A little bit of history This is a festive tradition now, so the British ink legends Diamine strike the market again with another of eight Shimmering inks, which complement the 32 inks in the series already released over last three years (we reviewed them here and here). This makes an impressive family of 40 shimmering inks in total, covering a wide palette of base colours combined with either gold or silver flecks suspended in their depths.
How it looks
Crucially, how it writes… Diamine inks are very good indeed. This company has a long tradition (over 150 years!) and knows clearly how to make good-quality and well-saturated ink which flows. Shimmering inks are no exception here, however due to their specific nature some precautions have to be taken. Because shimmering inks are in fact suspensions, before filling the bottle should be shaken so the glittery particles will be evenly distributed. The same rule applies once your fountain pen is filled; gently agitate the pen before you use it (read it the economic news, or twiddle it between your fingers, whichever you prefer). It may not be a bad idea to prime the feed before writing. To get the full effect, a broad and ‘juicy’ nib is often a good choice, although the shimmering effect can be achieved using finer nibs as well. To get the best results then good, smooth and fountain-pen-friendly paper is a must!
Ink! What is it good for? These are not ‘standard’ inks by any means, but Shimmering inks are in fact suitable for use in almost any modern fountain pen. However, suspended particles can potentially clog your precious feed, so our recommendation is to use inexpensive fountain pens which are easy to dismantle and clean. Glass pens or dip pens may be a good alternative here. We also do not recommend leaving pens filled with this type of ink for a prolonged period of time since it may leave deposits and dry out between the fins of the feeder – and it can then take some hard work to clean it up properly. Diamine Shimmer ink can be used on daily basis, but it may look a little unusual on business or legal documents (unless you work for Santa), so we would not recommend use for these purposes. Diamine Shimmering inks are, however, absolutely ideal for all festive occasions including wedding invitations or Christmas cards (yes, be quick Christmas is coming very soon!). If you wish to practise fancy Copperplate or Spencerian calligraphy, these inks are perfect for it. They will definitely add a ‘shiny’ dimension to your hand-writing and lift it up to higher level. We have also seen shimmering inks regularly used in personal diaries or journals. The possibilities may be endless, depending upon how creative or adventurous you are.
VFM Considering the fact that Diamine inks are well made and the writing experience is generally very positive, a 50ml bottle filled with beautiful glittery ink for less than £10 is very good value for money (the official price is £9.95 at Diamine’s own web shop). Some UK retailers are selling it for even less (£ 8.95). ‘Sounds good… and it is!
If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, but almost… If you feel uncomfortable using this type of inks with your fountain pen, you can always try them out with glass pens. It is definitely a safe alternative and the effects are still very good. If you’d prefer to try pearlescent inks from a different manufacturer, then J. Herbin, De Atramentis and more recently Robert Oster all have alternatives worth considering – albeit at significantly higher prices.
Our overall recommendation These inks are really fun to use and the shimmering effects are extremely pleasing. Diamine have proved again that they can deliver affordable, great-quality products, and with a broad selection of 40 colours there is plenty to play with. An unqualified thumbs-up from us!
This meta-review references:
Thanks to Diamine for the samples.