the best of shimmer

Tips: our top 6 tips for shimmer inks

the best of shimmer

This post has been in the works for some time now… Last year was a great year for all inks glittery. We had the arrival of the new Diamine Shimmer ink range which was simply amazing. How often do sequels in life surprise and exceed expectations?

With our cupboards brimming with sparkling ink it’s about time to start writing with some of the stuff. But, before we can get stuck in, let’s talk some quick tips to help bring those pens up to scratch and flowing smoothly to get the best of shimmer. 

Here are our top 6 tips for shimmer inks to help you make them truly shine & shimmer 🙂

1. Shake it till you wake it

the best of shimmer

Shake the bottle well before inking. Make sure that the silver/gold particles are not sitting at the bottom of the ink bottle.

It’s important to mention that turning pen in hand couple of times before and during writing (to re-distribute the shimmer again) will do wonders and is very eye pleasing too.

2. Cleaning is the key

the best of shimmer

Flush the pens regularly (every 2 weeks or so). We do stock cleaning solutions by Diamine / J Herbin which are not essential, but they do help with the flow of stubborn pens. If you would like to read more about cleaning, click to see our blog here.

3. Go broad

the best of shimmer

Use wetter/broader nibs (it will work with Fine nibs too, the shimmer may be a little less apparent or only show under certain angle/light).

I would highly recommend to dedicate a pen to shimmer inks –  TWSBI Eco comes to mind first….

It is a demonstrator pen which shows off shimmering ink beautifully. You can also disassemble it for a thorough clean.

4. There is paper and then there is paper

Emerald of Chivor on Tomoe River Paper

I have seen shimmer even on copy paper, but if you really want to embrace the shimmer use good paper : Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Tomoe River… If you see a photo with crazy amount of shimmer & often sheen the chances are it was Tomoe River – inks really shine on this one 🙂 <3

5. Cheat

Help the flow by pushing some ink through. Push or turn the filling mechanism to get some more ink on the nib and feed (careful, have some tissue paper ready just in case, but you will get a hang of it very quickly). I know that someone might say – well, it’s just not on, but trust me…pens do suffer from ink starvation and this is just too easy 🙂

6. Floss

the best of shimmer

The final piece of advice – this is another cheat/hack which I use a lot (I tend to over-clean pens :))

If you have some DVDs around with security tags, cut them open. Inside will be 2/3 pieces of very thin metal called shim. You can use the shim to ‘floss’ the cut in the nib. Flossing will greatly improve the flow (which may get jammed with paper fibers or shimmer particles).

Shimmering inks do require a little extra effort but they are so worth it 🙂

If you have any other tips/questions please leave them in the comments. We love talking about shimmer 😉

Fountain pen ink cartridges

Fountain pen ink cartridge guide

Fountain pen ink cartridges

Let's talk about cartridges...

We love to get people into fountain pens (and ink), so I have decided to come up with something that would answer some basic questions about ink cartridges.

Cartridges are fountain pen refills and contain fountain pen ink. Most of the fountain pens which we sell will come with one. There are currently around 100 different colours available from 6 manufacturers in stock. Choosing the right cartridge can be tricky…

Compatibility - do you have the right cartridge?

Fountain pen ink cartridge size

Not all cartridges are the same, so let’s dive into the compatibility first.

There are generally 2 kinds of cartridges: International standard and proprietary.

Proprietary cartridges are made by brands (for example Lamy) and will fit only their own pens. They are incompatible with pens from other brands. If your pen is made by one of the brands listed below you will need a cartridge made by the same brand:

Aurora, Cross, Lamy, Namiki, Parker, Pilot (some) Platinum, Sailor, Sheaffer, Waterman (some).

International standard cartridges do fit a lot of fountain pen brands – the ones which we stock are: Caran d’Ache, J Herbin, Kaweco, Pilot and Viking.

Here is a fairly long list of other fountain pen brands that use International short cartridges: Bexley, Centropen, Conklin, Delta, Diplomat, DuPont, Edison, Faber-Castell, Inoxcrom, Italix, J Herbin, Kaweco, Montblanc, Montegrappa, Monteverde, Ohto, Omas, Online, Pelikan, Pilot (some), Porsche, Recife, Retro51, Rotring, Schmidt, Schneider, Sigma, Stabilo, Stipula, Super5, Tombow, Viking, Visconti, Waterman (some), Yard-O-Led.

