Diamine Shimmering Night Sky Ink Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Whether you like shimmering inks or not, they are fully upon us. While J. Herbin was the pioneer in these types of inks recently, it seems like other ink makers have jumped on board to offer their own shiny, sparkling inks.

I have a couple of J. Herbin inks that feature particulates that reflect light or sheen curious colors, so I was interested to see how Diamine's version compared. In the case of Night Sky, the effect is very subtle, but done very well. I'm still not certain that this is a black ink, but that seems to be a unique problem of my own.

Basically, this is a Diamine ink with or without the shimmer. That means that it's well-behaved and balanced in most properties. It's a pleasure to write with, just like all other Diamine inks I've tried. The shimmering effect in Night Sky is subdued to the point that it can be difficult to detect in certain light. When it does catch the light, it can be delightful — just like catching a clear sky at night with a full span of stars.

This is a saturated ink in that the color is full and consistent. I personally love saturated inks, so that's right up my alley. Still, for a dark ink, there's relatively zero show-through on the other side of the page. Again, something I've come to expect from Diamine. When writing, I've not noticed feathering or bleeding of any kind. There's also no sheen once the ink dries, but that's a fairly uncommon trait in inks. Finally, the ink dries in about 15 seconds in the 1.1mm stub nib I used for the review. In smaller nibbed pens, it dried faster. Like most inks, dry time will vary with every pen, but this seems to be a fairly fast drier.

As far as the color of the ink goes, it's billed as a black ink. To my eyes, it looks more like a black-gray or black-purple. I've asked for other opinions on the color, and no one has corroborated my version of the story. So, take that with a grain of salt. Either way, it's not a pitch black color.

Then, there's the shimmer. After filling the ink for the first time, I wrote some sample lines and waited for the shimmer to appear. After a few minutes, I still couldn't find the shimmer and wondered if there might be a problem with the ink. I quickly discovered that I had missed a small note included in the box that instructs you to "shake gently" before filling your pen. Of course - the particles need to be disturbed and floating around so that they make it into your pen. Makes sense.

The only criticism I have about this (and it's a big one for me) is that "gently" has nothing to do with the shaking method needed in order to dislodge the particles in the bottom of the bottle. I had to shake vigorously for about a minute before everything was unsettled from the bottom. Maybe I have a fluke bottle, but it's worth noting that you might need to put a bit of effort into this. For my own comfort levels, shaking a full bottle of ink for a minute puts me on the "moderately nervous" side.

Flip the script

Flip the script

Anyway, I inked up the pen without any mishaps. Finally, after writing a few more lines, I could see the shimmer. It takes a few seconds for the glistening bits to show up — it must have something to do with the ink drying. Once they show up, they are subtle and require good lighting. For Night Sky, the flakes are silver instead of gold.

The nice thing about the Night Sky ink is that you can still use it in an office setting because of how subtle the shimmering effect is. Unless you're using a large-nibbed, wet fountain pen, it can be easy to miss it. To me, this is a desirable feature since it doesn't completely take over the ink. It's there, but it's not in your face about it. However, if you want the sparkles in your ink to actually light up like a disco ball, this one will disappoint.

That being said, this is a solid ink. The sticker on the bottle is pretty, the price is fair, and it has a neat trick up its sleeve. I'm not sure I'll delve any deeper into Diamine's Shimmering line of inks, but the Night Sky is one that I'll probably dip into every so often to add some flair to an otherwise boring black ink.

The Diamine Shimmering Night Sky comes in a 50 ml bottle for around $20. There are several other colors to the Shimmering series, and feature silver or gold flakes depending on the ink color.

(GouletPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on March 30, 2016 and filed under Diamine, Ink Reviews.