheen.
Chromatography reveals a good amount of gray, some lavender, and a tiny hint of blue and yellow. However, despite these other colors, Lamy Agate is a rather flat gray.
In a super wide nib (Handwritmic Ruling Pen), the ink has some shading, especially where it pooled, but, again, no sheen.
I am unimpressed with Lamy Crystal Agate. It’s a bland gray with a hint of green. It lacks any characteristics that might set it apart, such as excellent shading, sheen, or color variations. I reviewed several gray inks here, and I recommend Papier Plume Oyster with its beautiful blue-grey tones and nice shading and Kobe #10 Mikage Grey with its deep purple-grey hue, excellent shading, and sheen.
If you want a basic gray ink and don’t mind the green cast, Lamy Crystal Agate is available for purchase from Vanness Pens $16.00 for a 30ml bottle (and, if you hurry, it’s currently on sale for $14.00).
(Vanness Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)