pens, inks, stores, companies and about the pleasure of owning a fine pen


The company has a long history, dating back into the 1800's.

In 1864, in London, England, founded under the name T. Webster and Co., the company began. in 1925 the company moved from London to Liverpool. Then, many yeears later, in 1964 the company changed its name to Diamine.

This is a major producer of ink as in addition to producing the Diamine line, the company also produces inks for other company, under the respective company labels. They have made ink for Yard-o-Led and Conway-Stewart to name a few. It was in 2003, when the company introduced ink to the North American market, under its own name.

In addition to producing inks in a wide range of colours, they also produce inks for drawing, calligraphy and of course, writing inks suitable for fountain pens.

The bottles are in various sizes. For fountain pen ink, the ink comes in a 80 ml. But some colours are also available in a "tester" 30 ml bottle. To keep everyone on their toes, there are some special run inks that are in 40 ml bottles.

The 80 ml ink bottle is very attractive. It looks good sitting on your desk. It is deep enough to handle the big nibs of the M1000 or OMAS Paragon pen. So you have a ink that can be used. The wider bottom provides stability for the bottle, but creates it own challenges as the ink level in the bottle gets to almost the end.

In 2010 Diamine changed the brand naming and packaging of its ink. Gone are the Old English and New Century designations of lines of ink. Now it is simply Diamine Fountain Pen Ink and the bottles and boxes have a gray/black colour scheme.

Colours. You have them. I think there are 15 different inks in the blue family. The different colours can have very subtle changes.

In terms of drying time and flow, I find the ink to be overall, very good. I have found, however, some variances with different colours. There have been some variations but the drying time of ink is dependent on a number of factors that include: humidity, paper and the nib (amount of ink on the paper).

One colour that I really liked, but had difficulties with, is Majestic Blue. It was a new colour released in 2009. I found the ink tends to take just a bit too long to dry on the paper. While this was the colour of colour for me, I found the ink did not perform well in Montegrappa pens. This, was not only my experience, but in talking about this with members of my local pen club, I found others also had that experience.

I also found that Havasu Turquoise to be a strong bold colour I liked, however, one with difficulties. This colour stained a celluloid pen nib section after very limited use. On that point, althought for me it occured with this ink, it could happen with any heavily saturated colour. I like the colour and would use it in a pen with material that would not be subject to staining.

In 2009 Diamine started to produce 30 ml plastic bottles. I refer to these as sampler bottles as they are one way to sample a variety of colours without getting the full 80 ml bottle. The bottles are small, and a Pelikan M1000 pen just barely makes it into the bottle.

Overall Impression - I am impressed with Diamine inks. The colours have good saturation, good flow and dry on the paper within a reasonable time frame. None of the inks that I have tested so far leave a sticky feeling on the paper or smudge once the ink is dry.

I tried the various colour, I would take them "on the road". Off to the office and meetings. Lots of opportunities to take notes and see how the inks perform in everyday experiences. Everyday experiences means writing on both good and poor quality paper. Writing at a very fast pace, taking notes in a hearing, as well as writing at my desk in a normal handwritign speed. Heck, sometimes I would be standing in meetings writing on the back of binders etc. with fountain pen nibs not at their optimum angle. The ink consistency came through with a high mark.

The Performance of Diamine Ink Performance on an ink generally falls into comments relating to:

    • feathering - does the ink feather or spread out in an uncontrolled fashion from the line of ink made by the nib?
    • viscosity or flow - does the ink freely flow from the feed and the nib, or is there a sense of resistance?
    • dry time - does the ink dry on the paper in a reasonable time, or does it remain "wet" and subject to smearing?
    • consistent colour - is the colour consistent on the paper, or is there a wide variance in terms of shading, specially with broad nibs?

Some of the experience in terms of the above comments relates to the nib or the paper and may not be attributed solely to the ink.

    • Feathering can relate to the ink, but overall, it is a response of the ink to the paper.
    • The flow of a pen, for example, is a direct result of the feed mechanism. Some inks flow quicker than others, but the two can not be 100 separated.
    • Dry time is impacted by the amount of ink that is laid on the paper. Big nib, lots of ink. Heavy writer, then there is more ink left on the paper, especially at the end of the stroke when the nib pauses on the paper. Drying is an important characteristic of the ink. Some inks will remain sticky for a considerable amount of time on the paper. That creates a problem.

Overall I did not find a significant difference in the writing experience using the 70 some colours of Diamine ink. Some were a little wetter than others. Majestic Blue, for example, an ink that I just received in December 2009 has quickly ranked as one of my favorite inks. I am using it in a variety of pens and I have noticed that it flows a little quicker, leaving a little more ink on the paper and takes a bit longer to dry. But, within 5 seconds it is dry and not subject to smearing. As I mentioned, Majestic Blue, for some reason, didi not perform well in Montegrappa pen ink feed systems when I used it in my various Montegrappa pens. On that point, this is not an experience that only I have had, as I have discussed with this other users of Montegrappa pens and find those pens and this ink are not a great match. I will say now, some 21 years later, I will have to give the ink a second chance as things may have changed. 

Sargasso Sea

Diamine Ink

Sargasso Sea os a bold blue.

Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet is a Special Edition ink that comes in a 40 ml triangular shaped bottle.



Starting in 2019, this colour became one of my favourites in the Diamine line. I like the soft but dark tone on this green. It looks greate in all type of writing (business and personal).


Diamine Grey

The search for the perfect grey. That was the challenge for 2020. This is one the greys that ranked up near the top of the list. I liked the deep tone. Some greys were too light, and well that was fine for a short personal note. The ink needs enough punch to look food with a full page of writing. Good performance in terms of flow and dry time.l