As I experiment with more blue-black inks, it's becoming more clear that "blue-black" can mean a number of things. It doesn't always mean that the ink is just a really dark blue. Sometimes, the ink also has some green, gray, or purple hints as well. Some are darker than others, some shade well, and the list goes on. Blue-blacks are not created equal, which has made the process of trying new ones pretty exciting.
Quite a while back, I picked up a bottle of Bung Box Blue-Black, but in the bustle of moving, settling, and catching up on work, it got buried in the ink box for quite a while. Imagine my surprise when I was organizing my inks a few weeks back and discovered this little unopened gem! After that, I inked it up immediately to give a whirl in everyday writing tasks. While I wasn't very impressed at first, this ink won me over after a few days.
The color of this particular blue-black is undeniably indigo. There are no traces of purple or gray in this ink, but you can see some green in the swatch in my photos. In normal writing, I can't see any green. It's dark, rich, and blue all the way. Depending on the individual character of the pen you're using, it may be lighter or darker, but even in my "dry" pens, it's fairly dark.
There is some shading seen in this ink, but I wouldn't call it dramatic. It's subdued and classy, with just enough shading to be noticed if you're looking. Of course, the wider the nib, the more chances of tapping into the shading potential of this ink.
One surprising characteristic of this ink that I didn't notice for a while is a slight red sheen. It only comes out in certain lighting, but it's definitely there. Again, it's a subtle sheen and you have to look for it while holding the paper at a particular angle.
The writing experience is top-notch. This is a well-behaved ink that writes smoothly and is gentle on pens. The dry time is a little slow (coming in around 20 - 25 seconds in the 1.1mm stub), but does dry quicker than the test in my pictures if you're using a smaller, dryer nib. Still, it's something to consider if fast dry time is important to you (as in, this isn't a better option).
The only downsides I can see are the price and availability. It's pricey (over $40 usually) and not well-stocked, but that's generally true of all Bung Box inks. Vanness Pens is a good place to purchase this ink, and they typically have it in stock in a 50ml bottle or a 4ml sample vial.
Overall, I've been really happy with this blue-black! It's a rich, dark shade of blue, and it has subtle shading characteristics that make it stand apart from other blue-blacks. This is a high-quality choice for blue-black fans to try out at some point.
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