To make this a little bit complicated International cartridges come in long or short version. As a general rule short cartridges will fit all pens which take international cartridges. There are pens which will fit one long or two short cartridges at the same time – one in use and one spare in the barrel.

We have the pen and correct cartridge. Next up - how to install one...

Insert fountain pen ink cartridge

Here is how to install a fountain pen cartridge. If the pen parts scare you check out our anatomy blog posts of Lamy Safari & J Herbin pen 🙂

  1.  Disassemble the pen by taking the cap off and unscrew the pen barrel.
  2.  Place the cartridge on the desk, lip (the part with little ball) facing up.
  3.  Support the cartridge in one hand and push the front piece of the pen (grip, nib facing upwards) on the cartridge until it gets pierced.
  4. Reassemble the pen. Nib should be pointing downwards.
  5. Wait for the capillary action to do the job of distributing ink. You can also gently tap the nib on paper until you see ink coming out.
  6. Pen is ready to write 🙂

Please note there are different ways of doing this (let us know in comments what works for you) – some pen bodies allow you to insert the cartridge inside and screwed the barrel back on which pops the cartridge too. You can also just push the cartridge into the front part of the pen…

We also recommend to clean your pen before installing a new cartridge – especially if you plan to use a different ink.

If it doesn't fit...

  • Have a look inside the barrel. Most pens (Kaweco) come with the cartridge inside the pen.
  • Some manufacturers put a blunt cartridge/spacer in the pen barrel to prevent cartridges from rattling around during shipping. These items may become stuck inside the pen if you try to install a cartridge without removing them. Check for cartridges and spacers (Lamy uses paper ring) in a new pen by unscrewing the barrel and giving it a firm tap to dislodge anything that’s inside.

Monteverde – belongs to a special category because their cartridges actually work 2 ways. It is a double sided cartridge which can fit Lamy pens (wider end) or pens which take International standard long cartridges (slimmer end). If it doesn’t fit try using the other end 🙂

Cartridge or converter?

That is a very good question.

Converters do open the doors to the world of ink, so you can use any ink you like. There are more colour options and brands to choose from. It is also more economical and environmentally friendly. We blogged about the price of fountain pen ink price here…

Cartridges are convenient, portable, clean, easy to use. You can take a few spares with you when you travel and don’t ever have to worry about them leaking. If you get a syringe and blunt needle you can even refill them (couple of times).

Cartridges have less ink capacity than other filling systems. Personally I don’t mind it because I like changing colours a lot 🙂 Anyway, here is a quick info about the capacity of cartridges. I measured what I could and researched the rest. Please bear in mind that the cartridges are not  completely filled, there is a small air bubble so there is a slight variance in capacity.

Sheaffer 1.5ml
Parker 1.4 - 1.5ml
International standard long 1.2 - 1.45ml
Lamy T10 1.1 - 1.3ml
Sheaffer slim 1.2ml
Monteverde 1.1 - 1.2ml
Platinum 1.1ml
Pilot/Namiki 0.9ml
Cross - 0.8ml
International standard short 0.6 - 0.8ml

Review – Monteverde Monza fountain pen

Monteverde Monza pen and ink


Monteverde Monza fountain pens come in a box with 2 cartridges and a converter. Sleeve on the box explains the filling instructions which is a nice touch (not many pen makers do this).

Transparent pens are really popular at the moment and Monteverde offers Monza in 4 colours : Crystal Clear, Island Blue, Honey Amber and Grey Sky.

Monteverde Monza colour family

I’m wondering if the pen can also be eye dropped – body is made of plastic and there is an o-ring which will help to seal ink chamber – if any one has tried it, let us know…

There are 2 nib choices – fine and medium. Mine is a fine and it writes similarly to Lamy/Kaweco EF steel nibs.

