Tag Archives: Ink review

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor (Emerald of Chivor)

J. Herbin has recently released its newest ink in the 1670 Anniversary Ink line-up Emeraude de Chivor, joining Rouge Hematite, Stormy Grey and Bleu Ocean. The reason these inks have been so popular is because they all have some beautiful gold shimmer in them. It’s pretty rare to get gold flakes in fountain pen ink since most ink is dye-based, and often inks with pigment in them can clog your fountain pen, but these J. Herbin formulas flow well and wet and smoothly.

Each of these previous releases had been highly anticipated, and Emeraude de Chivor is no exception. Its arrival to North America has been discussed on forums and pen blogs and Instagram for the last few months, and we’ve been fielding our share of e-mails and questions about when it was going to arrive. I think we’ve received it here in Canada before the US, which is one of the few times us Canadians have had an edge over our friends down south. With our rapidly weakening Canadian dollar and the end of door-to-door mail delivery, we should cherish these moments, friends! Ā šŸ™‚

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonder Pens Blog wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

I had originally thought it was going to arrive early August, so it wasn’t even on my radar to start thinking about it. Then last week,Ā I got an email from our J. Herbin distributor saying, “Hello Mme Chan, your ink is coming.” I love how these guys are always so calm in their emails. It’s like they don’t realize that immediately after seeing the email, I’m going to freak out a bit.

Emeraude de Chivor is a dark, rich teal with gold flecks and red sheen. I call it teal rather than turquoise because I think it leans more towards a warm blue green rather than a sky blue green, but it depends a bit on how wet your pen is (and your computer monitor…). I also referencedĀ this site here, which I’m pretty confident in,Ā because it’s a site about teal vs turquoise for a wedding, and women can get a bit nuts over wedding details. It’s an interesting coincidence that on this website they say teal and gold is a “fab colour combination.”

Here are some shots of the new ink.

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog Toronto Canada

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog Toronto Canada

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog Toronto Canada

I love seeing the gold underneath the ink before the ink has dried!

Of course you’re going to see much more gold in these super wet swabs, dip pens, glass pens, or anything else that puts a lot of ink on the paper versus in writing with a fountain pen, but you’re still definitely going to see some gold, and obviously the wetter or broader the pen, and the less absorbent the paper, the more gold you’re going to see.

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonder Pens Blog wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

This writing sample is done with a Platinum 3776 Music Nib and on Midori MD paper. The Platinum 3776 Music Nib is triple tined and slightly stubby, one of my favourite nibs of all time. I use it for letter-writing, addressing envelopes, and for inks that have qualities that need a wetter nib, such as shading or sheen.

Platinum 3776 Music Nib Wonder Pens Blog wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonder Pens Blog wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonder Pens Blog wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

This shot here shows some insane gold reflection and red sheen probably because it’s the first line I wrote with my pen after filling it with the ink, so the nib and feed held much more ink, but also you can capture more sheen if you look at it from an angle across from the light.

I love that even without noticing the gold or sheen, the colour of the ink itself is this beautiful, dark, rich colour. Especially with a fine nib, with the gold or red sheen not as obvious, you might be able to get away with this in a work environment. Plus you’ll notice the sheen and gold more if you look at an angle and in the right light in any case, so maybe no one will even notice šŸ˜‰

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Emeraude de Chivor Emerald of Chivor Wonder Pens Blog wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

When you’re filling your pen, your best bet is get your pen ready first, piston all the way down and ready to grab, shake the bottle really well to even disperse the gold flecks and then immediately and quickly dunk your nib in to suck up. If you’re too slow, the gold will all settle to the bottom before you get a chance to get any in your pen. When we do ink samples of these 1670 inks, it’s a two person operation, one person shakes and removes the cap between every syringe fill while the other person gets the syringe in and dispenses into the vials.

I’ve found that surprisingly, these inks clean easily out of your pens. There is sometimes some gold sparkle remaining on the feed if you’re just flushing out until the coloured ink (grey, blue, etc.) washes out, which I know sounds contradictory to what I just said about it cleaning easily, but it’s not in a way that’s build-up clogging up your feed like dried ink residue, it’s just the tiny gold flakes, which will continue to come out in the next ink you put in.

That said, if you’re really concerned about an expensive or valuable pen, consider not leaving any of these 1670 inks in your pen for too long, or to really be vigilant in cleaning it out, even using a bit of dish-soap in a cup of warm water. I’m a bit more of a life-on-the-edge, and I don’t mind a bit of gold sparkle in my Ancient Copper or Alt-Goldgrun. In fact, I don’t think there are too many things in lifeĀ thatĀ couldn’tĀ be improved by a bit of gold dust.

I will leave you with a video done by Ed Jelley, one of my favourite pen bloggers.

Ink Review: Noodler’s X-Feather


Noodler’s X-Feather: fountain pen ink designed to not feather on most types of paper, including cheaper copy paper.

Noodler’s X-Feather Ink is a black ink with a specialty in not feathering.

People generally try to avoid feathering because it just doesn’t look very nice. We want to have nice, clean, crisp lines without any of the fibres around the paper soaking up some of the ink. On certain types of paper, or with extremely small writing or fine details, feathering can sometimes mean your writing is illegible, although these are in extreme circumstances.

The three factors that determine how your ink looks (in feathering as well as everything else) are paper, pen and ink. If you find a certain type of pen or ink or paper that you really like, you can experiment with the other factors to find your just-right combination.


An example of feathering – usually a result of the combination of paper and ink, especially frequent with really “wet” or broad nibs.

