LAMY dark lilac is Back!

LAMY dark lilac

LAMY dark lilac ink (2024 version) on Tomoe River 52gsm paper, a purple ink with a green sheen

The fountain pen world was rocked in 2016 with the release of LAMY dark lilac, a special edition ink matching the safari fountain pen for the year. It was extremely popular, and many missed out. It even broke our website when it launched! This ink became the stuff of legends; it was sought after at pen shows, and across the internet. Sadly, it was an extremely limited release and once it was gone, it was gone. 

Today we are excited to announce that LAMY is bringing back dark lilac. There have been whispers of this re-release on the internet for days, so we wanted to make sure to share the official information as we have it. 

LAMY understood the demand to bring back this cult classic, and decided to make it a permanent part of their T52 ink collection. However, due to changes in color pigments and production limitations, replicating the exact shade became a challenge.


Our Quick Comparison - 2024 vs 2016

We’re calling it a “re-imagined” color. To our eye, it’s quite similar in color when written in a pen, though you can see the color variance more in a heavily saturated swab. The most noticeable difference is that the sheen is stronger and leans more green than gold.

The vibrancy of the purple is slightly reduced in the new ink compared to the original, which will be most noticeable on very ink-resistant, bright white paper. The purple color leans a tad more brown where the original leaned a bit more magenta.

These differences are fairly subtle but worth noting given the coveted nature of the original ink. We won’t try to say it’s exactly the same, but it’s a very good faith effort to homage the original color and for those who are really into heavy sheening inks (which seems to be a bit more en vogue these days) you may even like the 2024 ink better. 

LAMY dark lilac ink comparison

 Scroll on down to see our full ink review and comparisons towards the end of this blog post!


Why the Change?

One of the key pigment ingredients necessary for the original dark lilac ink has been discontinued, making it impossible to recreate the exact color. Despite efforts to match the original shade, there is a slight variation in the new formulation.

Despite the color variation, LAMY has decided to keep the name "dark lilac" as a technical color indication within the T52 ink family. This decision ensures that fans of the original ink can still enjoy a similar hue, even if it's not an exact replica.

LAMY dark lilac ink

LAMY dark lilac ink (2024 version) on Tomoe River paper, a purple ink with a green sheen


Statement & FAQs from LAMY

As LAMY continues to innovate and adapt to changes in the industry, the evolution of their ink colors will be an ongoing process. While some beloved shades may undergo modifications, the commitment to quality and excellence remains at the core of LAMY's mission.

Here's the official statement from LAMY as well as their FAQs: 

“After the worldwide success of the cult favorite T52 dark lilac in 2016, It was important for LAMY to revive this remarkable ink and make it permanently available to the public. Given the nature of color pigments and production changes, we were unable to exactly replicate the beloved ink. While we tried to reproduce the same shade of ink, the production for one of the key pigment ingredients has been stopped. Although there is a slight color variation and not an exact replica of the original, we have decided to keep the name as it is a purely technical color indication like all inks within the LAMY T52 family.”- LAMY Germany

(Q) Is the 2024 dark lilac the same color formulation as the 2016 dark lilac?

(A) The shade is predominantly the same, but the ingredients differ. The components and color pigments such as the red dye required for this ink are no longer available, giving the ink a slightly different colored sheen.

(Q) What is the difference between the 2016 dark lilac and the 2024 dark lilac?

(A) Given that the red dye used in the original production was not used, the main difference between the 2016 and 2024 production is the sheen which dries green rather than gold as in the original production. 

(Q) Why is the 2024 dark lilac named after the 2016 ink?

(A) Our intent was to bring back a beloved and cult favorite. Although there is a sligh color variation and not an exact replica of the original, we have deccide dot keep the name as it is a purely technical color indication like all inks within the LAMY T52 family.

(Q) Will the 2024 dark lilac be a worldwide standard product or a limited edition?

(A) It is part of the standard assortment, available worldwide. 

So that’s the backstory, thanks for hanging in there. Normally there’s not this much excitement around one color of ink, but this is pretty special.

Ink Review 

LAMY dark lilac fountain pen ink writing sample on white dot grid paper

LAMY dark lilac fountain pen ink writing sample on white dot grid paper

LAMY dark lilac fountain pen ink writing sample on white blank paper

LAMY dark lilac fountain pen ink writing sample on cream dot grid paper

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • 10-15 seconds – That’s reasonably quick; quicker than I would have thought with ink this dark and with this much sheen.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • Medium – This ink isn’t particularly water resistant, but still readable if it gets wet. It seems like the new ink is a little pinker and releases a bit more ink when wet than the original LAMY dark lilac. I think for anyone doing ink washing or using inks for watercolor, you’d like the new ink better. 


