It's funny how widely stationery opinions can range. I've heard several people (Brad included!) say that Volume 205 of the Palomino Blackwing Volumes is their least favorite so far, but for me it was the first one where I said, "Okay, fine, I will spend $25 on a box of pencils because I have to have those". And I have not been disappointed at all.
Like all the Blackwing Volumes, these are made from sustainable, responsibly-sourced California cedar. They smell delightful. This edition is designed to resemble the stone jade, both white and green--with six of each color in the box. The number 205 is the molecular weight of Jadeite, the most valuable variety of jade. The swirling colors remind me of the marbled papers inside old books, and I find the colors light and relaxing. I've found myself staring at the pencil when I should be writing with it. The brand is printed in gold, and there is a gold ferule with a black replaceable eraser.
This edition uses the firm lead core, the same as the one used in the 602. While it is definitely firm, it feels buttery smooth to write with, and I found it created a solid dark line, and shaded nicely. I scribbled for quite some time trying to see how long it would retain its point, and was very impressed. I'm certainly going to get my money's worth from this box of pencils, because they may outlast me. It will be a while before I have to sharpen this pencil.
The eraser worked okay--it took up most of the graphite, though it did leave a bit of shadow behind. If I were using these for sketching, I'd use a different eraser. But for writing, which I think the firm point is well-suited to, the eraser works well enough.
I confess, I am not a pencil expert--I have not tried all of the Blackwing editions, so I can't even say for sure if I have a favorite. So it's rather likely that those who don't care for this edition have a reason that is beyond my understanding. But if that's the case, ignorance is bliss, and I am very happy with these lovely pencils. If I didn't think that the ones I have were going to last me forever, I'd stock up on backup boxes.
I'd love to hear what your favorite Volumes edition has been, and why. This one has me wanting to dabble more in the graphite world.
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