On my third KWZ iron gall ink, the KWZ IG Gold color has managed to shock me again. These KWZ inks really are special, and you owe it to yourself to try some out at some point. The hardest part of this will be choosing.
Previously, I reviewed KWZ IG Blue #1 and KWZ IG Blue #4 and was mesmerized by the way the ink changed color as it dried. The Gold is no exception. This behavior is a characteristic of iron gall inks, and you can read a bit more about the KWZ variety over at Vaness Pens.
The Gold ink is very similar to the other KWZ inks I've tried when it comes to the behavior and ink characteristics. It never has trouble starting or skipping, it doesn't feather, show-through is minimal, there's a nice medium level of shading that looks fantastic on the page, and it's a tad on the dry side when writing. After using several of these inks, this all feels normal now. Dry time isn't among the fastest — you're looking at around 20-25 seconds in most cases. Sure, this will be quicker the smaller the nib and thinner the paper, but it's still on the slow side.
Once it dries, though, it's nearly permanent. The drip and dunk tests were congruent with the other KWZ inks. The water damages the paper and blurs the ink, but it's 100% readable afterwards.
The color is what sets this ink apart. Gold isn't really a color you think of when looking at inks. Gold is a yellow metal that shines and sparkles. That's difficult to emulate in an ink without introducing some kind of sparkling particulates in the ink. J. Herbin and Diamine both have experience in this, but KWZ went another route. Instead of trying to produce a Goldschläger ink, the shading provides the depth of color that you need when trying to emulate gold. It doesn't look exactly like gold (nothing will, which is why gold is highly valued), but it definitely reminds you of gold.
When writing, the ink has a light-straw yellow color. As it dries, it turns partially to a light brown with yellow tones, while thinner ink strokes retain a more light-straw color. It's this straw and light brown color combo along with the beautiful shading characteristics of this ink that evoke the thought of gold in this ink. I'm not sure if I'd describe this ink as "gold colored" if I didn't know the name of the ink, but I definitely see the connection. If it's not called gold, then it's some sort of mix between dirty yellow, light brown, and some slight green tones to enhance the yellows. Overall, it's a strange, unique color that I can't stop inspecting. It's beautiful!
When looking at the ink in the bottle and samples online, I didn't think this ink would impress me much. This is definitely a color that will appeal to some people, while completely flopping with others. If you like light to medium brown inks, this is definitely worth trying. If you like inks that shade, it's also something you need to try. In any case, you need to try some KWZ iron gall inks! These inks are so much fun, and the colors are so unique compared to non-iron gall inks.
(Vanness Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)