(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
I sought out a bottle of Akkerman Shocking Blue after seeing a close up of the ink on Instagram. Akkerman isn't the easiest ink to find in the USA, but I was directed to Vanness Pens. I had to wait a week or two until they got some in stock, then I clicked on the pay button. At $30.00 a bottle (60ml), this is expensive ink. But, when I saw the beautiful bottle, I understood why. Plus, most U.S. retailers don't carry Akkerman, so it comes at a premium.
The bottle itself is a work of art. It looks like a piece of antique glasswork with facets and a genie bottle shape.
The unique shape of the bottle is also functional. There's a ball in the upper chamber that moves away when you tip the bottle, allowing ink in. You fill your pen, and tip the bottle again so the ink can flow back into the bottom chamber.
The ink flows well in my Montblanc 146 with a stub nib, but it really shines in flex nibs.
I suspect it would be stunning with the Franklin-Christoph 1.9 music nib (hint, hint, Brad). The ink has a slight odor, but it's not overpowering.
The color is simply amazing. It's a vivid blue with incredible shading and a cool purple-red glimmer outline you can see in close up shots. I just wish you could see this with the naked eye, and maybe you can with super-wide nibs.
I did a chromatography comparison of Shocking Blue with a few of my other blue inks. The closest parallel was Iroshizuku's Asa-Gao, but the Asa-Gao has purple in it, whereas Shocking Blue does not. I don't know why the purple-red outline I see in the close ups doesn't show up in the chromatography. I made several attempts, and in every case Shocking Blue exhibited only varied shades of blue–no purple, no red.
Compared with some other blues, Shocking Blue is a true blue whereas Diamine Sargasso Sea contains lots of purple. Sailor's Yama-Dori is more of a dark turquoise, Iroshizuku's Asa-Gao is close in tone to Shocking Blue, but also contains purple, and Diamine Denim is a blue-black.
Shocking Blue takes some time to dry on the Rhodia DotPad paper. Of course, the wider your nib, the longer it will take the ink to dry. And the paper you use makes a difference. On my Tomoe River paper, the ink dries almost immediately. It's definitely not waterproof, so if that's important to you, you'll want to look elsewhere.
I purchased my bottle from Vanness Pens for $30.00 plus $7.00 shipping. They have great customer service and my bottle was shipped almost immediately.
Please note: the adorable cat is not included with the bottle of ink.