Ink Review #144: J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor

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J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor: when this ink came out two years ago, I was just starting to get into fountain pens, and was really clueless about ink. I bought a bottle from Goulet Pens because the pictures online looked so amazing, but at the time I didn't know much about paper, and I wasn't impressed with how it behaved on copy paper, so I put it in a drawer and just kind of forgot about it. Frankly, I was really disappointed since I couldn't get any of the red sheen to show up, and the shimmer never seemed to come out as I wrote. I pulled the bottle out of my ink cabinet today and decided to give it another shot now that I've learned more about paper and shimmer inks, so let's take a look at it. 

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The bottle:

The bottle is beautiful-nice and heavy glass, looks great, but the opening on top is so narrow it's hard to fit some pens in for filling.

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The color...

Emerald of Chivor is a beautiful teal with red sheen and gold shimmer.

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I had a really hard time getting all of the shimmer to show up in the images. There is more shimmer present in the swab than you can see in the image.

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Those are some amazing ink drops-just beautiful. 

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This is a bit of a tangent, but I use Pilot Vanishing Points to review inks, and I clicked on the EF Vanishing Point to write with it, and a whole mess of ink spit into my hand. I've never had that happen before, and I use this pen daily. I don't know why this happened, I've had it spit a drop or two before, but never this much.

Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Medium-a lot of the ink washed away, but you could probably still figure out what the writing said.

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: The ink bled through in the flex nib on every paper, but did fine in the other nib sizes, so I would say low bleeding. 

Other properties: Low shading, medium red sheen, and gold shimmer. You can see the little bit of shading on Rhodia, Leuchtturm, and Tomoe River. You can see the sheen just a little bit on Leuchtturm, quite a bit on TR, and not at all on Rhodia. The sheen really is paper dependent-don't use this ink on copy paper or Rhodia and expect sheen. The shimmer shows up on every paper.

On 32 pound copy paper, you can see plenty of the shimmer, but there is just a little bit of bleeding, mainly in the flex nib. None of the sheen shows up on this paper though. 

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Robert Oster Aqua, J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor, and Robert Oster Tranquility. Click here to see the J. Herbin inks together. Emerald of Chivor is a blue-green, not a green-blue, meaning that the blue is more dominant than the green, so I think Aqua is the closest color-it is more blue-green while Tranquility is more of a green-blue. 

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Longer writing:

I used a Pilot Vanishing Point, broad nib on Tomoe River paper. This ink is wet-really wet. The broad nib felt more like a double or triple broad with this ink. 

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The shimmer showed up the best in the first paragraph. I rotated the pen before writing to get the shimmer particles in suspension, but then didn't do it again until I was done writing the whole page. The longer I wrote, the less shimmer showed up. It was still present throughout the whole page, just not as much as in the beginning. If I really wanted the shimmer to show up as much as possible, I would rotate the pen after every paragraph to make sure the shimmer stayed suspended in the ink. 

Overall, this ink goes in the art/fun category for me. It's a bit persnickety, needing frequent shaking to keep the shimmer flowing, and it really looks best on Tomoe River paper. It's not one I would use everyday, but it's a ton of fun to play with. I love the color, sheen and shimmer, so I am glad I have a full bottle because I know I will use this ink now that I know how to use it properly, just not as a daily writer. I think the main thing to know about this ink before buying is that you need to manage your expectations-you aren't going to get a ton of sheen on every paper, and the shimmer may not always flow as well as it could. Give it a try, because when it does work well it's a beautiful ink.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #143: Diamine Ancient Copper

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Fall is coming to a close, but I'm not giving up on amazing brown inks. One brown I always hear about is Diamine Ancient Copper, so let's take it for a spin. I purchased my bottle of ink from Cult Pens

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The color...

Ancient Copper is a red brown with shading and dark brown sheen.

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I've heard a lot of people talk about this ink in the past, but no one ever talks about the sheen. On Tomoe River you can really see the dark brown sheen.

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Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: Low-there was just a little bit of bleeding in the flex nib on Tomoe River paper and Leuchtturm paper.

Other properties: Medium shading, medium sheen (you can see the sheen in four nib sizes on Tomoe River, and in the flex nib on Rhodia and Leuchtturm).

On 32 pound copy paper, the ink feathered just a tiny bit in the flex and broad nib, but did really well other than that. 

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Diamine Autumn Oak, Diamine Ancient Copper, and Diamine Espresso. Click here to see the Diamine inks together.

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Longer writing:

I used a Pelikan M400 White Tortoise with a vintage 400N nib on Tomoe River paper. The ink felt about average in flow, maybe just a tiny bit on the wet side. I love this ink/pen/paper combo. 

Overall, I really like this ink-it's a nice color, and has some nice shading and sheen. The ink is also really affordable, which I appreciate. 

