Ink Review: J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor


J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor
Pen: Pilot Metropolitan (M)
Paper: Rhodia 80gsm & Tomoe River
Shading: moderate to high
Saturation: moderate to high
Flow: wet
Dry Time: 12 seconds or higher

The much anticipated and latest 1670 Anniversary ink from J. Herbin, Emerald of Chivor, has finally been released.  This ink had an incredible build up in the fountain pen media channels, and I was incredibly excited to see if it lived up to the hype.

Being that this ink has solid objects in it (the gold flecks), I didn't want to risk putting it in an expensive pen and potentially have clogging issues, or trouble cleaning the gold flecks out.  I chose my trusty $15 Pilot Metropolitan for the occasion because it's inexpensive, and it has a medium nib that puts down a heavy line.  In choosing a heavier-writing pen, I'd hoped to bring out both the gold flecks as well as the signature red sheen that this ink is known to have.

After inking up and writing on my Rhodia pad, I was immediately impressed with how prominent the gold flecks were in the ink.  They showed up beautifully, and the ink produced an incredibly gorgeous color with nice shading.  One thing that was missing was the red sheen - even on my Rhodia pad I could not reproduce that sheen that takes this ink from awesome to incredible.  After talking to some folks on Twitter, it hit me that I needed to try it on some Tomoe River paper - that was the ticket!

Of the "emerald" inks that I've used, Emerald of Chivor compares well to Noodler's Squeteague and Franklin Christoph Midnight Emerald.  Color-wise, I like Midnight Emerald a lot better than Emerald of Chivor, mainly because it's darker and tends to shade more.  Of course, a lot of people will buy this ink regardless of whether they absolutely love the color; it's the characteristics that is the main draw.

As far as dry time, the ink does fairly well on my Rhodia pad at about 12 seconds, but with Tomoe River it's quite a bit more.  That's to be expected of course, but something to be aware of.  A huge bit of disappointment for me was the fact that the red sheen does not present itself on anything less ink resistant than Tomoe River.  For me, that sheen is a huge factor in my enjoyment of this ink, and Tomoe River isn't always the most accessible or feasible paper choice.  Being as this ink is a bit of a novelty, you may really only use it for special correspondence, in which case Tomoe River would be a great choice.  So it really depends on how you plan to use the ink, and whether that is a deal breaker for you.

All in all, I really enjoyed my first experience with the 1670 ink series.  I have a sample of Stormy Grey that I'm very excited to try out - love grey inks!  If you wanna play around with a unique ink, pick up a bottle or sample of Emerald of Chivor - you won't be disappointed.  Just beware that you'll probably have gold flecks on your hands for a few days!

Thanks for reading!

Ink Review: Private Reserve Avacado


Private Reserve Avacado - June 2015 Ink Drop
Pen: Lamy Al Star (F)
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: high
Saturation: high
Flow: wet
Dry Time: 14 seconds

The final ink in this month's Ink Drop is Private Reserve Avacado.  I've actually had a bottle of this ink for a while now, but just hadn't gotten around to writing up a review.  I forget where I first learned of this ink - I want to say it was SBREBrown's Inkcyclopedia, but I'm not certain.  What drew me to it was its very unique color.  It is a nice deep green, but rather than being a flat dark green, it has a distinct yellow undertone in lighter areas.  It gives some cool color patterns in the ink and sets it apart from all other dark greens I've used.

You may notice that the ink's name "Avacado" is spelled incorrectly.  I've not found a story on why this is the case, but I suspect it was an accidental misspelling.  Private Reserve's website now spells the word correctly (Avocado), but it seems they haven't gotten around to changing the labels (or I just happened to get one of the older ones).  I'm kinda glad I got a bottle of the old label, just so I have it.  

The ink is very well behaved on my Rhodia pad.  No feathering or bleedthrough.  Luckily the ink has no noticeable spread either, and despite it's high saturation level, it does have some great shading.  Very unique.

The chromatography was neat as well.  Yellow and orange is the main component, with a tiny touch of red and blue.

As unique as this ink is, it doesn't compare to anything I've seen.  The closest I've used so far is KWZI Foggy Green, which is darker with more blue undertones.


One thing I have noticed with this ink is that it tends to crust up under the cap of the bottle.  I'm assuming this is a result of the cap letting tiny bits of air inside, as I've had this ink loaded in a pen for a while and luckily haven't had any crusting issues.  Each time I open the bottle I have to take a paper towel and scrape the ink crust off the edges of the top of the glass - kind of a pain, but at least it's not ruining my pens.

I highly recommend you try this ink out if you're a fan of greens.  It's got a very unique color and the shading is awesome.  You can pick up a 66ml bottle for $11.

Thanks for reading!

Ink Review: De Atramentis Cucumber (Scented)


De Atramentis Cucumber (scented) - June 2015 Ink Drop
Pen: Lamy Al-Star Silver Green (F)
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: moderate to high
Saturation: medium
Flow: medium
Dry Time: 13 seconds

When I inked up the first ink in this month's Ink Drop, I was surprised by the color.  I had imagined a color called "Cucumber" by De Atramentis would either be a lot darker like the skin of a cucumber, or lighter like the inside.  I was actually quite pleased - this shade of green has always been one of my favorites.

