Platinum Citrus Black Ink Review


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

When it comes to yellow inks, I can't say I have much experience. It's not a color that I've been attracted to so far in my ink journey, but it doesn't mean I have anything against it, either. So, when I received a bottle of Platinum Citrus Black to try out, I was intrigued. The color of the ink that's visible through the bottle is very light and mostly transparent. I didn't expect this ink to surprise me as much as it did.

Upon inking up a pen and taking it to paper, the light, highlighter yellow ink was barely visible as I wrote. My impression was, "this is a useless color," but that's when things started to change. I hadn't researched the ink before trying it, and I discovered very quickly that Citrus Black is an iron gall ink that Platinum offers. To my surprise and delight, I watched the highlighter yellow ink transform into a deeper yellow with green tones, followed by an even deeper green/yellow that looked closer to olive. Needless to say, my initial impression was blown away.

Drying characteristics taken over a 30 second timeframe

Drying characteristics taken over a 30 second timeframe

If you've never tried an iron gall ink before, you're missing out. They have a unique characteristic (the iron) that causes the color and shade to change drastically as it dries. In every iron gall ink I try, this trait fascinates and delights me. With Citrus Black, it's no different.

Apart from the obvious color-changing trick, this ink also packs a pretty significant shading characteristic that makes it even more fun to use. Once the ink dries (which is a fairly quick process), you're left with a medium yellow/green/brown color on the page. It's technically an off-black, but it's not nearly dark enough in my mind to qualify for that name. Either way, it's an attractive color both wet and fully dry.


Being an iron gall, it's also very water-resistant if that's something you look for in inks. It's also worth pointing out that iron galls can cause some damage to your pens if left inked and unused for extended periods of time, but just make sure you clean it out after a month to ensure your pen keeps functioning as expected.

If there's one downside to this ink, it's the fact that the wet ink is just so darn difficult to see while writing. It really is a shade similar to highlighter, which makes it nearly illegible when wet. After about five seconds, that problem no longer presents, but it can be difficult if you're trying to keep your handwriting steady and legible. It's almost like writing with invisible ink.

Platinum Citrus Black, and all of the Platinum Classic Inks, are available in 60ml bottles for $25 at JetPens. The price is a bit higher than what you might normally expect, but it's a large bottle and a fascinating ink wholly worth the extra couple of dollars.

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

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Posted on August 23, 2017 and filed under Platinum, Ink Reviews.