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #142: PenBBS 137 Wisteria Sinensis

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I have one more PenBBS ink to try this week-137 Wisteria Sinensis. This sample was provided to me by Vanness Pens, the only retailer to carry PenBBS in the United States as far as I know. 

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The color...

Wisteria is kind of a light magenta, not quite pink, but a very light purple.

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You can see the tiniest little bit of sheen on the edges, it's very faint.

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Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Please ignore the torn edge-tore it by accident.

Feathering: None

Show through: Low-medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: Medium shading, tiny bit of sheen (only in large swabs on Tomoe River paper)

On 32 pound copy paper there is just a little bit of feathering in the broad and flex nib.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for RSS mobile): Sailor Jentle Fuji-musume, PenBBS 137 Wisteria Sinensis, and Robert Oster Australian Opal Mauve. Click here to see the PenBBS inks together. 

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Depending on the lighting, the ink can look a bit more purple or a bit more pink.

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Longer writing:

I used a broad Pilot Vanishing Point on Tomoe River paper. In the beginning, after I had freshly filled the pen, the ink flowed fine, but as I kept writing the ink seemed to be a bit drier than average.

Overall, the ink is a bit too light in writing, and a bit too dry for me. It's not a bad color, just not the most practical for everyday use.

Disclaimer: This ink was provided by Vanness Pens in exchange for an honest review. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #141: PenBBS 41 Yunnan Blue

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Today's ink is PenBBS 41, which was provided to me by Vanness Pens. Vanness is the first place to carry the ink in the United States, as far as I know. I couldn't find the name anywhere in English, so thanks to a few helpful people in the Pen Addict Slack room, I found out the name of this ink is Yunnan Blue. 

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The color...

Yunnan Blue is a medium blue with a little bit of pink sheen. 

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Warning about this ink: it has a very strong chemical smell.

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Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: Low-only in the flex nib, but on all papers.

Other properties: Medium shading, medium sheen (only shows up on Tomoe River paper)

On 32 lb copy paper, there was a little bit of bleeding in the flex nib, very similar to how the ink behaved on the other papers. There was also a little bit of feathering. 

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile rss): Diamine Asa Blue, PenBBS Yunnan Blue, and Robert Oster Soda Pop Blue. Click here to see the PenBBS inks together. 

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Longer writing:

I used a Pelikan m400 White Tortoise with a vintage 400N nib. In the flex nib the ink was a bit of a gusher. 

When I do ink reviews, I only fill the flex pen half way so I don't waste ink. This ink was so wet in the flex pen that I actually had to refill the pen before I could finish. 

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Overall, this ink can be hard to find, I really hate the smell of the ink, and it does have some bleeding in the flex nib. I use flex nibs a lot, so it's not a great ink for me. If I want a medium blue, I would reach for Robert Oster Soda Pop Blue before this one.

Disclaimer: This ink sample was provided to me by Vanness Pens in exchange for an honest review. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #140: PenBBS 139 Phoebis Philea Johansson

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PenBBS is a new brand to me, and since Vanness Pens started carrying some of them, I wanted to give them a try. They are made in China. The first one I'm trying is #139 Phoebis Philea Johansson, which is a really long name for an ink, but that's ok. For the purpose of this review, I'm just going to call it Johansson. I have no idea how they come up with the numbering system for their inks, or even how many inks total they have, since I've had a really hard time finding any information about this brand. You can find this ink at Vanness Pens

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The color...

Johansson is a really light, bright yellow.

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When the ink is pooled it almost looks orange on the edges.

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Dry time: 32 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Low-Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: Low shading (only in the broad and flex nib) and no sheen

On 32 pound copy paper, the ink behaved well, but is really hard to read, just because the ink is so light in color.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Diamine Yellow, PenBBS 139 Johansson, and Robert Oster Yellow Sunset. Yellow and Johansson are very similar in color.

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The ink is easiest to read when used on white paper. On off-white, ivory or cream paper, the ink is closer to the color of the paper, and therefore harder to read.

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Longer writing:

I used a Pelikan m800 Brown Renaissance, medium nib, on Tomoe River paper. I didn't have any flow issues, the ink felt average in flow.

Overall, the ink behaves ok, but the only time I would consider using this ink would be as a highlighter. I know an ink is too light when I find myself unconsciously pressing harder to get more ink out to make the ink look darker.

Disclaimer: This ink was provided by Vanness Pens in exchange for an honest review. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #139: Diamine Purple Dream

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Diamine Purple Dream is from the 2017 addition to the 150th Anniversary collection. So far I have really liked the collection, and this is the last one from the collection I need to review. 

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The color...

Purple Dream is a medium purple with some shading and a tiny bit of sheen.

