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: Diamine Salamander

Diamine Salamander ink bottle and Vac 700

Diamine Salamander is the newest ink from Diamine. It’s a dark green so it immediately reminded me of Montblanc Racing Green. The gallery includes a swab comparison between Diamine Salamander, MB Racing Green, and the only other Diamine green that I have – Diamine Evergreen.

In the bottle, and in the Vac 700 the ink looks downright black. The ink also looks black when first swabbed or when using a wet nib and then turns greener as it dries. The color also varies a bit depending on the ink quantity, light and paper used. There’s a sheen to the ink, even after it dries that gives some depth to the ink where it’s heavy that doesn’t show up in the pictures. On most of the papers I used the ink dries to a dark green with some line variation from how much ink the nib puts down. Where there’s more ink it’s darker, almost black when the ink is heavy to hints of yellow or brown in the lighter areas. The paper color has more effect where the ink is lighter.

I used my Sailor 1911 Sterling with a factory medium nib that been stubbed by Richard Binder. It’s a thin stub but provides some nice variation with the right ink. I was pleased with the way Salamander performed with the pen, it gave the writing just a bit of variation. It did have some flow issues on my Staples Sustainable Earth Notebook (sugar cane) paper. That nib has written OK on the paper with other inks. Post-It note paper also caused problems although I can’t say I remember if I used that nib for Post-It notes in the past.

The ink also seemed to struggle to keep up with wider or wetter nibs when fast writing. It never really got to skipping, but the line was getting drier and drier. Overall, this wasn’t one of the freer flowing inks I’ve used. Especially when compared to other Diamine inks I’ve used which tend to be much freer flowing.

I didn’t experience any noticeable feathering with any of the papers I used. I also didn’t experience any bleed-through, even with 3 passes of the Pilot Parallel 6mm nib. (Blatantly lifted from Stephen Brown ink reviews.)

The ink flushed easily from the TWSBI nibs and the Vac 700, although it was only in them briefly. It also flushed easily from the Sailor 1911, where it spent a week.

While the spill test didn’t actually wipe away all the ink, I wouldn’t want to count on being able to read what was written if the paper gets drenched.

Pens Used

My TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1mm nib was used for the writing samples..These nibs tend write a bit dry and the ink had the most problems with the medium nib. it would skip at times with fast writing and I’d have to prime the feed. The 1.1mm nib also had a bit of trouble keeping up but didn’t actually skip.

My Sailor 1911 Sterling with a factory medium nib stubbed by Richard Binder was used as my daily writer for a couple days and on-and-off for about a week. Performance was good except for the previously mentioned sugarcane paper and Post-It notes.

Wrapping Up

I rather link the ink color. There’s some variation in the color, depending upon the paper and nib. Montblanc Racing Green is still my first choice for a dark green so that remains a clear first choice. I also find the flow to be a bit finicky. The borderline flow problems are also a concern but that could be my choice of pens. Still, I think this will find its way into my pens from time to time.

Additional Reading

The Pen Addict’s Review

A review on FPN which had a different experience with the ink flow than I had and also saw some bleed through.

Ink Notes: Montblanc Irish Green

Montblanc Irish Green Ink Bottle

The discontinued Montblanc Racing Green is a favorite of mine and although it’s discontinued I still have a couple bottles. So let’s get this out of the way first – Montblanc Irish Green is nothing like Racing Green. The writing samples show that Irish Green is a much brighter green. When I think “green” the color I think of is more along the lines of Irish Green.

I rather like this shade of green along with its properties. The ink has good saturation and some subtle line variation. Plus, it dries in 5 seconds or less with my thin nibs on Doane Paper.

I’ve also been using Iroshizuku Shin-ryoku recently but I seem to prefer the Irish Green color slightly more than the Shin-ryoku although it’s close enough that I might pick Shin-ryoku on some days, depending on my mood.

Cleaning was easy and problem free.

While not really water resistant, I could still read what I wrote after the water test although I wouldn’t want to rely on it.

Photo comparing irish Green and Racing Green
Irish Green on top, Racing Green on bottom

Pens Used

The TWSBI Vac 700 is the only pen I’ve used this ink with so far, but with 5 different nibs – EF to 1.1mm stub. (I did ink my Huron Grande this week but haven’t used it enough to comment yet.) I used the extra fine nib as my writer for a day and didn’t have any hard starts or skipping in writing about 10 pages, The other nibs were just used for the samples below but didn’t have any issues.