Fountain pen writers are often on the hunt for “fountain pen friendly” paper, although this usually comes with a higher price tag. Good brands include Rhodia, Quo Vadis, Japanese Life Stationery and G. Lalo, along with many others. This paper often has a higher gsm – grams/meter weight, meaning it is a little thicker but also denser. However, thicker paper does not mean it is going to be fountain pen friendly.

The example above is on Hilroy spiral-bound school notebooks – terrible paper. This is the $0.49 notebook you can get at Staples at back-to-school season. The writing was done with a Jinhao 126 and a Fine nib – not a pen that writes a very wet line!Ā Paper that is newsprint or cheaper copy paper is often great for the more oily ink of ball-point pens, but not good for fountain pen ink.

Some good fountain pen paper also has a higher cotton content, or is vellum paper (plasticized cotton), meaning it is more ink-resistant – rather than absorbing the ink, the ink sits wet on the surface of the sheet until it dries.

In my opinion, it is generally the paper that is the biggest factor in how much an ink feathers, though of course, there are certain inks that are terrible with feathering and some inks that do not feather very much or at all.

As well, the wider or wetter your nib, the more ink you lay down. When that happens, the paper fibres around your line will start to absorb the lines, resulting in something that looks a little hairy.

One example of an ink designed especially to avoid feather is Noodler’s X-Feather.



Writing Sample of Noodler’s X-Feather with Noodler’s Ahab Flex on Rhodia 80gsm paper.

Often calligraphers or writers who like really wet nibs will go to this ink because it allows them to lay down a lot of ink without it feathering.

For this writing sample on Rhodia Paper, I used the Ahab Flex. Ā Because it’s a flex nib, it will definitely lay down a lot of ink for the wider lines.


While X-Feather is known for its anti-feathering property, it’s also a dark, saturated black that is a great black on its own.

I do find this ink to be a black ink – a dark, almost creamy, saturated black with very little shading. Even with the flex nib, you can hardly see any shading, at all. While it’s still a liquid ink, it almost seems like a little bit of a thicker ink, leaving a crisp line.


Writing Sample: Noodler’s X-Feather on Rhodia Paper

Of course, on the Rhodia Paper, which handles most inks very well, has no problem at all with the X-Feather. In fact, you might have a difficult time finding an ink that does feather on Rhodia Paper, although I’m sure it could be done.

It has a slower dry time: feathering often speeds up the dry time by absorbing the ink into more of the paper – since this doesn’t feather it takes a little longer to dry.

The real test is on the lower quality paper. Below, I tried the Ahab Flex with X-Feather on the same Hilroy paper as the example of feathering above. If you look really closely, you can see the paper trying to pull the tiniest particles of ink, but even on this paper, X-Feather does an admirable job.


Even on lousy spiral bound school notebooks, X-Feather looks great!

IMG_4145 Ā While on the Rhodia paper there was no bleed-through at all, on this paper, there was definitely bleed-through. However, I think you would have time with any sort of ink pen on this paper, as it is thin, fibrous paper.

If you’re someone who works in an office with copy paper or you’re a student looking to take notes without having to purchase high quality paper, this is the ink for you.

You can take a look at more details about the ink here.

You can also see a cool drawing using the ink here at:Ā Leigh Reyes

J. Herbin Perle Noire Ink Review


IMG_3183J. Herbin’s Perle Noire black ink is one of those standard, high-quality, go-to black inks for many fountain pen users. It’s a rich, dark colour that writes smoothly and dries quickly – what else do you need?

It’s got all around great qualities on all sorts of paper, and its drawbacks are mainly to do with the bottle – something you can fix easily.

The paper is Rhodia 80gsm.

IMG_3190The writing sample was done with a Lamy Safari 1.1 nib. I’m still working on my “calligraphy” – so the writing is more like regular writing with a really wide nib. The great thing about the Lamy nibs is that you can switch them between pens easily, and since Perle Noire is generally such a great ink, I thought I’d see how it’s write with such a wide line.

J. Herbin Perle Noire with a Lamy 1.1 Nib

J. Herbin Perle Noire with a Lamy 1.1 Nib

The ink is great. It’s got good dry time, doesn’t bleed or feather. Because it flows smoothly in most pens, it’s good for pens that write a little dry. It is not water-proof or archival.

This ink is generally a dark black, opaque, saturated ink, especially with a wet nib, but with a wide line you can see shading in the writing. In part, because the Lamy feed in the pen is the same for the EF to the 1.5 nibs, and while the Lamy is robust, it is not going to be super wet when writing with the 1.1 nib.



Even though it says 1.1 – it is actually an EF nib!

The writing sample done with a 1.1 nib gives it more shading than it will have with a finer nib.

Because this ink is such a classic, and it’s a great ink for your everyday writing, office work, journaling, drawing – I did another writing sample in EF. It’s a much crisper, wet line that really holds well on the Rhodia paper.


This photo was taken under artificial lights.

The most common difficulties with the bottle are after you’ve used up maybe 1/3 of the ink. Because of the bottle’s wide base, it becomes harder to get ink into your pen.

Option 1: Take the converter out of the pen and put that directly into the bottle.
Option 2: Fill a syringe with ink from the bottle and refill your converter, cartridge or eyedropper.
Option 3: Pour some ink into another container that is narrower, fitting your pen nib but with enough ink height.
Sailor’s bottles and a few others contain a cone that you helps you use the last of your bottle of ink, and if you have an empty Sailor bottle, it’s a great way to use up your J. Herbin inks as well!


30 mL bottle of J. Herbin Perle Noire

This bottle is currently available in 30mL from our store, but we are looking into ordering a few 100mL bottles. Please let us know if you’re interested and we can make sure we’re getting enough quantities in the right colours — and we can even order a 1 litre bottle for you!

Elsewhere to read about this ink:
Ambrosia’s Ink Rack
Fountain Pen Network – Acolythe