Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another "Blood Red" Ink: J. Herbin 1670 340th Anniversary

So this ink is (as far as anyone knows) only to be produced in 2010, as J. Herbin celebrates their 340th anniversary. You never would have guessed that from my title, would you? J. Herbin is a French, world-renowned ink and wax producer that has been around for, well, 340 years. This ink is also known as Rouge Hematite, citing a blood-red coloring.
I had very high hopes for this ink, and while they weren't completely dashed, they weren't fulfilled either. You see, this here ink has some gold in it... not real gold, per se, but metallic gold flecks/specks/particles. THAT is what makes this ink so interesting to me. Otherwise, it would just be red. Well, I had heard reports that these little gold beasties don't make their way onto paper, and not to count on that. On the contrary, I had seen many examples online of ink with the gold "halo" effect front and center. What was I to do? Not get any and later regret it when it is no longer available? Pish-posh!
So, I bit the bullet and anteed up the $22 I paid for 50mls of this stuff. Too much? Yes, but not by a lot, considering it may no longer be produced in a month or so.
I loaded this stuff into a Safari (with 1.1, 1.5, B, and M nibs)...and no gold. Curses! A dip pen tells another story. The red was much more dark and prettier, and the gold could be seen! I don't really like writing with dip pens though. Le sigh.
A few days after I got this ink, I got my Sheaffer Imperial in the mail. WOW- does this thing put down a lot of ink! I now had a little bit of restored hope that I could get the gold to flow from a fountain pen nib. So, yesterday, I loaded the 1670 up in the Sheaffer. It was mediocre at best. No really apparent gold. It might be there, if you squint a lot, and it was a really wet stroke of ink. Maybe. This next photo proves I am not crazy, that there is some "gold" there... it just isn't coming out of a fountain pen nib. 
The ink is fine to write with. It flows smoothly, doesn't feather, or bleed-through. But honestly, from a fountain  pen (or at least the ones I have) it is just red. Not even a pretty red like Diamine Oxblood; just plain ol' red. It dries really slowly, and is super saturated. It is not waterproof at all, but I don't think anyone expected it to be.

Now- it was dark outside when I prepared this review, and my scanner has been crappy as of late, so this is the best I could do for getting a picture. You get the gist, though. Besides, any of you who care about this have probably seen a million other examples of this ink. I do believe that it is worth noting that the dip pen sample in the above picture does show what I wanted this ink to look like. The gold almost gives it a greenish cast.
So- do I love it? No.
Do I hate it? No.
Would I buy it again? Probably not, especially for $20-$22.
Well, do you regret buying it, Shaylen? Not really. I will probably only use it for "love letters" written with a dip pen, but the hoarder in me is glad I got some while I had the chance.

Edit: Added more pictures, more "gold" evidence, and a picture actually taken during the day.

Another Edit to add one more picture of this elusive gold:


1 comment:

  1. Not much gold in evidence, (at least from their pics) but the writer's bloc have been mixing it with Herbin's other inks here;