De Atramentis Cucumber is another in the brand's scented line of inks.  I was actually a bit disappointed by the cucumber scent, though.  It really doesn't resemble cucumber at all to me.  Unlike, Hyacinth from last month's Drop, the scent doesn't really resemble its name at all - at least to me.  I had my boyfriend smell it too and he seemed to agree with me.

The ink is lighter on the saturation side, which produces a pretty substantial amount of shading.  It flows pretty well, though a little on the dryer side, but there's no feathering, ghosting or bleedthrough on Rhodia.  Dry time was a bit on the high side for a fine nib at right around 13 seconds.

Chromotography was...anti-climactic, but interesting nonetheless.  It's literally green, with a touch of greyish undertone.  It shows really well on the page - and incidentally couples my two favorite colors!

I've not come across an ink that compares exactly to this ink, but in swab form it is somewhere between Noodler's Bad Green Gator and Private Reserve's Avacado.  It's much lighter than both of these on paper, though.

This ink may be my favorite of this month's Ink Drop by Goulet Pens.  Stay tuned for the other 4 reviews this week!  If you're interested in a bottle for yourself, and aren't dead-set on having an ink that smells like real life cucumbers, then you can grab a 35mL bottle for $12.95.

Thanks for reading!

Ink Review: KWZI Iron Gall Green Gold


KWZI Iron Gall Green Gold
Pen: Kaweco BRASS Sport (F)
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low to moderate
Saturation: high
Flow: medium wet
Dry Time: 11 seconds

(*edit* I originally assumed Dav was a man but she very sweetly pointed out her gender to me when we spoke today.  Thankfully she was more than forgiving of my mistake!)

KWZI was an ink brand that I'd not heard of yet until a friend told me about the website Ink by the Ml.  If you've not heard of this site, please, take a moment and go check it out, I'll wait.  Done? Awesome (you're welcome)!  Dav is the woman behind the amazing site that offers samples from not-so-common (at least if you're in the US like myself) inks from around the world, and is a pleasure to deal with.  Highly recommended!  I immediately found several samples that I wanted to try, a few of which were from the KWZI brand.

KWZI is developed in Poland by a fellow named Konrad.  He is a chemistry graduate and fountain pen user who'd been making inks for himself since 2012 - he wanted to increase the saturation of one of the inks, and his research eventually led to him developing his own line of inks for the public.  His line features some of the most amazing colors I've seen.  KWZI features colors that you just can't find elsewhere, some of which are Iron Gall that stray from the typical blue-black or Diamine Registrar's, or the blue or purple of Rohrer & Klingner.

I love the color green, and have found that I have a fascination with iron gall inks.  Not because of the permanent properties, but because of the roots of iron gall ink and its history in our country and the world as the ink that many historical documents were written on.  KWZI IG Green Gold is quite unique.  The first thing you'll notice is that the ink is a very bright green when first laid down on the page - I liken it to Iroshizuku Chiku-rin.  Immediately after you start writing, though, it will begin to oxidize before your eyes and turn a deep golden green color.  It's amazing how fast the color changes.  Before you can write out an entire sentence, the first words are starting to darken.  This is starkly different than other iron galls I've used, (Registrar's & the R&Ks) as those don't darken nearly as much and do so over a much longer period of time.

IG Green Gold immediately after swabbing

Aside from the things that make it unique, IG Green Gold is a very nice, well-behaved ink.  I find it to flow very nicely, and it doesn't feather at all on typical fountain-pen paper.  It is highly saturated, so shading is only moderate at best, depending on how wet your pen writes.  If you notice on my written review, my pen (a Kaweco with a less than desirable feed) was writing very dry until I did the ink splatter, so you can see a difference in the way a pen will write being dry vs. wet with this ink.  Unintended, but it worked out!  The ink has a fairly lengthy dry time at 18 seconds, though it was with a wetter writing nib that had been recently "primed."

The ink doesn't really compare to anything I've seen yet - hence why KWZI is such a draw to folks; but here are a few that are somewhat close.  I find Diamine Safari is decently close, though not really comparable.  KWZI's Green Gold (non-iron gall) is close, but still quite different.

Notice how much darker the swab is now

Chromatography shows only greenish-blue, yellow and the faintest hint of grey.  I'm curious as to whether that grey is due to the iron gall property, though I can't be certain.  I let this one soak a bit too long so the greenish-blue is almost gone, but hopefully you'll get the gist.

Being an iron gall, I know you'll be wondering about ease of cleaning.  I've had the ink in my pen for a little over a week now, and just flushed it with no issues.  I'm not one to keep an ink in my pen for months, so I caution you to practice good pen maintenance with any iron gall ink that you use.  I find them to be stubborn but not impossible even when I've left it in for a few weeks.

I highly recommend you check out KWZI if you can.  The line has some great variety of color, with lots of uniqueness.  Also check out Ink by the Ml - not affiliated with either, just a happy customer.

Thanks for reading!