Diamine Shimmering Edition – Carmel Sparkle

Diamine Shimmering Edition – Carmel Sparkle in an interesting one. When I opened the bottle (thanks to ‘Scribble’ @ United Inkdom) and made a fresh swatch I had mixed feelings about the base colour of this ink. It feels neither brown or red, but rather like some sort of combination of these colours but also including orange and yellow tones. It feels warm and actually it may remind caramel or rather diluted carmel syrup used with ice creams or maybe coffee liqueur too.  Pretty strange and difficult to characterise colour. Again, this is how it looks fresh out of bottle.  However, when it dries, golden shimmer started to play the major role and transformed this ink into something which looks really cool (much brighter and attractive than initially). To me this ink is like alchemy pot with other diamine inks in it, including darker Brandy Dazzle, Red Lustre and Golden sands. When it dries the golden particles really stands out which makes anything I wrote on the paper vary attractive. Obviously, lightning conditions, viewing angle and paper quality play important role here as well.

Additionally, Carmel Sparkle gives an impressive shading which adds a lot to how this ink looks on the paper and how your writing may transforms to something really attractive. I took this opportunity and this year most Christmas cards I had I wrote with Carmel Sparkle. It did a great job, I must say.

The ink is not water proof, but it has some resistance on more absorbing paper. It feels quite runny but it flows well. Similarly to other shimmering inks from Diamine the ink feels ‘oily’ and seems to have respectful surface tension, which on some particular types of paper is beneficial, because ink does not penetrate into paper so much but dyes and golden particles deposit on the surface making pleasing visual effect. The shimmering effect is noticeable despite of nib I used, but much more pronounced with wet and juicy nibs and pens. 

It is recommended to shake he bottle before inking the pen to ensure that ink contains fair amount of suspended flecks. I would recommend to turn the pen itself gently upside down few times before the use. Other wise ink may not have enough shiny bits and may looks rather dull.

Because shimmery particle may deposit (on the feeder especially), to avoid disappointment, I would use this inks rather with easy to clean and inexpensive pens only.

The price tag for 50 ml bottle vary from country to country and in the UK where is produced it costs around £ 9.0 which is very good, whereas in the US the price oscillates around $ 20.0.  Elsewhere in the EU it costs about 11.50 Eur.


(*) All comments in this review reflects only my personal views and observations.

  • Julie Paradise

    This being the first of the new colours I bought I must say your great photos show the beauty of that ink and really capture the shimmer.

    Although I never had a problem with these shimmering inks (I kept Diamines Golden Sands in a clear Pelikan M200 from March to October without any clogging) your advice to only use it in cheaper and disassemblable pens is reasonable and a rule I also stick to. Seeing how the shimmer particles stick to the nib & feed unit I was glad to be able to clean it thoroughly.

    Thanks for the review!

    • clumsypenman

      Thank you Julie. Yes, Diamine and Herbin’s shimmering inks are relatively easy to maintain, but sometimes it takes a while to get rid of the particles completely. I had few cases where new ink in the pen show some degree of ‘sparkle’ :). Flecks can stuck between feeder grills for good. I am using old tooth brush for cleaning these with soapy water which changes surface tension too.