Diamine Registrar’s turns my current iron gall ink obsession into a hat trick. According to the internet the ink’s name comes from it’s formula being mandated for use at Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the UK. I assume the permanence provided by the iron gall is the reason for the mandate.
Iron gall inks bond to the paper as they dry giving them an archival quality. At least until the iron gall eats away the paper in a few centuries. Like other modern iron gall inks I don’t consider these inks dangerous for my pens. My rule of thumb is that I keep the ink in the pen as long as it’s used regularly or to flush the pen after two weeks if it’s not used regularly.
The ink comes in two bottle sizes, a 30 ml bottle and a 100 ml bottle. The 30 ml bottle puts the ink at a rather expensive $0.52/ml. The 100 ml bottle is a more reasonable $0.30/ml but it’s still more expensive than the R & K iron gall inks which are $0.24/ml. The 100 ml bottle is plastic and intended as a refill. Filling directly from it would be a huge pain and probably result in spilled ink. I poured mine into a TWSBI bottle as shown in the photos.
While I like the R & K Scabiosa color more, the Diamine Registrar’s has a certain charm to it and the ink is extremely well behaved. It goes onto the paper with a true blue color (although that depends a bit on the paper) which I’m not particularly fond of. But as it dries it darkens to a nice blue-black, or a greyish-black with some nibs and paper.
The ink goes onto the paper with a true blue color which has some nice shading if wider nibs are used. Wide nib or thin nib the ink quickly darkens as it dries and the shading is less pronounced or vanishes completely. The change is quick which is some of the attraction. When I start writing a new line I like the pronounced color difference from the line above. If I write quickly I can see color differences between each of the last three or for lines. Very cool. Additional time results in even more darkening. The ink seems to darken completely overnight, at least as far as my eye can detect. To be honest, changes aren’t noticeable to my eye after about an hour unless I do side by side comparisons.
The dry time with my preferred thin nibs is very good and much better than the R&K iron gall inks. Accidental smudges were non-existent. The ink does dry slower on smoother papers such as Rhodia but the dry time is still acceptable. The dry time does increase significantly with any nib above a medium.
I like my nibs and inks on the dry side and Diamine Registrar’s fits that bill. I didn’t have any flow problems, skipping or hard starts. This ink is very well behaved.
Feathering was non-existent on any paper I used and there wasn’t any bleed-through. There was some show through with nibs and paper prone to such things. But my typical pads and papers didn’t have any problems. Notebooks and paper with which I routinely write on both sides were just fine with this ink. There wasn’t any show-through to bother me on that second side.
The ink is very water poof. I let the ink dry 24 hours and there was even a trace of the ink dye in the water when I poured water on the paper and wiped it off.
Cleaning this ink was easily accomplished by just flushing water through the pen. To be fair, none on my pens had the ink more than a week which isn’t long enough to dry out or stain.
My TWSBI Vac 700 was the test pen for this ink. Fine, extra fine, medium, broad, and 1.1 mm stub italic nibs were used. There’s not much to say here. All wrote well and cleaned easily. The extra fine nib was the one used as my daily writer for a couple of days.
There’s something about Diamine Registrar’s that makes attracts me to it more so than the R & K inks. By drying faster it’s more suitable for note taking and I like the color it has when it dries (the original color – not so much). I’m also intrigued by the final color being different depending on the paper. I’ll use this ink more than R & K Salix. Diamine Registrar’s tops my list of iron gall inks and takes the slot as my permanent/waterproof ink of choice.
Seize the Dave
Diamine Registrar’s writing sample Rhodia page 1
Diamine Registrar’s writing sample Rhodia page 2
Diamine Registrar’s Water test – cell phone photo to the color is off, but shows water didn’t affect the ink.
Diamine Registrar’s writing sample Doane Jotter page 1
Diamine Registrar’s writing sample Doane Jotter page 2