Autumn and Winter seem to be a good seasons for glittery inks. I am not sure why is that, but this is how I found it over last few years. It is almost tradition now that ink manufacturer like Diamine releases set of new shimmeristic colours around this period. This just happened making respectable set of 30+ Diamine Shimmeristic inks in totalz. J Herbin has different strategy here and they are releasing only one ink per year, but long awaited colour of 1670 series. We are almost floded with glittery shiny inks this year, but obviously it has to be a large demand for such specific inks, so another brand is trying to step in and be recognised in this field. More specyfically – De Atramentis with their collection of Pearlescent inks. Accordingly, to the De Atramentis website, they offer currently ten different colours where each of them has three variations depending on what type of flecks (silver, gold or copper) are suspended in it. This makes 30 inks already, which I personally found a lot! Cool thing about these inks in general is that different particles are changing the overall shade of the base colour, sometimes significantly. Silver particles give frosty cold appearance, whereas Gold and Copper are much warmer.
Thanks to Scribble at UnitedInkdom I received 9 of them to play: Camelien Red, Brilliant Violet, Cyan Blue and Amber Yellow.
In all inks I tested, gold, silver and copper particles stand out well once ink became dry. Obviously, these particles are not permanently bound to the paper so if you rub you fingers against it, they may smudge and stain your skin. This is obviously true for other brands too. In this case is not too bad, and so far paper I used holds them pretty well. We will see how much left after few weeks of moving swatches and pages across .
Base colours are well saturated. Unfortunately, many colours De Atramentis used and their combination with different flecks are in my opinion fairly similar to these offered by Diamine. For instance Camalien Red Silver which is very similar to Diamine Red Lustre, whereas Cyan Blue Silver really reminds me Diamine Blue Lighting. Of course, is always nice to have options, so there is nothing wrong with having such plethora of colours, but for me personally this feels a bit redundant and unnecessary. I would love to see something new, fresh and exciting. Hopefully, there are colours which with combination of one particle type are different and I really appreciate – Copper. Among all different types of particles De Atramentis is offering right now, Copper is adding more depth and warmth to the inks. I really like the way Brilliant Violet Copper looks. Some of them (Cyan Blue Gold and Silver) give also additional red sheen aura which is always a nice feature and most customers really appreciate it. On good quality paper sheen can add nice edge and additional dimension to your writing. From the set of colours I received bright Amber Yellow with Gold flecks I found the less attractive but this is obviously very subjective.
I tested De Atramentis inks mainly on rather good quality paper and in my opinion they performed fairly well. Consistency and flow is fairly similar to competitor. I had no problems with bleeding through and feathering as such (some other reviewers pointed out this), but it may happen on worse and more absorbing paper type, which to be honest can happen to J.Herbin and Diamine inks as well. To get absolutely everything from these inks I would always recommend to use quality fountain pen paper like Rhodia, TomoeRiver, Midori or similar type. With other paper types you need to experiment to check which one works better or not.
To prevent particle deposition and clogging it is recommended to use inked pen regularly and clean it from time to time. I would not recommend to use expensive pens especially those with fancy filling mechanism, often not easy to maintain and clean. These inks look very cool in inexpensive clear demonstrators like TWSBI eco or Wing Sung 698 I reviewed recently. Definitelly, these inks look and perform better with wet and broader nibs.
De Atramentis Pearlescent inks are availsble in 35.0 ml bottles. On De Atramentis site they are priced for 12.80 Eur per bottle. In the UK it can be purchased for £ 10.50 (PurePens). This may feel quite expensive if you compare it directly to analogous Diamine inks which cost about £ 9.0 -11.0 but for 50 ml bottle of ink instead. However, if you are interested in a such type of inks and if you are looking for some new options De Atramentis inks are definitlly worth checking.
Nowadays, I am using shimmering inks less than I used to 2-3 years ago and personally I do not see reason of having so many (often similar) colours, but I understand that these inks are different and interesting as such. I still see potential of using them for journals, decorative calligraphy, letters and envelopes including invitations (looks fancy!) or even note taking if your job does not require strict and formal colours. I personally like to use these from time to time just for fun. It is mesmerising to watch these inks drying where particles ‘shizzle’ on the paper. Last pen show I attended clearly demonstrated large popularity of shimmering inks. I am pretty sure I will use many of them around Christmas when I will be writing and sending tons of Christmas cards and wishes. We will definitely see many during InCoWrimo month too.
Some exampes below. I sorted them by particle colour.
(*) Disclaimer/ I have no affiliation with the all brands and companies mentioned above and this short review reflects only my personal views and findings about the product. Samples of ink were provided free of charge for review purposes only.
Camelien Red Silver
Cyan Blue Silver
Brilliant Violet Silver
Camelien Red Gold
Cyan Blue Gold
Brilliant Violet Gold
Camelien Red Copper
Brilliant Violet Copper
Amber Yellow Gold