One of the coolest features of this pen is  transparent feed which will display the ink nicely. Ink on the photo below is J. Herbin – Lie de The #matchymatchy 🙂

Monteverde Monza transparent feed


Here is where Monza pen gets interesting – Monteverde advertises these as flexible nibs…we haven’t had a flexible pen before, so I jumped right in to give it a go…

BTW there is no need to use it as flex, it can be used as everyday pen too.

Get some good paper – there will be a lot of ink on the page, so make sure your paper can handle it 🙂 If you have an ink problem like I do, then this will help run it down a little 🙂 This kind of heavy ink usage has its benefits – it shows off shading, have a look at the pictures 🙂

The basic principle of flexing the nib is to press down on the downstrokes and use lighter pressure on the upstroke to create line variation. You could always just practice strokes first – after all modern or any calligraphy letterforms are constructed from a series of individual strokes. Some handwriting styles work better with flex, especially joined-up writing.

In conclusion

£15* for a pen with flexible nib – what to expect…

It’s not a true flex, but you can achieve some line variation out of it (more than you would from a standard for example Lamy nib…)

For true flex nib you would have to go vintage (expensive) or a dip pen (really scratchy, needs dipping a lot), so this is a good way to try and see if it’s something you might like to invest in.

Monteverde Monza is a lot of fun. Experiment, slow down, be mindful when writing, explore the flex possibilities – I will continue to use this pen to test inks and play with modern cursive writing.

*price was correct at the time of posting this article

A little HINT – see how many swirls you can do before the feed starts running out of ink (this is completely normal). I got good few flexes out of it 🙂

A big HINT – if you are going to use flex a lot then priming the feed will be necessary – simply turn converter and push some air out and let ink saturate the feed (have some tissues ready just in case) and you will be good to go again.

Blackwing Volumes 16.2

The ultimate guide to Blackwing Volumes

Blackwing Volumes

Celebrating a creative culture

Blackwing pencils have inspired a cult following and they are a dream to write with – Half the pressure, twice the speedᅠ- is the brand’s motto.

At first the number 602 was the name of the pencil after pencil 601 and before pencil 603. Over time however, as the following grew the 602 became a rockstar of graphite world. An icon that has been a part of creating Bugs Bunny, the Looney Tunes and many more.

“Over time, 602 has become a number with stories to tell…  What other numbers have stories to tell?” ~Blackwing (see more here)

The Blackwing Volumes are special editions that come out 3-4 times a year in limited quantities and tell interesting stories about locations, music & sports legends, film, photography etc. For stationery geeks (like us) the’ve transcended into a modern art form which we love to collect.  Listed below are all the Volumes that have been issued so far. How many of these can you remember and which one is your favourite?

We admire how creative Blackwing are with their pencils, so this post is an archive for all collectors out there 🙂

Enjoy! (^_~)

ps: We’ll keeping adding new Volumes as they come in …

Blackwing Volumes 205
Blackwing Volumes 73
RelasedVolume1. DesignInspired by
June 2015725The Sunburst Pencil - Sunburst Finish, Black Eraser, Gold Ferrule, White Imprint, Balanced Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Pearl pencil.Shiny gradient Fender Stratocaster guitar pencil tribute to Newport Folk Festival.
Blackwing Volumes 725
ReleasedVolume2. DesignInspired by
September 2015211The Natural Pencil - Natural Finish, Brown Eraser, Gold Ferrule, Brown Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Pencil tribute to John Muir & John Muir Trail.
Blackwing Volumes 211
ReleasedVolume3. DesignInspired by
December 20151138The Sfi-Fi Pencil - Barcode Finish, Black Eraser, Silver Ferrule, Silver Imprint, Soft Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Classic pencil.Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon - film is condensed on the barcode that is printed on the pencil.
Blackwing Volumes 1138
ReleasedVolume4. DesignInspired by
March 201624The Writer’s Pencil - Black Finish, Black Eraser, Black Ferrule, Black Imprint, Extra-Firm Graphite. The firmest of all pencils.Shiny Black on Black pencil tribute to John Steinbeck.
Blackwing Volumes 24
ReleasedVolume5. DesignInspired by
July 201656 The Joe DiMaggio Pencil - Pinstripe Finish, Blue Eraser, Gold Ferrule, Gold imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Tribute to Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and his 56 game hitting streak.
Blackwing Volumes 56

Autumn 2016. New logo & Sans Serif typeface. New improved eraser.

