1670 review · fountain pen review · Fountain Pen Reviews · ink review

Review J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Edition Inks (3 of 5 tested)


Apparently, I’ve learned, “sheening inks” (that is inks that shine, especially due to glittery particle suspended in the ink) are hell on pens and often the sheen is unevenly distributed through your writing if you are not consistent with how you right…

Well both of these unfortunate details are true about all three of the five J Herbin 1670 Anniversary Edition inks that I’ve tried and I simply don’t care!  I was so intrigued by them and wanted to write nice and wet for as long as my pen would last, that I bought two “low end” Broad nib’d pens (both Lamy Safari’s which fit the price I had in mind here for “junk pens”) specifically for use with these pen killers…. of course pens CAN be saved by taking completely apart and cleaning the glittery grit out of all the pieces with a toothbrush but who has the time?

Now, this is going to be a review of the ink I swear but first let me commend the Safari’s for how well they have held up to this abuse!  I used each of them for months with nothing but 1670 inks and yes, there is visible glittery build up in various spots, but when I never had a clogging issue of any type and even when I switched to an entirely different line of inks (in this case a lovely pink  called kosumosu in the iroshizuku line by Pilot), the pens preformed perfectly.   These have become the pens I give to friends I want to turn on to the sheening inks without worrying them about a sudden need for intense pencare on their part!

Now, to the inks.  All of these inks are well behaved and colored well enough that even a thin or soft line holds true.  The bottles are works of art and the little historic insert in the box makes you feel like part of something special when you read it!

All usage of these inks was on Tomoe River paper in both white and cream.

The undisputed star of this line is called Emerald of Chivor.  It’s actually, under most circumstances, a teal ink with gold flecks that are only seen upon examination under direct lighting.  However, use a wet writing pen (as I did with a Lamy Safari with a Broad nib) and slow down your strokes to allow for a greater deposit of ink and something happens… that teal and gold flecking become one brilliant sparkling emerald green!  Spots of greatest ink deposit, like the dots of i’s and period, or the very ends of a harshly penned stroke, will show a rust low-light in the glittering of the flecks!  So, if you write normally you have a lovely teal and gold flecked ink, but if you play with the the ink depositing by using wetter pens and slowing your strokes,  you can get some really beautiful and easily noticeable effects.

The ink in this line I’m asked about most after Emerald of Chivor is called Rouge Hematite which is a red with gold flecks… or it’s supposed to be.  I was quite let down by this ink.  I expected it to be E of C, only red instead of teal/green and that was not the case.  When writing with a Broad nib Lamy Safari I find that it is just a plain old red with gold flecks and again the flecks are only discernable upon examination under good lighting and they make more of an hora than the expected flecks.  However, discernable or not, that gold ora detracts from what looks like it would have been a deep, satisfying red; as it is the red of Rouge Hematite is detracted from by the gold and looks sort of dull and lifeless.  I have tried various pens, different strokes, varying the wetness of my writing and nothing corrects for the problem I describe.  Skip this one.

Finally, the third of this line that I purchased is called Caroube de Chypre and it was a BIG surprise to me how fond I became of it.  Upon first look at any writing done with this ink, it’s just a chocolatey brown.. there’s some red somewhere in the color recipe, but you wouldn’t notice it if I hadn’t said it.  There are, of course, the lines signature gold flecks that, as usual, don’t show up until closer examination of the page but then WOW!  Once you’ve seen the golden working its way amid the lovely brown ink, you just can’t unsee it. The brown is a nice enough color for a correspondence as it is, but have your reader take that second look and be dazzled!  This is the Clark Kent/Superman of sheening inks and it has been filled and refilled in my pen for several weeks now!

I’m sad to say I don’t yet own the last two inks in this collection.  I plan on purchasing them more to complete the collection than out of any real need for more sheening inks.  All in all, these are a great little team of inks, from what I’ve tried, with nice colors that surprise you with a brilliant shine when you take the time to really look, and isn’t that what we all want for our beautiful inks, for someone to spend a moment looking at them?




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