Ink Notes: Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green

photo GvFC Moss Green bottle and inked Vac 700

Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green is the second Graf von Faber-Castell (GvFC) ink I’ve reviewed with Stone Grey being the first. Like Stone Grey, the GvFC Green Moss is one of their four Document Proof colors. So it’s non-correctable, non-removable without a trace, uv-resistant, and more. It’s also supposed to be waterproof and fast drying, but more on this later. The price is the same as Stone Grey- #30 per 75ml bottle which is 40 cents per milliliter. So it’s a luxury ink but still less per ml than Iroshizuku or Caran d’ Ache inks.

GvFC Moss Green is a saturated ink with a deep green color than I rather like. Although the color does vary depending on how much ink is put down by the pen. It leaves the pen a bright green and darkens a bit as it dries. I prefer the ink in wider or wetter nibs. It’s rather boring in my drier thin nibs. It’s flows well enough, it just doesn’t pop off the paper. My Sheaffer Balance Junior with a fine stub nib and this ink get along well. While it has a thin nib, it’s fairly wet and the stub added some nice variation.

I was less impressed by the “quick drying” feature of this ink, especially in the pens that show off this ink the best. The ink is fast drying in those thin extra-fine and fine nibs that put down a dry and boring line. But as the writing sample show, I had some smudging problems in wetter nibs. Even the fine stub took a minimum of 15 seconds to dry enough to be smudge proof. So yes, it can dry quickly. But it’s not worth using in those nibs.

Is it Water resistant? It’s supposed to be. The writing sample dried overnight, a little over 12 hours. While there are still traces of ink, it’s not what I would consider water resistant. It doesn’t smudge so it can still be read, but just barely.


The ink does clean easily from pens. It seemed to take me longer than other other inks, but it cleaned differently than other inks. Usually I get clear water after a flush or two with the bulb syringe although there are still traces if I shake the nib into a tissue. With the Moss Green there was still traces of the ink after four or five flushes but in this case all traces of the ink was gone. The ink is saturated enough that even a little left behind is easily noticeable.

Pens Used

The TWSBI Vac 700 was used with the extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm nibs for the writing samples. The extra fine and fine nibs put down a thin, quick drying line. It was also rather boring. In my opinion, not worth the cost of the ink. The medium nib was wet enough that the ink began to pop off the paper and had a bit of a sheen as it left the pen for the paper. The dry time for the medium nib was a reasonable, if not fast, 10 seconds. The broad and 1.1 mm nibs also put down enough ink to bring out the color.

The Sheaffer Balance Junior with the custom fine stub was the first pen I used with this ink. Despite being a fine line it’s wet enough to bring out the color. The stub adds some nice character which made it an excellent introduction to the ink. This was my daily writer for a couple days and it was great. I did have to be careful about smudges and there were a couple accidents.

Wrapping Up

I really liked the GvFC Stone Grey ink and can see it as a regular in my rotation. While I like the Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green color it’s not an ink I foresee being a regular. The color is great with wet nibs but then it takes too long to dry (for me anyways). For work notes and such I can’t can’t be that careful all the time, or wait for ink to dry before turning the page. And there’s no reason to use this ink in a thin nib which allows it to dry quickly.

So the bottom line. – a nice color with a wet nib but the slow drying ruins if for me.

Writing Samples

(Click any photo for full size)

Ink Notes: Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle

Graf von Faber-Castell recently updated their line of inks with six new colors in gorgeous new bottles. I’ve only seen the inks available from two places – in the US from Pen Boutique and in the UK from Cult Pens. The ink is $30 per 75ml bottle at Pen Boutique which puts it firmly in the luxury category although it doesn’t seem as bad when priced per milliliter. At 40 cents per ml it’s well below the 64 cents per ml for Caran d’ Ache’s new inks and Pilot Iroshizuku’s 56 cents per ml. Both those inks are even more expensive when comparing their list prices.

The Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey ink is “Document Safe” according to Faber-Castell. This means it’s not visible on the back of standard paper, non-correctable, not removable without traces, UV resistant and resistant to water and solvents.

The ink leaves the pen on the black side of grey and lightens a bit as it dries. On white paper, such as the Rhodia Dotpad or my Black and Red Notebook, the ink stays on the black side of grey even after it lightens up. On slightly off-white paper, such as my Doane Paper Jotter, they ink is a more muted grey. It shades a bit and provides some nice variation.

The ink is a little on the dry side, but I like my inks this way so it’s not a problem. In my thin nibs it’s dries fairly fast, about 5 seconds. It can be smudged for 20 seconds or longer with broad nibs. I found it interesting that dry time was about the same on both Rhodia and Doane papers. The ink lives up to it’s waterproof claim and I didn’t detect any show-through on the papers as used.

The ink was easy to flush from my pens although it was only in there for a day so that’s really not a good test. It will be in my Pelikan for awhile (until it runs out) and I’ll update these notes if it’s anything but easy to flush.

I like this ink and it will compete with my Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun as a standard grey ink in my rotation.

Pens Used

It wrote well in my TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium and broad nibs for the writing samples. It was also easy to clean from the nibs and pen.

I used my Pelikan 101N with this ink as my daily writer, mostly as a note taker. As expected, the flow was consistent and problem free. After sitting uncapped and unused for just over six minutes it did write immediately, but with a thin line at first. It wrote normally at the 5 minute mark.

Writing Samples

(Click the images to show full size.)