A little bit of history Diamine were the first manufacturer to produce a range of affordable shimmering inks following J. Herbin’s innovation of introducing tiny sparkling particles to their inks. They launched with a range of 10 different colours, added another 12 later (reviewed here), and the new ones take that up to an impressive 32 colours.
How it looks Diamine are well-versed in shimmering inks by now. They could do this in their sleep. However, they’ve not rested on their laurels here. Rather than just adding more sparkle to more ink, they’ve upped their game. What makes these new inks stand out is not only their strong, saturated colours, but the sheen many of them display. This adds a new dimension to the inks. The sparkle itself is subtle yet visible.
The blues and greens The new range features four blue and green inks.
Arctic Blue is a bright, cool blue with a frosty silver shimmer. It also has a pinkish-red sheen.
Spearmint Diva is a bluish-green with silver shimmer. It’s similar to Tropical Glow from the same range, though the latter is more of a greenish-blue. It’s good to see that Diamine have those of us who love a good teal covered! However, Spearmint Diva also has a bit of a red sheen on some papers.
Golden Ivy is a traditional deep green with, again, a reddish sheen, set off with gold shimmer. This would make a lovely Christmas ink.
Cobalt Jazz is a saturated cobalt blue with a red sheen and gold shimmer. This is a gorgeous colour that looks pretty spectacular.
The reds There are three new red inks in the range.
First off, there’s Electric Pink. This is no cute Barbie pink. This is take-no-prisoners pink: it’s rich and saturated, with silver sparkle.
Citrus Ice is a warm, saturated orange with a contrasting cool silver sparkle.
Firefly is an orange-toned red with gold sparkle. Another festive ink.
The purples The three new additions at the purple end of the spectrum are a real treat.
Arabian Nights is a deep purple-black with silver shimmer. It’s probably the most usable of the inks for everyday writing. The shimmer is subtle and the dark ink is readable and utilitarian while retaining a lot of character.
Frosted Orchid is a slightly lighter purple ink with red tones and silver sparkle. This will be popular.
The last of the new inks is Wine Divine. This is a lovely addition to Diamine’s already well-stocked wine cellar (with Merlot, Syrah, and Claret). The ink is a rich burgundy with gold shimmer.
Crucially, how it writes… Diamine have been on the go for over 150 years. The quality of their ink is sound, and these are no exceptions. They flow well and benefit from a wider nib to show off both sheen and shimmer.
Ink! What is it good for? These are unusual inks, and the sparkle makes it unlikely you’ll want to use these for business documents. They’re great for cards and letters, especially with Christmas fast approaching. As usual with shimmering inks, be sure to give the bottle a gentle shake before filling a pen. Similarly, gently agitate a pen that’s had the ink in it a while to mix up the settled shimmer particles. There’s also a caveat: any ink with particles like this has the potential to clog up a pen, so use this ink in pens that you can disassemble relatively easily to clean out properly.
VFM Although more expensive than Diamine’s standard inks, the Shimmertastic range is an affordable way to get some seriously interesting inks. In the UK, a 50ml bottle retails for around £9-10.If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, but almost… J. Herbin make a variety of premium shimmering inks. De Atramentis also offer a new line of shimmering inks, with each ink available with gold, silver, or copper shimmer. Robert Oster are soon to launch their own sparkles, too.
Our overall recommendation These are great, fun inks with some unusual and interesting properties, available at a good price. Where to get hold of some The usual suspects have these inks in stock (or soon will!). You can also purchase from Diamine directly.
This meta-review references:
- Scribble’s hand-written review
- Nick’s ink-and-bleach experiments
- Alison’s video review of Firefly, and Wine Divine
- Gillian’s review
- Mateusz’s gorgeous shots
- Daniel’s nib-eye views
Thanks to Diamine for kindly providing samples as the newly expanded range was launched.