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Diamine Delamere Green

20 Sep

Up today is a fun green from Diamine Ink. It is Diamine Delamere Green. I’m not big on green inks, but I quite like this one. I think it is because of its blue undertones (I’m a sucker for blue-green inks). Make no mistake, it is definitely more green than blue.

My husband has to use a green ink for work, and this is one of his favorites to use. He usually uses a Lamy Safari with a fine nib or a Faber Castell Basic with a fine nib. He is a lefty over-writer, and he reports no issues with smearing.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding on good paper
  • Great flow and lubrication
  • Drying time is average with a normal sized nib, but was a bit extended with the fat stub on this Estie. There was no point in even trying to get a calculation. The time was well in excess of 30 seconds.
  • Shading is good especially with a fat juicy nib on a coated paper like Rhodia, et al.
  • Not waterproof or water-resistant.

This ink was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine ink. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.


Diamine Chocolate Brown

16 Sep

My attraction to brown inks is a fairly recent one. I used to detest them. Why? I’m not really sure. I suppose I just built up a sort of brown ink block. Boy have things changed now. I recently reviewed Diamine Saddle Brown, it is one of my favorite brown inks. Well, Diamine Chocolate Brown is my second favorite Diamine brown ink and probably one of my all time favorite browns, up there with Caran d’Ache Grand Canyon Brown and Noodler’s #41 Brown (old formula). Now, I generally don’t care for browns that lean toward another color. Chocolate Brown, like milk chocolate leans a little toward red. It is subtle enough to not bother me, but not so subtle that you can’t notice that there is just a little something different about Diamine Chocolate Brown. This is definitely a good dark brown ink.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding.
  • Very good flow and lubrication.
  • Fast drying time.
  • Some shading on coated papers.
  • Not waterproof and really not very water-resistant either

(click to enlarge and sharpen the image)

This ink was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine Ink Co. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Diamine Imperial Purple

13 Sep

Here is another great purple: Diamine Imperial Purple. This is another ink that is “just purple” to my eye. It is very similar to its label-mate: Majestic Purple, except that Imperial Purple has just a touch more red to it, and I find it to be a more vibrant color than Majestic Purple. As compared to the newest love of my life, PR DC Super Violet, Imperial Purple is similar, but a bit more red and somehow a bit less exciting. Still, when it comes to purples, this is also a very good choice.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding
  • Good flow and lubrication
  • Average drying time. This Lamy Studio is a very wet writer.
  • Shading is ok on coated papers and pretty much nil on absorbent papers.
  • Not waterproof. Some measure of resistance if you are quick to clean up any spill.


(click to sharpen or enlarge the image)

This ink was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine Ink Co. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Diamine Registrar’s Blue, An Iron Gall Ink

6 Sep

Up today is Diamine Registrar’s Blue. This is one of very few Iron Gall inks on the market. I have previously reviewed two other iron gall inks: R&K Salix and R&K Scaboisa.

Iron gall inks have been in existence for many hundreds of years, but most were for dip pens only. However, with the advent of the fountain pen, at the turn of the last century, came fountain pen safe iron gall inks as well. Iron gall inks are waterproof, and have been proven to stand the test of time despite their acidic nature (can eat through some papers over the course of several decades). Diamine Registrar’s Blue is a fountain pen safe traditional blue-black. It goes down blue and quickly begins to color shift to a very dark almost black sort of color. Here is a picture of the color shift:

(click to sharpen and enlarge the images)

When I first attempted to use this ink I experienced a near immediate clog. When I filled my pen, I had dipped it all the way to the bottom of the bottle. Iron gall inks tend to have a lot of sediment in comparison to  conventional modern fountain pen inks, so I likely sucked some of that sediment into the pen. I flushed the pen without much difficulty, and filled it again with this time not dipping the pen too deep into the bottle. The second time worked out just fine, and I had no clogs. This potential for sediment and the acidity of the ink put iron gall inks in the high maintenance category. In my opinion, this ink is worth the extra effort.


