Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition 2006
by Jim Mamoulides, July 18, 2006

Aurora Logo

Smaller after all these years

Aurora Sole
Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition fountain pen 2006 in bright yellow Auroloide
Feature pen of the 2006 Miami Pen & Watch Show

Good things come in small packages, or so the saying goes. For those who like and collect Aurora's long running Optima based limited editions, the new Sole Aurea Minima will be an interesting twist. Aurora introduced the bright yellow Auroloide Sole Limited Edition in 1996. It was a large edition with 7,500 numbered pieces in fountain pen, twist action ballpoint, and twist action pencil versions. The Sole Aurea Minima heralds the 10th anniversary of the larger Sole, and is made from the same material in the smaller Optima Mini size.

Aurora Sole
Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition rollerball pen and ballpoint pen

The name, Sole Aurea Minima, might translate from the Italian as "mini golden sun", and from the vivid yellow Auroloide, Aurora's name for its celluloid, to the special design sunburst clip crown, the new pen certainly states just that. Aurora elected to faithfully recreate the original Sole in a smaller size and stay consistent with the Mini format, staying away from the elaborate decoration seen on the Afrika and Asia Limited Editions. In that sense, the new edition is more like the 1994 red 75th Anniversary Limited Edition, the 1998 green Primavera Limited Edition and the bright blue 2000 Mare Limited Edition, essentially upfitted standard Optimas. Each of these editions uses a more vivid Auroloide than the standard Optima and each feature a unique engraving on the clip top.

Aurora Sole
Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition fountain pen

The Optima Mini platform is very much the fully functional Lilliputian Optima. The design incorporates the same shape and fittings as the larger pen from the cap top, distinctive ball clip and barrel shape, with the only notable difference being the truncated ink-view window. The pen has a distinctive classic look that harks back to the 1920s, and yet is a fully modern piston filler. The size is perfect for tucking away in pocketbooks and portfolios. The sketch pencil has a ringtop and comes with a necklace for safe keeping when not in use.

The Optima Mini uses a very smooth piston filling system which has the "hidden reservoir" feature of the larger Optimas, pushing out those last drops of ink and giving an additional page of writing when the pen appears to run dry. It works by turning the piston anticlockwise as far as it will go, which forces any remaining ink to the feed.

Sole Aurea Minima

Aurora Sole
Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition fountain pen 2006

The Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition set is based on the Optima Mini, a petite version of the Optima. It is equipped with a sized down version of the smooth Aurora piston filling mechanism, which has the "hidden reservoir" feature. The Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition fountain pens are fitted with a smaller version of the highly decorated solid 18 karat gold nib. All trim pieces are gold plated. The clip top, as with other Optima Limited Editions, has a sun engraving.

The Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition was released in four writing modes:

  • Fountain Pen, 750 numbered pieces - US $475.00

  • Capped Rollerball Pen, 550 numbered pieces - US $350.00

  • Ballpoint Pen, 750 numbered pieces - US $275.00

  • Sketch Pencil, 250 numbered pieces - US $350.00

Aurora Sole
Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition ballpoint pen and sketch pencil

Identification guide and features:

  • Bright yellow marbled Auroloide cap and barrel with gold plated trim

  • Gold plated engraved cap band, engraved "AURORA" on front

  • Black resin cap top and barrel end cap

  • Gold plated clip, with sun logo engraved on top crown

  • Black resin section, with ink view window where it meets the barrel

  • Solid 18 karat gold nib hallmarked with "18K" over "AURORA"

  • Available with extra fine, fine, medium and broad nibs

  • About 4 1/2 inches long capped and 5 3/8 inches posted

  • Piston filler

  • Five year warranty against factory defects

  • Retail price the fountain pen (model 095M) is US $475.00, matching capped rollerball pen (model 097M) is US $350.00, matching ballpoint pen (model 096M) is US $275.00, and matching sketch pencil (model 098M) is US $350.00

  • Packaged in yellow leatherette gift box


The petite Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition set arrived as the supermodel for the 2006 Miami Pen & Watch Show advertising campaign. To say the camera loves these pens would be to say the least. Some pens fight the camera all the way. The trim flashes, the color never looks right, the look is busy and hard to bring into focus, and so on. What was totally different is all the instruments in the Sole Aurea Minima edition look great in almost any setting and really grab the camera.

Aurora Sole
Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition fountain pen

What was also a pleasant surprise was how really well made and well packaged this edition is. Everything about the pens and pencil say quality. The smaller yellow leatherette boxes look really great, too. Anyone receiving one of these as a gift is going to smile when they unwrap it, not merely because of how nice they are, but they are so cute! There have been a number of smaller size pens introduced to the market recently, but the Optima Mini pens are really at the top in design and quality.

As this edition was on loan for photos and had to return to stock, we were not able to fill and write with the fountain pen. I can say that from experience, all Aurora piston fillers work very smoothly and are very similar in operation to Pelikan pens. The ink view window is narrow, but large and clear enough to give a good indication of where you are with your remaining ink supply. The clip is rigid, more so than the larger Optima, being shorter, but provides plenty of grip.

Aurora Sole
Aurora Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition fountain pen 2006 complete set
Feature pen of the 2006 Miami Pen & Watch Show

The nib is nicely engraved, with the classic Optima scroll work, and the gold color works well with the bright yellow of the pen. Aurora nibs are firm and very smooth, and if like other Optimas, should write a nice, even line.

The biggest consideration with this edition is the small size. The fountain pen is only about 4 1/2 inches long capped, and 5 3/8 inches posted. The ballpoint is only 4 1/4 inches long, and the sketch pencil is a tiny 2 1/2 inches. That's a really short pencil! If you can get around the small size, they are very attractive individually, and really neat as a set.

Based on the familiar design and quality, the Sole Aurea Minima Limited Edition set should be a treasured addition to a collection, or a much enjoyed smaller size user set. Excellent in all ways. A home run on a hot and sunny summer day.


This pen set was loaned for the photography for the 2006 Miami Pen & Watch Show. For more information about the show, please go to We would like to thank Bertram’s Inkwell, the sponsor of the show and an Aurora dealer, for letting us photograph it.

Comments on this article may be sent to the author, Jim Mamoulides Bibliography