ReleasedVolume6. DesignInspired by
September 2016344 The Dorothea Lange Pencil - Deep Red Finish, Black Eraser, Red Ferrule, Red Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Dark room (rolls of Film) like pencil, tribute to Dorothea Lange and her famous Migrant Mother photo.
Blackwing Volumes 344
ReleasedVolume7. DesignInspired by
December 2016530 The Eureka Moment - Gold Finish, Black Eraser, Striped Ferrule, Black Imprint, Extra-Firm Graphite. The firmest of all pencils.Gold Rush pencil celebrating Eureka moments.
Blackwing Volumes 530
ReleasedVolume8. DesignInspired by
March 2017205The Jade Pencil - Dual Jade Finishes. Green and White, Black Eraser, Gold Ferrule, Gold Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602’s.First ever Volume that contains two different pencils representing Silk Road (white) trade and one of it’s most prominent goods - Jade (green).
Blackwing Volumes 205
ReleasedVolume9. DesignInspired by
June 201773The Tahoe Pencil - Tahoe Blue Finish, Raised Topography Texture, White Eraser, Silver Ferrule, White Imprint, Soft Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Classic.Inspired by the beauty of Lake Tahoe. 73 is a celebration of conservation success and represents Tahoe’s last measured Secchi depth.
Blackwing Volumes 73
ReleasedVolume10. DesignInspired by
October 20171Guy Clark Pencil - First Round Pencil, Matte Grey Washcoat Finish (Natural wood colour shows through) Denim Blue Eraser, Silver Ferrule, Silver Imprint, Balanced Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Pearl pencil.Pencil tribute to Guy Clark’s debut album Old No. 1 which is regarded as one of the most influential albums ever made.
Blackwing Volumes 1
ReleasedVolume11. DesignInspired by
December 201716.2Ada Lovelace Pencil - Matte white finish with white binary pattern stamp of Ada Lovelace’s initials, White Eraser, Matte Black Ferrule, Grey Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Pencil tribute to mathematician, writer and visionary Ada Lovelace. Each pencil has a binary pattern stamp of the initials she used to sign her work, AAL. The number 16.2 is a nod to the Analytical Engine’s storage capacity of 16.2 kB.
Blackwing Volumes 16.2
ReleasedVolume12. DesignInspired by
April 201854Exquisite Corpse Pencil - Rose finish, Blue dust-free Eraser, Silver Ferrule, Crisp Teal Imprint, Extra-Firm Graphite. The firmest of all pencils.Pencil pays tribute to surrealism and creative exercises that force us to look beyond our narrow personal perspective. The number 54 is a nod to 54 rue due Chateau in Paris, the birthplace of Exquisite Corpse.
Blackwing Volumes 54

Blackwing Volumes are limited editions and they don't hang around for long!

Grey is the new black

Grey is the new black

Grey is the new black

Grey stationery

Grey is a colour that doesn’t get on a popular radar very often, it really is the new Diamine Earl Grey ink which started it all 🙂 Then the new grey washi tape arrived followed shortly by grey Age Bag notebooks – coincidence? Hmmm… We love playing with all stationery, so Dominic went on treasure hunt around the warehouse and collected everything in grey. I helped with inks (of course) in another blog post. You can read about 10 different greys here.

Age Bag Grey notebooks
Opera Pebble envelopes
Grey Inks Comparisons

10 shades of grey ink

Grey Inks Comparisons


Grey is a colour that we haven’t really explored before. This post (and the next one to come) really is a sequel to Diamine Earl Grey ink which seems to be a trend setter. A lot of our friends asked for a side-by-side comparison, I looked around for more grey ink and found 10 in our sampling station 🙂 These 10 inks are all grey, but as you will see, they are not the same. We haven’t done this layout before, so please drop us a line in comments with your feedback. Do you have/use grey ink at all, if so which is your favourite? Inks were tested on Rhodia dot paper with a glass pen. You can zoom in on photos for the details too. Enjoy!