The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding. This ink performs admirably on poorer quality papers.
  • Flow and lubrication are pretty good, but iron gall inks tend to run a bit dry. This ink is no exception.
  • Drying time is a bit long with a wet writing pen.
  • Excellent shading.
  • 100% waterproof!


This ink was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine Ink Co. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

PS: I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prays. I have made it back from my trip to see my grandpa. He is stable, but not doing well at all. I’m just glad I got a chance to spend some time with him before it was too late.

Diamine Saddle Brown

22 Aug

Hello all! I just got a new monitor. I’ve been messing around with the color calibration. I think I’ve got it right, but I’m not all the way sure. If my scans start looking really off please let me know. This has been really frustrating!

Up today is Diamine Saddle Brown. This is one of my favorite brown inks. To me, it is a true medium brown with very slight reddish undertones. It doesn’t lean heavily one direction or the other. It’s also quite well-behaved with a little water resistance as well.

This is the ink I chose for my first fill of my newest pen: the Pilot Custom 823 in Amber with a Medium nib. These two inks love each other!

The Details:

  • Minimal to no feathering depending on the paper.
  • No bleeding.
  • Good flow and lubrication.
  • Average drying time at 5ish seconds.
  • Very good shading on coated papers like Rhodia. Otherwise, there isn’t a whole lot of shading.
  • Not waterproof, but it is resistant. See image below.

(click to sharpen and enlarge the image)

This ink was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Private Reserve DC Super Violet

15 Aug

As most of you know, this past weekend was the DC Pen Show, the largest pen show held in the USA.

Private Reserve Ink has a history of doing special inks for the DC show. Several are now a permanent part of the PR ink line: DC Supershow Blue, DC Supershow Green, and Electric DC Blue. This year, they have released DC Super Violet. This ink, however, is a limited edition ink. There are only 500 bottles available. The bottles are large at 110ml and the cost is quite affordable at $10 a bottle (MSRP). Even if you did not attend the show, you can still get the ink. I purchased my bottle from . Pendemonium also had some for sale, but theirs is priced above MSRP at $13.

Now, I usually don’t go for limited edition inks because I hate the feeling of getting attached to something that may not be available later on, but I just could not pass this one up. I love everything purple, and this ink falls squarely within the portion of the color range that I love most. The bottle is huge at, and I have a lot of inks anyway. I probably won’t run out any time soon, so the fact that the ink is limited shouldn’t be a problem (at least that’s what I’m telling myself).

DC Super Violet is a medium-dark purple. Just like I like it. It is a very true sort of purple. It straddles the line between blue and red. It is similar to Diamine Majestic Purple, but DCSV has a brightness that MP lacks. It is also similar to Rohrer & Klingner Cassia, but DCSV is a little more saturated and brighter than Cassia. To my eye, DCSV is the perfect purple counterpart to DC Supershow Blue: Rich, bright, and a true representation of the color.

The Details:

  • Generally, there is no feathering or bleeding though you can get a minimal amount of the two depending on how wet your nib is and the quality of your paper. The Jinhao nib is super wet. I get slight feathering on everything except Rhodia et al.
  • The flow is superb and the lubrication is quite good as well.
  • This ink dries pretty quickly depending on the paper. I’d say it’s about 3 seconds on absorbent paper to about 20 on Rhodia (with a wet writer).
  • The shading is wonderful even on regular paper, and it is outstanding on a coated paper like Rhodia.
  • Unfortunately, this ink is not waterproof. It displays very little water resistance as well.

(click to sharpen and enlarge the image)

All in all, I love this ink! It’s just such a shame that this is a limited edition color. Hopefully, they will make a version DCSV that is a permanent offering like they did with DC Supershow Blue. In the meantime. I will just cherish this bottle!

If you want a bottle I suggest you move fast. This one won’t be around for long.

No Affil.

