Ink & Pen Notes: Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) with a Medium Nib and Sheaffer Emerald Green Ink

Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) medium nib with Sheaffer Emerald Green

This fill of Sheaffer Emerald Green ink in my Jade Green Sheaffer Balance II was jinxed from the beginning. I did have high hopes based on my first experience with this combination. This time I started off by spilling the ink while filling the pen.

It’s a small, 12ml bottle of ink that Sheaffer packages as calligraphy ink. It’s from the maroon label era of Sheaffer inks, probably around 2000, give or take a couple if years. Because it’s a small bottle I filled the converter directly and clipped the rim of the bottle with the converter, I did clean the converter so this wasn’t the cause of my future problems.

It took what seemed like forever to get the ink to the nib so I ended up manually saturating the feed by twisting the converter. The pen was fine while I wrote a couple pages. I stored the pen in my Dudek “The Stand” overnight, which means it was nib up. In the morning it was hard starting and once it did start it was just a bit skippy. This was a theme with this pen, hard start and just a bit of a skip at times. While not annoying enough to flush the pen early this was a big difference from my initial experience from the pen, which made it feel worse than it was since my expectations weren’t being met.

Then on Saturday, after being unused for about a week, the pen wrote immediately. Much to my surprise it continued to write great for about a page. It wrote great right up to the point it did’t write at all. I knew the pen wasn’t empty so I opened it up, planning to saturate the feed. What I found was ink all over the inside of the barrel and the outside of the converter. The converter was secure so this was either a hole in the converter (that I can’t find) or ink creep.

Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) ink in the barrel and on the converter
Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) ink in the barrel and on the converter

So that was it for this pen and it was time to clean and flush the pen, with the emphasis on clean. Because these pens have a reputation of being brittle and prone to crack I skipped the ultrasonic cleaner for the barrel and stuck with water and a long cotton swab. The barrel liner seems to be metal (brass?). I am a little concerned about the moisture causing rust or corrosion so the pen will sit out a long while to make sure the moisture evaporates before I close it up.

Ink leak aside, the writing experience with the pen and ink this time wasn’t up to the expectations set by my first experience with them. In fact, based on that first experience I bought two bottles of old Sheaffer Emerald Green (yellow label) ink on eBay. While this experience wasn’t downright bad, I probably wouldn’t have bought additional ink based on this experience.

So with two full 2 oz. unopened bottles and another fill or so left after the spill I’ll certainly be using the ink. It will be back in this pen, but first the Sheaffer Balance II needs to dry out and I need to wipe this experience from my brain.