Diamine – Grey

This is probably the first grey ink that comes to mind… Subtle, shades well, very universal. Can’t go wrong with this one. Diamine inks come in 80ml bottles and are fantastic value for money.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Grey

Diamine – Graphite

Dark grey with green components which are very apparent in this ink. It’s almost black, colour is mossy and perfectly legible. Available in 80ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Graphite

J Herbin 1670 – Stormy Grey

It’s difficult not to take sides here, but this ink is the one that started a revolution of Shimmer – I love it 🙂 Base colour grey shades beautifully and it’s complimented with gold particles. Inked permanently in my Lamy 2000 <3 Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : J Herbin 1670 - Stormy Grey

J Herbin – Gris Nuage

One of the paler colours from the bunch. Warm grey with purple undertones and decent shading. Fantastic grey ink for painting/colouring with water brush. Available in 30ml bottles, 10ml bottles and cartridge form.

Grey Inks Comparisons : J Herbin - Gris Nuage

Diamine – Earl Grey

We wrote a short story about this ink here. Fantastic rich colour with strong purple tint and delicate shading. Available soon.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Earl Grey

KWZ – Grey Lux

Satin smooth ink to write with. This is one of the darkest grey inks. Very complex, satudated and made out of many dyes, almost black when dry. Absolute joy to use. Available in 60ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : KWZ - Grey Lux

Diamine – Sparkling Shadows

First generation of Diamine’s Shimmering inks. Grey with gold specs. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Sparkling Shadows

Diamine – Moon Dust

Jo’s number one ink 🙂 Pencil-like colour with silver shimmer. Fantastic name too. Second generation of Diamine Shimmer inks. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Moon Dust

Iroshizuku – Kiri Same

Light grey ink with expressive shading. This ink flows well as you can imagine all Iroshizuku inks do. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Iroshizuku - Kiri Same

Kaweco – Smokey Grey

Colder grey ink with green undertones and quick dry times. Shading is visible and the smoke in the name represents the colour well. It comes in both 30ml bottle and cartridge version.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Kaweco - Smokey Grey
Diamine Earl Grey Review - Rhodia White

Diamine Earl Grey – Ink Review

Diamine Earl Grey Review - Rhodia White

Are you on Reddit?

The good people of r/fountainpens – a fountain pen community on Reddit – reached out to our friends at Diamine if they would be up for a challenge. Could they make an ink purely voted for by the community?

This was a chance for us dreamers to have a go at designing our own ink. Imagine the warm fuzzy feeling when you ink up your favourite pen with something you made happen… Fountain pen mega star Stephen Brown has had his own ink made and finally it was our time to shine.

First up – Name and colour. Voting and comments got pretty heated – as you can imagine ink discussions do 🙂
The ‘Earl Grey’ name was submitted by our pen club friend Daniel, so we were rooting for him; also it is a pretty cool name. Over 3000 votes were submitted, 1000+ people selected colour Grey. Only about hundred votes separated the winner Grey from Gold and Teal (maybe next time).

Diamine then got to work and provided few swatches which we voted for too.

Two months later a brand new baby ink came into the world. Welcome Diamine Earl Grey 😀

Ink review

Diamine Earl Grey Review - comparison
Diamine Earl Grey Review - comparison

Grey is a fantastic ink to use – you won’t find a regular ballpoint/rollerball in such colour. Diamine Earl Grey is not too loud, so it can be used for almost everything. Very universal, slightly understated, but certainly not boring. Those purple accents are really eye catchy, especially on white paper 🙂 They do take a while to come out – we had to re-take the photographs because the colour has changed over night. The flow is very good, it is certainly not dry. Earl Grey shades extremely well. This ink is not waterproof or water resistant. We could only see a little bit of sheen on ink drops which were done on Tomoe River paper.

The more I use it the more I like it (especially when inked in purple pen = match made in heaven).

Please click on images below to see all the details.

This ink will be available soon in Diamine’s 80ml bottles. The packaging has a secret message printed inside the box regarding the Reddit community.