Diamine Sapphire Blue

12 Aug

This is an oft recommended ink, and I can understand why. It is  a very standard looking medium blue with a hint of purple. There are other similar colors such as Waterman Florida Blue, J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir and Quink Washable Blue. But, what this ink has that those don’t is higher saturation. That fact makes this my favorite purplish blue ink of the bunch.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding.
  • Great flow and lubrication
  • Average drying time
  • No shading
  • Surprisingly water-resistant

Now, last week I reviewed Noodler’s Baystate Blue. In my opinion, this is the closest BSB sub that I have seen. Of course it isn’t perfect. When you are trying to come up with BSB subs there are certain concessions that must be made. Firstly, you aren’t going to be able to get that trademark vibrancy that BSB is known for. There really aren’t any other inks on the market that will glow like BSB, so if that is the most important characteristic to you, then you might as well stick with BSB. Secondly, you aren’t going to get the same level of waterproofness from any sub. You can get some water resistance, but not 100% waterproofness.

In my opinion, Sapphire Blue is  a very similar blue with a bit more purple thanBSB. It is not as vibrant, but it still jumps off the page. It is almost as saturated. It has a pretty high level of water-resistance.

This sample was sent to me by the good folks at Diamine. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Noodler’s Bluenose Bear, A detailed review

10 Aug

I want to start this off by saying that I am an incurable Noodler’s ink fan. I believe the company, with very few exceptions, makes inks that make the everyday usage of fountain pens possible. The wide array of colors, fraud/water resistant specialty inks, and constant innovation are invaluable. I honestly, don’t know where our hobby would be without Noodler’s ink. I will forever be a fan.

Having said that, I must admit that I am terribly disappointed in Nathan’s latest creation , The Bluenose Bear. Perhaps this ink is a victim of misdirected marketing or over-hype. At particular issue here is the claim of a lighter, brighter blue outline/halo around your line when you use a flex pen. Nathan has been hinting at creating such a novelty ink for a couple years now. I, for one, have been eagerly awaiting its debut. Unfortunately, that feature is inconsistent at best and unattractive at worst.

On the other hand, Bluenose bear is quite a nice blue-black color with a bit of a green hue. The color of the ink itself is very similar to Noodler’s Coral Seas, an Australian exclusive ink. The “outline” is a much brighter turquoise sort of blue.

The Condensed Details (with explanations to follow):

  • This ink exhibits some of the worst feathering and bleeding I’ve seen in a Noodler’s ink.
  • The flow and lubrication are average.
  • This ink is very fast drying
  • The shading is excellent. The ink produces a bright blue outline/halo where the line is the most saturated.
  • This ink is not 100% waterproof, but there is a grey component that remains on the page.

(click to enlarge and sharpen the images below)

Now let’s get into a bit more detail:


While I had high hopes for this ink, I have to admit that I was concerned that the blue halo might look a bit too much like feathering for my tastes. Unfortunately, I was right. The bright blue component of this ink behaves quite poorly. Presumably, this is what makes the halo effect possible. On certain papers, the bright blue component separates from and spreads out beyond the blue-black line thus giving the impression of an outline/halo. The outline is by no means smooth. It is jagged like one would expect from feathering. It is also inconsistent. It jumps out here or there depending on the amount of ink put down.

Below are two samples of the “halo”. “Xerox” is written on 24# Xerox multi-purpose paper. This is typical office paper stock. This paper is generally quite fountain pen friendly, but it seems to bring out the worst in Bluenose, and, consequently, displays the halo best. “Rhodia” is written on a Dot Pad. Bluenose is better behaved there while still showing some halo.


That same bright blue component of the ink tends to bleed if enough of it is put down on the page. When I say bleed I do mean bleed. In some cases, it will go through to the next page. Here, again, are the words “Xerox” and “Rhodia”.  I am also including a full scan of the back of two office papers sheets. As you can see, the bleeding is awful on the office paper, but tolerable on the Rhodia. However, it should be noted that it is very difficult to get an ink to bleed through (or feather) on Rhodia paper. This ought to give you an idea of how pervasive the problem is.

Flow and Lubrication

The flow is good to average. I’m still getting used to the flex pen, so I had some railroading issues in some of the samples. That was my fault not the ink’s. Lubrication is also average. The flex nib is quite scratchy at times. That is the nib’s issue, but it would be nice if the ink has more lubricant qualities to help smooth the nib out a bit.