  • High – When swabbing across the page multiple times, you can’t tell any difference in the color. What you can see is a bit more of the sheen when applying multiple coats, and that’s more pronounced with the new ink than the original. The 2016 dark lilac and the 2024 dark lilac are pretty heavily saturated. 

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Medium – Purple inks in general might take a little more work to clean, especially when they’re this saturated. This one doesn’t cling to the converter but it does want to leave a greenish sheen coating on the feed. This isn’t hard to remove, but might take some physical wiping with a towel, cleaning with a Goulet Feed Brush, or using some pen flush to fully get rid of the sheen. In this respect it’s a tad more work to clean than the original, but no harder than any other highly sheening ink.


  • Very Low – You’re not going to get much shading out of this ink on pretty much any paper because of how dark it is. As we’ve said before, what you will get is sheen. The heavier you put it down and the more ink resistant the paper, the more of that green sheen will show. 


  • Low-Medium – The flow seems pretty consistent between the two inks, the original (2016) felt pretty dry on the page to me. The 2024 is just a tiny bit wetter, but there’s not a huge difference. It’s not a super gushy ink.  I feel like it leans a little more to the dry side. It wrote consistently but didn’t feel like it was rushing out of the pen. If anything, it felt like I was feeling a bit more drag from the nib than I do with some other inks. 

Comparisons to other LAMY purple inks

2024 dark lilac

  • Slightly browner than the 2016 ink, looks a bit desaturated on some papers due to the heavy sheen, it sort of washes out the purple
  • More absorbent paper and finer nibs, it’ll be harder to tell much of a difference between it and the original, but when you pour more ink on, that’s when you can tell
  • To my eyes, the new dark lilac actually falls between the 2016 ink and the new blackberry. These are all wonderful colors.

2016 dark lilac (not available)

  • Is slightly brighter/more magenta than the new ink or blackberry, not as bright as Azurite
  • Slight gold sheen, but you’ll almost never see it, you’ve gotta really dump it on some ink resistant paper to even see a sheen

blackberry (2024 SE)

  • The least vibrant of the 4 inks, leans the most brown
  • Sheen is more gold/brown, heavier than OG dark lilac
  • Not as much of a night/day difference with the new dark lilac in some lights, but the different color sheens make it look pretty different. This ink is special edition and won’t be around ongoing. 


  • Most vibrant purple out of the group also has the brightest green sheen, it’s a stunning ink but sticks out the most out of these 4 inks.
LAMY dark lilac 2024 versionLAMY dark lilac 2016 versionLAMY blackberryLAMY azurite

Check out our Swab Shop where you can compare our ink colors side-by-side.

LAMY dark lilac ink swatch

LAMY dark lilac ink (2024 version), a purple ink showcasing a heavy green sheen



I can’t sit here and tell you this is exactly what you’ve been waiting for if you missed out on the original ink. To the casual observer, they are both dark purple inks. I’m a pen nut myself, you and I both know that these subtle differences can make or break an ink for us pen enthusiasts. We currently have around 120 purple inks available on our site, and it’s the subtle differences that distinguish them.

2024 dark lilac is a different ink than 2016, and we’re just going to have to accept that. The exact original formula of dark lilac is no longer possible. I believe LAMY when they say they did their best and they were trying to get as close to the original as they could. I don’t fault them for the variance in color. I’ve seen it happen with other ink brands where a raw component changes or isn’t available anymore and the color shifts a bit on a given ink. This isn’t uncommon, it’s just really on display here for LAMY with dark lilac, mainly due to the mythical nature of the original 2016 ink. 

To LAMY's credit, if they were trying to capitalize on the legacy and demand of the original dark lilac, they would have made a big fanfare and announcement of the ink well before the release, gotten everyone all hyped up about it, and then downplayed the variance from between the new and the old color or just outright denied it. They did the opposite; they didn’t have any fanfare at all and arguably waited too long to make any public announcement about the re-release. When they did announce it they immediately disclosed the color variance and why it happened before the ink was globally distributed. They seem genuine in this whole endeavor and I appreciate that.

As I wrap up I want to thank everyone in the pen community who has such excitement and enthusiasm around this ink and fountain pens in general. After having been in this business for over 14 years, it never ceases to amaze me how passionate this community is. It’s my honor to get to be a part of that and to serve you all with content like this.

LAMY dark lilac is now available in 50ml bottles and our 2ml samples.

LAMY dark lilac ink

LAMY dark lilac ink (2024 version) on Tomoe River paper, a purple ink with a green sheen