Big big thanks to Diamine for helping making our dream come true. We feel very privileged to be able to review it before release. Very well done to r/fountainpens Reddit community – you people made this possible! 🙂

I hope that Diamine Earl Grey will become a household name and will establish itself in Diamine’s already very successful line-up.

Diamine - Earl Grey

Shading - One of the best properties of this ink
Flow - Great!
Saturation - Very Good!
Sheen - Only a tiny bit on Tomoe River
Water Resistance - Nope
Mark's Travelife Turnclips

8 Uses for Mark’s Travelife Turnclips


Mark’s Tokyo Edge is a Japanese brand – no stranger to Bureau customers. I would even go as far as calling it a classic 🙂

Designed and made in Japan, the Mark’s stationery places an emphasis not only on contemporary clean design but also on added functionality.  Mark’s notebooks are a hit all year around, diaries season is blooming too, but today I want to talk about something else 🙂 A very small piece of stationery which is so helpful that it deserves it’s own blog post. Mark’s Travelife Turnclips

There many uses for the clips, we found 8 creative and practical ways in which you can use Mark’s Travelife Turnclips which you may or may not know about 🙂

1. Clip is a clip

Mark’s Travelife Turn Clips come in pack of 10 with 2 sizes and each size is numbered 1 to 5. They make perfect bookmarks, dividers and memo holders. I tend to use larger size for filing and smaller size for bullet journals. Ordinary application, I know – that’s why I love using some washi tape on these clips to make them my own.

Click here to see our Washi tape collection


2. Use with Buckle files as clipboard

Buckle files are my go to for carrying pads, loose sheets of paper, calligraphy printouts etc. I am currently doing handwriting drills and this one clip means that I can get them done anywhere.

Click here to see our Buckle file collection

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips clipboard


3. Make a pencil loop

Always forgetting to take your writing tools with you? Clip to the inside cover and slide a pencil snuggly through the gap. Turn clips are probably too small for pens, but if your pen has a clip you can slot that in.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips pencil or pen holder


4. Use as a mini picture holder

Smaller photos, business cards and postcards can easily sit on your desk with this minimalist holder. Perfect for reminders too.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips card or photo holder


5. Cable organizer

Another category where Turn Clips and Washi tape team up. This works great, no more crawling under the desk trying to find the right cable. If the cable connection is too big to fit through the arms of the Turn clips you can just take them off, insert the cable and re-install again. After you are done, tag them with Washi tape to remind yourself what is what.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips cable management


6. Headphones tidy

One of the best hacks 🙂 No more frustrating headphone tangles.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips earphone holder


7. Keeping those crisps fresh

Super useful in the kitchen. Fold the packet, clip it, done. Works for multiple packets too.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips keeping fresh


8. Fidget toy

There is something very satisfying about turning these clips and the sound the moving parts make…

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips fidget toyMark's Travelife Turn Clips fidget toy


So that’s it, eight interesting ways in which you can use Mark’s Travelife Turnclips.  Although I’m sure there are many more out there.

Let us know your own cool hacks in the comments (^_~)

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

J Herbin Anniversary ink of 2017 is…

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

The new J Herbin 1798 Anniversary Ink series

When Summer comes around and J Herbin announces their new anniversary ink, that is my favourite time of the year.

This year is no exception. We asked and they delivered 🙂 Well done J Herbin, well done…

Let’s have a quick intro from J. Herbin themselves first:

1798 INKS
The Maison HERBIN’s exclusive collection of
1798 Inks celebrates the year Jacques HERBIN
first introduced his own line of quality inks, an
important event in the history of this house
founded three centuries ago and whose story
continues today… Deep unsaturated colours
with optimal pressure sensitivity, 1798 Inks are
illuminated with shimmering flecks of silver for
an elegant finish.

Solid dark purple in the velvety hue of amethyst
with the satin finish of a silver mist for a lustrous
shimmering effect and a noble allure. Ural
Amethyst suggests the fires of this precious
gemstone from the reaches of Asia, prized by
jewellers of long ago.

