Shimmering, sheening and other ink properties as experienced by a novice.

I just last week received an order from The Goulet Pen Company. In this order I received a couple of Rhodia A5 notepads, a Pilot Plumix pen with an italic nib, a Platinum Preppy pen with a fine nib, a converter for each pen, four samples of ink, a bottle of de Atramentis Hyacinth scented ink, and a bottle of Monteverde Horizon Blue ink. This was a learning experience.

The samples I received were Diamine’s Blue Flame and Blue Pearl, two shimmering inks, Organic Studio’s Santiago’s Sea Blue (also known as Earnest Hemingway), which is a sheening ink and Organic Studio’s Glycine a blue with some shading properties. On a previous order I got a mystery sample that ended up being Noodler’s Arizona Sunset.

I’m a complete novice in regards to fountain pens and their inks. It is very difficult for me to know exactly how to evaluate the inks based on the sales information, I just have to try it myself and make a note of how I perceive them to be performing. I also have nothing to know the various nib properties since I haven’t used a fountain pen in decades.

Pilot Plumix

Now I have some experience. I’m finding that I really like the Jin Hao medium nib over the Platinum Preppy fine nib but the preppy is a really nice pen. It’s also really, really cheap and it can be turned into an eye dropper pen very easily. I also discovered that I love the way my writing looks when using the Pilot Plumix with its italic nib but it doesn’t write near as smooth as the Jin Hao medium nib using the same ink, Monteverde Horizon Blue. I’m really a fan of Monteverde Horizon Blue and that’s probably due to the fact that it is a beautiful blue and its lubricated. It has no fancy sheen, no sizzling shimmer and little to know shading. It’s just a beautiful blue, well behaved ink.

And that brings me to my observations on the Organic Studio’s Santiago’s Sea Blue. I put it in my Jin Hao X750 with a medium nib. What came out of the pen on Tuesday night was a teal. A beautiful teal but with no sheen. Wednesday morning it started darkening up and produced a red sheen on what was dark enough to look black. I was expecting some teal shading but only got a hint of any teal, sort of like an apparition of teal, you think you see it there but it isn’t.

This was nothing like I expected and I wasn’t liking the results and then things got worse, the ink clogged up my pen’s feed making it skip and stop writing. I immediately washed that ink out of my Jin Hao and replaced it with the Diamine Blue Pearl. Shimmer is nice but it it’s subtle. Those little glitter particles will also gum up your pen. Diamine’s Blue Flame is the same but flows a little better, there is less shimmer too.

I’ll leave the Blue Flame in my Jin Hao until I empty the cartridge. Then I’ll clean it up and fill it with Monteverde Horizon Blue. That ink just flows and writes in a pretty solid blue color. I tried to test the Glycine from Organic Studios but I’ve misplaced the Platinum Preppy I put it in. What little I’ve managed to write with it it seems like a well performing ink with some interesting shading.

I’ll stay away from the sheening and shimmering inks for the most part from now on. I want an ink that will write when I need it. To that end I’m ordering more Monteverde ink in Red, Green, and Black to put into red, green and black Platinum Preppies that I will convert to eyedropper pens. I’ll play around with various colors but without the sheening or shimmering properties.

I’ll also play around with various other nibs. I liked the italic nib, next I’ll try a flex nib. Stay tuned.

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