J. Herbin Amethyste de l'Oural Ink Review


(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

The Herbin Company (formerly known as J. Herbin) has launched their new line of inks this fall--the 1798 collection, with the stunning Amethyste de l’Oural. I've been known to say that I don't care much for shimmer inks, and then inks like this one make me eat those words for breakfast. I like everything about this ink.


The new 1798 collection is based on another milestone for the Herbin company--the year they moved to their shop in Paris. They sold pen nibs and wax and ink--necessities in those days, and little luxuries today. The new collection makes a few improvements over the 1670 anniversary collection. The mouth of the bottle is wider to accommodate pens more easily, the wax cap seal is thicker and stronger, the labeling and packaging has improved. My favorite thing about this ink might be the beautiful bottle. I love the embossed ship logo on the bottom. The bottle is also heavy and sturdy, so it's not likely to tip over.


The ink is a rich, royal purple with a fine, subtle silver shimmer. The particles need to be gently distributed into the ink before filling your pen. The purple "amethyste" color is to honor the gemstone that was shipped around the world in the 16th and 17th centuries. It's a sophisticated shade, and the silver sparkle adds a bit of smoky shine to it. It's not a glaring mirror-shine, but a more elegant glint. It isn't even noticeable in some lights or on some paper, but when the right light hits it at an angle, it gives a little wink of fairy dust.


The ink is well saturated and has some water resistance to it. Lines were still visible after spending a few minutes in water. I can also say it lingers on the fingertips through many (many) washes. It's a wet, well-lubricated ink. I was delightfully surprised by that. One of the things I dislike about a lot of shimmer inks is how they can feel a bit dry or clumpy. This is one of the wettest inks I've ever used. I put it in the driest nib I own--one of the black-coated Lamy fine nibs--and it lubricated the writing so well that it made me enjoy a nib I usually avoid. Between the wetness and the shimmer, there's very little shading--but it doesn't need it. It's also rather slow to dry on Rhodia paper. There was very mild feathering (there might be more with a wider/wetter nib) and no bleed-through.


Perhaps because the particles seem finer (at least by sight) than in some other shimmer inks, I had no trouble cleaning it out of my pen. It's actually one of the better-behaving inks I've ever used. Still be careful when using it in vintage pens or pens that are notoriously difficult to clean--but I have no concerns about using this ink regularly in an everyday writer. In fact, I've been using it every day for some time, now, and enjoying every minute.

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

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Posted on November 16, 2017 and filed under J. Herbin, Ink Review.