The company has a long history, dating back into the 1800's. The company began in 1864, in London, England, under the name T. Webster and Co. In 1925 the company moved from London to Liverpool. Then, many years later, in 1964 the company changed its name to what we know today, Diamine.
In addition to producing their ownh line of inks, the company also produces inks for other companies such as Yard-o-Led and Conway-Stewart to name a few. In 2003, the company entered the North American market with inks under the Diamine brand.
The company produces a variety of types of inks that includes those for drawing, calligraphy and of course, writing inks suitable for fountain pens. They have bottled the ink in a variety of sizes. The basic line of fountain pen ink comes in a large 80 ml glass bottle. Some colours have been released in smaller, plastic, "tester" bottles that are 30 ml in size. To keep everyone on their toes, there are some special inks that are in 40 ml bottles. The latter including the 150th Anniversary inks in a triangular shape so the entire assortment can fit together to form a circle.
The 80 ml ink bottle is very attractive. It is deep enough to handle the big nibs of the Pelikan M1000 or OMAS Paragon pens. 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 branding of different lines of fountain pen inks. Gone are the Old English and New Century designations of lines of ink. Now it is simply Diamine Fountain Pen Ink.
Colours. You have certainly have choices. I think there are 15 different inks in the blue family. The different colours can have very subtle changes.
They have meet the current interest in shimmer inks and have a variety of colours released in their Shimmering Line. They come in a 50 ml bottle.
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 generally falls into comments relating to:
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 use the colour 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 5-10 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 is an other of the bold blue ink in the Diamine line.
Blue Velvet is a Special Edition ink that comes in a 40 ml triangular shaped bottle. This is one of those blue inks that just look so good on paper. I like the rich tone. Also, counter to those who like shimmer inks, this is not an ink with multiple tones. Pure, rich, Velvet Blue. When the ink dries, there is no sticky feel, there is not that "raised" feeling when you wipe finger across the words you have written. Love this ink, my only regret is that it does not come in the larger 80 ml bottle.
Starting in 2019, this colour became one of my favourites colours in the Diamine line. I like the soft but strong enough tone of this green. It looks greate in all type of writing (business and personal). I group this with the olive-tone greens that are not as harsh as some of the bright greens look, especially when looking a a full page of writing. I often use my Travel Journal as a good baramoter. When I go back to read about where I was, or information on a particular place, some pages, well let's say they do not pass the test of time!
Excellent flow. Good dry time. I have not experienced problems with feathering or bleeding through good quality paper. The ink comes in a good bottle, tall, and holds a generous 80 ml of ink.
Diamine Gibson Les Paul Guitar Ink
Diamine was asked to create a range of inks to celebrate the heritage of some of the Sunburst, Burst and Pelham Blue finishes that Gibson have employed on the bodies of their iconic Les Paul guitars. Originally planned as a German exclusive, the inks were made worldwide. Nice blending with subtle colours. So don't make the mistake I made. My bottle of ink arrived, I opened it, and started to write with an attractive brown tone ink.
But as I read about the in ink in how it is described I started to wonder if my bottle was mislabeled. Then it hit me, pigments. Shake the bottle. Yes, the ink came alive.
I have liked this ink from the first time that I tried it, and that many years ago. It is a saturdated blue black ink that creates a fairly consistent colour on th page, relatively little shadding. Good flat finish to the ink when it dries - no shine or stickiness you can feel when you run your finger over your writing. Good flow. Looking for a deep blue black? This is a colour to considerl
Although I seem to primarily use blue inks, I do get into my periods of brown when that is the only colour to use! Raw Sienna is one of the colours I enjoy. I like the slight red/orange tone leaving an interesting and pleasant look on the page.
Raw sienna comes from iron ore or ferric oxide found naturally in clays. Our 2022 trip to France had us stay in Roussillon, the centre of the area with the clay. Sienna was one of the first pigments used for painting and can be found in prehistoric cave art. Raw Sienna is known for its yellowish brown colour, when it is eated, the pigments change to reddish brown and it is called burnt Sienna.
The performance of the ink is consistent with ink in the Diamine line. Reasonable try time, I have not found the ink to be subject to feathering and there is no bleeding as I have written with the ink on a variety of paper.
So don't pick this ink based on the colour shown on the box. The box gives is the idea of a yellow brown, but when I have used it, the deeper tone or red is in the ink.
Sometimes we buy colours of ink that we question once we start using them. Why Amber, a rich yellow. I am still working on that question. It looks great for a few written words on a card. For longer writting purposes the charm of the ink starts to wear thin.
The performance of ink, when I can use it, is good. A good flow, no feathering and on the few papers that I have written with it, no bleeding.
If you are looking for something different, this is a ink to consider.
I was looking for a bold ink, and Bilberry met the challenge. It is a very dark blue/purple, but does not have the brashy purple tones that are in some inks. This writes as a good solid blue, with just a slightly different tone. Writing performance is consistenht with the Diamine line. Good flow, no feathering and I have not encountered an issue with bleeding with the range of papers I have used.
When I first started to outside the blues, teal was a colour I enjoyed writing with. This has now continued for so many years. Eay de Nil is a dark teal that looks good when you have a lot of writing on the page. Consistent with the Diamine line, it has good writing performance: reasonable dry time, no feathering or bleeding.
Diamine also has an in, Teal, and Eau de Niol differs in that the dark tones are nore dark tones in the teal range rather than closer to black. Marine, another in the teal group of Diamine is distinctly light in tone.
This is a beautiful teal coloured ink. Flow is good, overall permance very good, consistent with the Diamine line of inks.
I normally like bolder blue inks, but Bashful Blueberry has a comfortable appearance. A bit more of a drier ink. There was not problems in using the ink but it does not have the same flow of the wetter inks in the Diamine line.
A warm tone green with the olive tones comining out with larger nib widths. Good flow, good overall performance.
Bold dark green, and unlike some of the darker greens, there is still a bit of a warm feeling to the colour. Good performance.