Drying time

Bluenose dries almost as soon as it hits the page. This was true of all the papers I tested.


Now, the shading of this ink is phenomenal, but with it can come feathering and bleeding. If you use high quality heavier papers (like the Clairfontaine Graf It pad or Crane’s Choice) and a juicy stub italic nib you can get some truly amazing shading with minimal feathering and bleed through. If you are an artist, I’m sure you could achieve wonderful results with a brush pen.


I need to do some further testing, but I’d place this ink in the near bulletproof category. The blue-black color washes away, the bright blue fades and spreads, but a grey line remains.

Other considerations

Perhaps this ink is better suited for the artist rather than the conventional fountain pen user. As Nathan promises, this ink does glow when used on IVORY paper and viewed under a black light. The ink also shows some interesting variations when swabbed that might yield interesting result if used with a brush pen.

All in all, I am not happy with this ink. I have no intention of buying a bottle of it. It is just too ill-behaved to use for writing. If you are like me and you can’t abide feathering and bleeding you might seek out the aforementioned Australian Noodler’s Coral Seas as a suitable substitute. However, note that it is whopping $32.

Below are more writing samples. I wrote on the following papers using a Noodler’s Flex pen and a Lamy Vista fitted with a 1.1mm Italic nib: Xerox 24#, HP LaserJet 24#, Clairfontaine Graf It 90g, Rhodia Dot Pad, Crane’s Choice 90g, American Stationery Business Monarch in Ivory, Tops 3 x 5 blank index card, and Tops 4×6 lined index card.

No Affil.

Cross Black/Pelikan Brilliant Black

5 Aug

I only have one bottle of black ink in my possession and this is it. I’m not a big fan of black ink. In fact, I just about never use it, but I purchased this bottle for two reasons: 1) I think everyone should have at least on bottle of black ink and 2) It was less than $5.

What’s interesting is that I actually kinda like this ink. It’s dryish without feeling the part, its got some decent water resistance, and it works well with dip pens.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleed through
  • Decent flow and lubrication, but it is a bit on the dry side.
  • Average drying time at 6 seconds
  • Very little shading. This isn’t the blackest of black inks, but it is plenty dark.
  • Very good water resistance

All in all, not a bad way to spend $5!

Note: Cross Black is the same as Pelikan Brilliant Black.

(click to enlarge and sharpen the image)

No Affil.

Noodler’s La Reine Mauve

3 Aug

Noodler’s La Reine Mauve, what a fantastic purple ink!

I love this color. I have no idea what took me so long to buy a bottle of it. LRM is a rich, deep, dark purple, and it’s waterproof to boot! What more can a purple lover like me ask for? I’ve been using it everyday for over a month now, and I’m still just as in love with it as I was when I first got it. I highly recommend this ink. It is a win for Noodler’s I assure you.

This ink is quite well behaved. Like all other Noodler’s Eternal/Bulletproof/Warden’s ink lines it will require a little higher maintenance, but nothing beyond an extra rinse here and there. It is quite fast drying, and it can be a hard starter if you leave your pen uncapped. Still, I haven’t had much trouble getting the ink flowing again. It just takes a couple strokes and I’m back in business.

Now, one of the things I really don’t like about this ink is the price. It is about $13 for only 1 ounce of ink. Noodler’s regular like runs about $12 for 3 times as much ink.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding on good quality paper. Can bleed a little on light weight/poor quality papers.
  • Excellent flow (can be a hard starter if the pen is left uncapped) and average to very good lubrication
  • Dries very quickly.
  • No shading whatsoever.
  • Completely waterproof. This is a Noodler’s eternal ink.
  • This ink has a strong chemical smell to it. If you use Noodler’s inks you are very familiar with the smell.
  • Finally, I do experience a bit of line bloat with this ink (same with its cousins Fox Red and Hunter Green).

(click to enlarge and sharpen the image)

No Affil.

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