One of the pleasures of writing with a fountain pen is the options in terms of colours of writing ink. Some brands of ink I have found to be watery or have poor colour. Diamine ink, however, has proven to a very high quality ink with consistently good performance and available in more colours than one would every expect.
It was in 2008 that I started to write with Diamine ink. I have been trying our various colours as they have been released.
Some Background on Diamine
Diamine has a history of some 150 years, making ink since 1864. In 1925 the company moved into a more modern factory located in Liverpool. Over the course of its history, ownership has changed but the production of quality ink has remained. In 2006 Diamine merged with Specialty Inks and thus the new name: Diamine Specialty Inks.
Up to the end of 2009, Diamine had two lines: Old English, and New Century. In 2010 the two lines will be combined into a single line of writing ink.
Writing with Diamine Ink
I have found the inks to have very good performance. Not only is the ink top notch, but the bottle os attractive and well designed. The Diamine bottles hold 80 ml of link, bigger than the typical 50 ml found in Waterman and many other brands. It is a very attractive bottle with a classic look. The base of the bottle is a wide two inch square - so there is lots of stability when this bottle sits on the desk. The only thing that could be improved is the ability to hold the body at a slant, when trying to fill a pen when there is little ink left in the bottle.
General Comments on my Tests of Diamine Ink
My overall experience is very good. I have found the inks to be consistently good performers. I look for the following characteristics in an ink:
Good Flow - some inks have good flow, others tend to hold back a bit in the feed. There was some variations in the ink by colour, but not enough that I would comment specifically on an individual colour as being good or poor. Of course the flow not only depends on the viscosity of the ink (flow characteristic), but also the nib and the pressure with which one writes. I tend to be a heavy writer and that usually means a fair amount of ink being fed to the paper. I see that especially at the end of a stroke where the nib pauses for second before I lift it to form the next letter.
Dry Time - All of the inks dried within a reasonable time, usually under 5 seconds on the paper the ink was dry and if I rubbed my finger across the written letters there would be no smear. Again, the pressure of writing, and the size of nib are all factors. Writing with a Pelikan M1000 means the pen delivers a lot of ink to the paper, much more than say someone writing with a fine or medium nib of a smaller pen. So because I feel that the time to dry is very much dependent on the nib, pressure and the paper used, I have not tried to document specific times.
Some colours were a little different. For example, Majestic Blue, a colour I really like, does seem to take a tad longer to dry on the paper than some of the other colours. It is also the colour that I have used the most.
Pens Used - given the comment above for dry time, it is important to take into account the type of pen and nib used. I typically write with broad and stub nibs, some mediums, but I prefer a larger nib. For my testing I used a variety of pens that included Waterman Man 100 (Stub Nib), Krone Fiction (Broad Nib), Sheaffer Pen For Men (Stub), Pelikan M800 (Double Broad), Pelikan M1000 (Broad), Delta 365 (Medium). These pens gave a range of writing experiences. Some have asked why so many different pens? It takes a time, even when the pen is only dipped in the ink, to flush, wash and dry out of the pen before testing another colour.
Reviews are provided by colour grouping:
Information about Diamine Ink is available on their web site: www.diamineinks.co.uk/
In Canada, Stylus Fine Pens is the distributor.
More ink reviews are available for other lines.