Les Encres 1798, de la Collection exclusive
Jacques HERBIN, fête la date de production
originale des encres Jacques HERBIN, événement
décisif dans l’histoire de la maison fondée
en 1670 et dont l’aventure se poursuit… De couleur
foncée non saturée, sensible aux nuances
de pression, les Encres 1798 sont illuminées
du miroitement de paillettes d’argent qui en
moirent la surface.

Le violet profond, au ton plein et velouté, de la
pierre d’améthyste, satiné d’une brume d’argent
pour une robe d’écriture aux effets scintillants
de noble allure. Améthyste de l’Oural évoque
les feux de la pierre fine des confins de l’Asie,
jadis prisée par la joaillerie.

Well now we’ve learned from the new ink is what J in the name stands for – it’s Jacques 🙂

Apart from tinkering about with the name a little, there are quite a few other changes this year to the overall design and presentation as it looks like they are going through a minor rebranding exercise.

J Herbin 1798 bottle

The box is now a smart grey with purple label and white writing.  It does stand out nicely on plain background. Overall design looks more mature and reminds me of perfume bottle packaging. Capacity stays the same – 50ml of silver sheen enhanced ink aka superink.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

J Herbin listened to feedback and changed the bottle neck – it has new, wider, 2cm opening. Thumbs up! The new bottle is slightly bigger, but the shape remains the same. Cap is covered in purple wax. A shiny looking scarf goes around the bottle neck and suits it very well. I wonder if Jacques himself was so lavishly dressed! On the front there’s the 1798 stamp which ties up the scarf and a colour label underneath with the ink name – Améthyste de l’Oural.

To finish it all off, the glass on the bottom of the bottle is embossed with Jacques Herbin and his mighty ship.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

You’ve been good so far, waiting paitiently. So a drumroll please!

….And now for the ink itself 🙂 YES!

Colour of Ural Amethyst is everything we wanted – regal, majestic, dark, mysterious purple. This is the first time J Herbin used silver particles – previous 1670 range of inks (see our previous post here) used only gold. The ink is amazing – the more I use it, the more I love it.

I have left it in the pen for a week or so – there were no hard starts, pen started writing immediately. The particles move quickly and distribute very well. That said, the bottle needs shaking before inking (as usual) and turning the pen in hand before writing will make a huge difference to the shimmer.

Now to the main point, how it writes… I did some comparisons with other purple inks and paper from Rhodia, Leuchtturm and Tomoe River. You will hardly notice the green sheen, that is mainly just eye candy from using special paper. As always, the shine does depend on the viewing angle and light source etc but the silver effect is superb though – highlighting the dark tones of the deep purple body beautifully. I think I’ve fallen in love again…

Release day at the time of writing this article is 30 sleeps away (but who’s really counting) :).

What do you think? Will this ink top the popularity of Emerald of Chivor??

Spoiler alert - this photo (and the one at the top) was taken using Artoz Perga paper.

It’s a stiff, card version of tracing paper and is completely ink resistant. Not something we’d use everyday – special occasion only! The sheen and shimmer are simply stunning!!! You will not get this sort of sheen on standard writing paper.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

Release date for Jacque Herbin 1798 Ural Amethyst ink is 1st September 2017.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink drop

Diamine Ink Review – Majestic Blue

Diamine Majestic Blue ink sheen

Ink review

I had no idea how positive the response to our last week’s review of Steel Blue ink would be, so here is another ink from Diamine range.

Diamine Majestic Blue is one of those rare inks that does sheen like a champion 🙂 Why did no one tell me about this ink earlier? The colour is a true blue, it flows very nicely even with the finest nibs. Sheen does take over and often covers the entire letter. Tomoe River is the best paper to display sheen, but this ink does show on other papers too.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink sheen closeup macro

The ink is not waterproof; it does not wash away completely, so I would happily use it to address envelopes.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink drop closeup

Diamine Majestic blue is as exciting as blue ink can be. It would make a perfect every day ink. Strange coming from teal/green/orange person 🙂 but I really do like this one.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink is available here.

Diamine - Majestic Blue

Sheen - Spectacular!
Saturation - Great!
Flow - Very Good!
Shading - Shows with Broader nibs
Water Resistance - Decent

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