Diamine Shimmmering inks – 2017 Edition. An overview

…Shiny…Watch me dazzle like a diamond in the rough Strut my stuff; my stuff is so… Shiny

Well, well, well….Here it is – Shimmeristic ink 2017 edition from Diamine. To be absolutely honest, I was wondering 2-3 months ago if Diamine is going to release more glittery inks this year and obviously they did. This makes now 32 shimmering inks in total, which is a lot (please check my previous reviews here and here). Is it good? well, depending on point of view. Each batch released this year and last two years offer vast selection of colours mixed with either silver or gold particles suspended in the bas ink, so everyone could easily pick favourable colour. However, if you are new to shimmering inks such large collection may be overwhelming and cause a headache if you like to pick only one.

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Shimmer and Shine, inky divine – De Atramentis Pearlescent inks

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.

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My impressions on Platinum Classic (‘iron gall’) inks

Hello. It was very busy summer, which unfortunately is nearly finished. Due to amount of day job workflow I had,  I was a little bit quiet on ClumsyPenman site recently. But it does not mean, that I was not working on my reviews. In fact, I was working a lot and I will be posting many hopefully interesting things in next coming weeks. Today is one of them. Platinum Classic Series Inks. I hope you will enjoy it.  Here it is.


Earlier this year Platinum has announced and introduced set of six new inks which really brought my attention. Most of the colours in the new ‘Classic’ line are earthy and natural looking muted shades of green, brown, sepia, burgundy and yellow, which I really like. There is no secret that I love earthy colours. There is something cool about them and they usually look adorable on creamy/ivory toned paper….somehow ‘vintage’.

Another very interesting thing about this series is the fact that according to the Platinum  all of the inks are manufactured by the ‘traditional methods’ and more importantly they are gradually darkening overtime. This obviously screams – ‘Iron Gall’ inks, however Platinum never used this term on their website. I am not entirely sure how Platinum synthesize these inks but in the nut shell ‘iron gall’ inks are obtained from the chemical reaction of tannins extracted from galls (for instance oak) and aqueous solution of  iron (II) sulfate. Because formed Fe(+2) complex is quite unstable in oxygen condition the iron Fe(+2) atoms oxidise quickly to Fe(+3) which manifests by ink darkening. This effect is very similar to rust formation and corrosion we see around very often. To improve flow and other physical and chemical  properties binders such as Arabic gum, stabilisers, anti-mould reagents are often used.

This is an example how oxydation process occurs and how it is affecting the colour (note the video speed is 2x)

In general iron gall inks need to be used with caution, because their acidic pH can make an effect on metal parts of the pen (steel nib, metal section, etc). It was really a problem the past, but nowadays IG inks are significantly less ‘corrosive’, however I do not have any experimental pH data for this particular set so can not say for sure. As a general rule is rather recommended to maintain pen regularly (use and clean). It is also suggested not to use very expensive pens either. For more information about Iron Gall inks I would highly recommend to check irongall.org website.

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KWZ meta (mega) review


As a part of collective bunch of reviewers under UnitedInkdom umbrella, I have just finished quite extensive (and hopefully comprehensive) metareview of the KWZ inks. This meta-review summarises number of independent reviews of KWZ Inks made by my ‘partners in crime’.

We have tested number of KWZ inks in total and we looked at them from different perspectives.  We shown all positive and negative aspects of these interesting and quite unique inks. Interestingly our opinions were sometimes divided and even contradictory, which is not necessarily bad thing, because it shows how different opinions on the same product may be, depending on person and approach taken. 

I hope you will enjoy reading it.

KWZ inks meta-review





Kaweco Inks


I have just finished reviews of 5 (out of 10) inks from Kaweco. Kaweco in general is an old (1883) German company which specialises  in very characteristic and often affordable fountain pens. However, as may other fountain pen manufactures, they have created a series of 10 inks, which quite often are overlooked, which is unfortunate, because some of them are really interesting and  can compete with other well established ink companies in the market.

So, here they are: Sunrise Orange, Paradise Blue, Ruby Red, Palm Green and Summer Purple.

They are in general they characterise in good saturation, decent flow and pretty good drying time. They feel a bit 'watery' and 'thin' but from the other hand they show some degree of nice shading, which is always nice to have. My favorites in the batch are Ruby Red, Sunrise Orange. I have enjoyed also Summer Purple. If you like nice looking foresty green then Palm Green will suits you too. The last in the set I received Paradise Blue is a light blue-green turquoise ink. I believe many people would love it, bit unfortunately, this is not my color at all.

Kaweco inks are widely available as a 30 ml bottles and also as a pack of 6 small interantional cartridges which nicely fits into Kaweco 'pocket' pens.  Unfortunately, price tag of  £ 11.0-13.0 in the UK for 30 ml bottle seems to be fairly expensive. For just a bit more you can get 50 ml ink from Pelican's Edelstein series or for even less 60 ml of KWZ or 2 bottles of 80 ml Diamine ink. I am pretty sure, if Kaweco reconsiders prices to compete with other players in the market, they will gain much more audience. At this moment it feels like premium price for ink which is a good all around ink, but not that premium as it looks.

These 5 reviews were part of the larger joint project with collaboration of the other cool reviewers here in the UK , and summarised  into a nice meta-review of all 10Kaweco inks,  posted at the United Inkdom site. Definitely, check this out!