Ink Decluttering #3 & #4

I’ve got some more ink to clear out. This will probably be the last batch for awhile so I’m going to pick the recipients slightly differently although the rest will be the same since it seemed to work well.

I’ve filled a medium flat rate box with some ink and will send it out (U.S. only) to someone who agrees to pay $30 upon successful arrival of the ink. While $30 is a good price for the ink (covers shipping with a little for my time) it is not a giveaway.

All bottles are at least 75% full except the R&K Sepia which suffered a spill and has more air than ink in it.

I’ve included photos below but I have to say I think I might have switched the ink up a bit since taking the photos. Since the boxes are sealed I’m not opening them, just be aware that the inks may be slightly different or swapped around.

To enter a claim for one of the boxes:

  1. Agree to pay $30 via PayPal send money to friends or Square Cash upon successful arrival and inspection of one box of ink.
  2. Shipping addresses in the United States only.
  3. Enter a comment below and include you favorite ink color (a basic color such as “red” or specific such as “Pilot Blue”). Meant as a small speed bump to require reading the post, not a trick question.
  4. One entry (comment) per person. No entries via contact form this time, comments only.
  5. Please use a valid email in the comment’s email field, it will not be visible or given to anyone else. I will use it to contact you for the shipping address. Do not include your address or email in the comment itself.
  6. Entries must be in by 10PM US Eastern Time on Sunday Nov. 12th. Some comments may be held for moderation, comments in the moderation queue by 10PM are valid, even if not yet approved.
  7. Once you receive the ink safely please pay $30 to me via PayPal or Square Cash.


  • Two recipients selected, one box per recipient, using
  • The box you get is random. They’re already sealed and I’ve lost track of which is which.
  • I probably won’t pick the recipients until Sunday Monday and will contact the recipients by email at that time. Response within 48 hours is required, otherwise I’ll pick someone else.
Batch of ink for decluttering
Batch of ink for decluttering

Ink Decluttering

The ink has been claimed. Scott was the first to respond and answer the question. Closing comment.

It time to get rid of some ink and straighten out my cluttered and overflowing ink drawers. I’m trying something a little different for this and if it works out I’ll get rid of some more ink. Unfortunately this is for delivery in the United States only.

The way this works is I filled a USPS medium flat rate box with ink and will send it to one person who agrees to pay $30, including shipping. Payment is not until after the ink arrives safely and is inspected. Once it arrives that person will send me $30 via PayPal send money to friends or Square Cash.

Some (maybe all) the ink has been opened and used for a fill or two. There is at least 75% of ink left in each bottle. The ink in the photo is included, I had room when packing the box so added 3 more bottles that aren’t pictured. So the included ink is the complete 10 ink Diamine Music Set plus 11 more bottles. Diamine Music Ink writing samples are in this post.

The ink goes to the first person to claim it (U.S. shipping only). To claim it either add a comment to this post or contact me using the contact form. Include a mention of your favorite ink color as a small hurdle to verify you read the entire post. Please use a valid email address (it will not be shared with anyone) in the email field so I can contact you. Do not include your address in the comment since it will be visible, I’ll get it via email.

The Ink

Seeing Red

I’m down to six inked fountain pen, that’s a little low for me but not unprecedented. What shocked me was that when I reached for a pen this morning I didn’t have one “business” ink in the bunch. I had four pens inked with red ink, one with orange and one with green. I’ve never thought of any ink as business or non-business since any ink is appropriate for any situation if I want to use it. Still, the lack of a basic black or blue-black ink for me was a problem. I like to use three colors for note taking, one for the bulk of the writing, usually an black or brown ink, something on the darker side. Then I use a couple other brighter colors, such as red or green, when I want something to stand out or when a topic has changed. Red, green and orange were not really a suitable trio for my note taking since it would make for a lot of bright ink on the page.

So how did I get to see so much red?

  • Montblanc Bordeaux is my favorite ink, I don’t really think of it as a red ink. It’s just an ink I use a lot. So it’s no surprise that it’s in my Pelikan Stresemann. I actually do think of it as a dignified business ink.
  • The Montblanc Corn Poppy Red is in my Esterbrook inkwell. Ironically, picked because I never seemed to have a red pen handy at my desk. Now all I have is red.
  • I’m not sure why I picked red for the Kaweco Brass, but it seemed right at the time.
  • My new Franklin-Christoph Model 20 screamed for red ink as it’s first ink. It’s the one most likely to run dry soon so I’ll have the option to pick a non-red ink for it’s next fill.
  • I hadn’t inked a vintage pen in a long time and the Marine Green Sheaffer Balance Oversize was picked. A vivid green pen needs a vivid green ink.
  • The Akkerman Oranje Boven is a new ink for me. My experience with orange inks is that they aren’t suitable for thin nibs, so when it came time to ink up the left oblique nib again I picked it.