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The ink drops show off just a little bit of gold sheen where the ink pooled. 

Dry time: 32 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: Low shading, low sheen

On Moleskine paper, there is a little bit of feathering, some bleeding and high show through. This is not an ink I would recommend for cheap paper.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Diamine Lilac Night, Diamine Purple Dream, and Diamine Grape. Both Lilac Night and Purple Dream are from the 2017 Diamine 150th Anniversary collection, but Lilac Night is more blue-violet, while Purple Dream has a lot more red it in. Purple Dream is a little bit lighter and brighter than Grape. Click here to see the Diamine ink swabs together.

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Longer writing:

I used a broad Pilot Vanishing Point on Tomoe River paper, and didn't have any flow issues.

Overall, I think Purple Dream is a well-behaved ink. It's a pretty color, and the low shading and sheen are nice.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #138: Diamine Lilac Night

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Diamine Lilac Night is part of the 2017 installment of the 150th Anniversary collection. I purchased my sample from Vanness Pens

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The color...

Lilac Night is a dark purple with shading. It doesn't quite look like lilac to me, but it is a nice purple.

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There is just a little bit of sheen that shows through in large swabs.

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Let's look at how it behaves on fountain pen friendly paper first (Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm).

Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Medium-this really surprised me. Some of the blue ink washes away, but the purple stays pretty well.

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: Medium shading, tiny bit of sheen

On non-fountain pen friendly paper (Moleskine), there is a bit of feathering and bleeding. I wouldn't recommend this ink for cheap paper.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for RSS): Diamine Eclipse, Diamine Lilac Night, and Sailor Jentle Shigure. To see the Diamine ink swabs together, click here.

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Longer writing:

I started out with a Pilot 912 FA and then switched to a broad Vanishing Point. I used Tomoe River paper, and didn't really have any issues. 

Overall, it's well behaved and a nice color. I like that it has some shading and a tiny bit of sheen. 

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #137: L'Artisan Pastellier Olive

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I grabbed a sample of L'Artisan Pastellier from Lisa Vanness when she visited Seattle last month. You can find the ink at Vanness Pens here. I'm not really sure when I would use this color, but let's take it for a spin.

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The color...

Olive is well, and olive color, with some shading.

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I had a heck of a time getting the color to display correctly. In the pictures and scans the ink looked a lot more gray than it did on paper. (I color correct everything in Lightroom).

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There is just a little bit of green sheen on the pooled ink.

Dry time: 13 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Low

Bleeding: None

Other properties: Medium shading, Low sheen-I could only get the ink to seen in large swabs and in a flex nib on Tomoe River paper, I didn't see any sheen on the other papers.

On 32 pound copy paper the ink behaved well, I didn't have any issues.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for RSS): Papier Plume Streetcar Green, L'Artisan Pasteller Olive, and Rohrer and Klinger Alt-Goldgrun. I think Streetcar Green is the closest green, but it does shift just a bit darker than Olive does. Click here to see the L'Artisan Pastellier inks together.

Diamine Salamander, Sailor Jentle Epinard, and Sailor Jentle Miruai. Click here to see the green inks together.

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Longer writing:

I used a Pelikan m800 Brown Renaissance, medium nib on Tomoe River paper. It had a nice smooth flow.

Overall, the ink is well behaved, and I like the tiny pop of sheen in the flex nib, because the green sheen is really interesting. I don't think this ink is one I would use really often though, just because I tend to prefer brighter colored ink.

Disclaimer: I was given a free sample of this ink. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.

Ink Review #136: Diamine Tudor Blue

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Diamine Tudor Blue is one of the 2017 150th anniversary inks from Diamine. The collection has some really great colors-I love how the colors just seem to fit with each other. I wish all ink collections had colors that worked so well together.

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The color...

Tudor Blue is a vibrant dark blue. 

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There is almost a tiny tiny bit of sheen on the very edge of the ink drops. You really have to look for it to see it.

Dry time: 25 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: There was just a tiny bit of feathering on Rhodia, on spots where there was a lot of ink.

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: Medium shading, no sheen

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for RSS): Diamine Regency Blue (150th Anniversary collection), Diamine Tudor Blue, Akkerman #5 Shocking Blue. To see the Diamine inks together, click here. I think Regency Blue is the closest to Tudor Blue, but it has a lot more sheen than Tudor Blue does, and it is a bit darker.

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I started out writing with a Pilot 912 FA, but I've been having some problems with the pen hard starting and skipping, so I switched to a broad Vanishing Point. 

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Longer writing:

I really like the shading that showed up in the broad nib. It's really lovely.

Overall, I think this is a nice ink, it's well behaved and has a nice tone. It's not a super common color, which I think is part of why I like it.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.