I’ll be inking up a couple new pens as September begins. I won’t flush any of the red ink early, although if I had realized it, I wouldn’t have flushed the Kaweco AL Sport early just because I was cleaning another pen and it was convenient. I do keep track of what ink is in what pen, now I just have to pay attention.

Pens inked on August 28, 2015

Favorite 5: Inks

It’s been over a year and a half since I last listed my Favorite 5 inks, so it’s time for an update. This was much harder than picking favorite pens, which is one reason I kept putting it off. Three of the inks from October 2013 remain on the list.

I also ended up with four Montblanc inks on this list. I would have said it’s my favorite brand overall, if I was forced to pick just one, but going into this I wouldn’t have expected it to dominate the list and I looked for inks to replace one or two of them. But I kept the list as-is since I do think these inks give me a nice spread across the spectrum of ink colors I like to use the most.

1. Montblanc Bordeaux

Photo of a bottle of Montblanc Bordeaux ink
Montblanc Bordeaux Ink

Easily my number 1 ink. This is always in one of my inked pens, at least since I decided to stop hoarding it and actually use it. I did pick up another bottle from eBay to replace one I recently finished. So now I’m back up to four bottles (minus one pen fill). Montblanc Bordeaux ink notes.

2. Rohrer and Klingner Blau-Schwarz

Photo of a Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz bottle

I’m not a fan of blue or even blue-black inks, yet this blue-black is a favorite and even moved up the list a couple of slots. Unfortunately it’s a limited edition ink. This ink is a regular in at least one of my pens. Ink Notes

3. Montblanc Permanent Grey

Sheaffer Balance Aspen LE medium nib with Montblanc Permanent Grey ink bottle

A new addition to my list but I’ve grown to really like this ink despite its potential for boredom. It’s a regular in my favorite modern fountain pen which has a nib that brings out the best in this ink. Despite its relatively high cost I bought a second bottle to have on hand. No review yet.

4. Montblanc Toffee Brown

Bottle of Montblanc Toffee Brown Fountain Pen Ink

I like brown inks and this is my current favorite. I don’t have much to add other than my Edison Menlo is my favorite choice for this ink, although mainly because it’s color coordinated. Montblanc Toffee Brown Ink Notes

5. Montblanc Irish Green

Photo of an open Montblanc Irish Green bottle

Whenever I want a true green ink I keep reaching for this bright green. Ink Notes

Wrapping Up

I obviously have a preference for Montblanc inks, despite not having any of their pens. It just turned out this way. It helps that I trust their ink for my vintage or hard to clean pens since Montblanc intends them for use it their own expensive pens.

The last two inks, Toffee Brown and Irish Green are the most likely to vanish from this list since they aren’t inks I always have inked up. But the first three inks on the list are always in a pen and were easy choices as favorites.

What are your favorite inks?

Ink Notes: J. Herbin Vert Empire Cartridges

J. Herbin Vert Empire Cartridges

I ordered the a tin of J. Herbin Vert Empire ink cartridges when I was shopping for green and grey inks I hadn’t used. I ordered cartridges to get more than a sample but still pay less than a full bottle. When the ink order arrived I looked at the Vert Empire tin and put the ink in with the grays based on the color on the tin. The color on the tin cover in the photo above looks greener in a well-lit photo than it does in typical room light.
J. Herbin Vert Empire is a bit of a chameleon ink. Well, it doesn’t change to match it’s background, so maybe a broken chameleon. It’s color does vary greatly based on the paper and the lighting. Unfortunately for me, I don’t like most of those variations. The only time it’s obviously green is on bright white paper, such as a Rhodia DotPad under bright light.
Most of my writing is on non-white paper, at least not bright white. In most of my lighting conditions (which isn’t the brightest) and on most paper I use the ink looks muddy when it comes out of the pen. It does become visibly greener as it dries but it takes time to become really green. It can be rather pleasant once it’s dry. Unfortunately, by then I’ve usually moved on and turned the page so my impression of this ink was typically muddy.
As I’ve mentioned, I used this ink in cartridges. I assume the cartridges and bottles are the same ink, but the color on the cartridge tin is grayer than the color on the bottle. So there may be a difference, but since the cartridge ink does dry green it’s probably the same.
This ink does better in a wider and wetter nib. I used it in a fine nib when I first got it but it didn’t stay in the pen long. That nib was also on the dry side and the ink never appeared green, it stayed a muddy gray. The ink performed well but it was completely unimpressive and if not appearing gray, it was olive at best, even after drying.

Additional Reading

J. Herbin – Vert Empire – Handwritten Ink Review –
J. Herbin Vert Empire Fountain Pen Ink Review – OfficeSupplyGeek
J. Herbin Vert Empire Ink Review – Pens! Paper! Pencils!
The bottom line, I don’t like this ink. I doesn’t suite the thin nibs I typically use or the papers I typically write on which are usually off-white or cream colored. It does perform well and the only reason I won’t use it is the color.