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Chesterfield Archival Vault Ink Review


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32 replies to this topic

#1 fiberdrunk

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 22:24

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This is my first commercial iron gall ink purchase and so far I love it! I specifically bought Rotring Surf (with medium nib) and Parker Vector (fine nib) fountain pens to accommodate this ink, as I've heard iron gall inks tend to write dry and these are wet pens. This ink does indeed write well in both pens. The Parker Vector fine nib writes more like a medium nib with this ink (at least on the Office Depot inkjet paper), and the Rotring Surf medium nib writes more like a fine nib.

According to Xfountainpens where you can get this ink, this is repackaged Diamine Registrars Ink. It comes in a 50 ml (2 oz) Nalgene leak-proof bottle, and is a great bargain at $9.95 (with free shipping over $15). I'm not affiliated with Xfountainpens; I'm only a first-time but satisfied customer. I don't know if anyone else sells this repackaged ink or not. It is cheaper than Diamine Registrars Ink.

I tested the ink on both Office Depot Inkjet and Strathmore Parchment 100% rag. It flowed best on the cheaper Office Depot paper. It felt dry on the 100% rag paper, but there were no skips in the ink flow. There was no feathering or bleedthrough on either paper. The ink goes on blue. I'm wondering at what point it will turn black? The ink dries within 4-5 seconds (I'm a lefty but didn't have any smudging problems with the ink). This ink is waterproof. It oxidizes black after wetting (and presumably with time, too). I forgot to mark on the sheet that there was no nib creep or build-up. (Edited next day: I checked the nibs, and both had nib creep.)

I've never bought commercial iron gall ink before. I have made homemade iron gall ink, which goes on pale brown (almost invisible) then quickly turns a jet black upon drying and it's a fun transformation to witness. I don't notice this same kind of transformation as I write with Chesterfield Archival Vault (at least not yet), though my own inks do not have blue dye added to them (which is probably what delays the transformation in the Chesterfield ink). It did turn black after wetting it.

All in all, I'm delighted with this ink. I'll be doing sunshine tests on it next and will post in the future how it holds up.

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ETA: forgot to add one last image:

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Edited by fiberdrunk, 24 December 2010 - 17:17.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#2 rockydoggy

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 22:31

Thanks much for the review. I'm waiting to receive my shipment of this ink so that I can do a side-by-side with Diamine Regisrar's to see if there's any detectable difference at all--I'm fully anticipating that the two inks'll be identical.

#3 fiberdrunk

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 22:38

Thanks much for the review. I'm waiting to receive my shipment of this ink so that I can do a side-by-side with Diamine Regisrar's to see if there's any detectable difference at all--I'm fully anticipating that the two inks'll be identical.


Looking forward to seeing that! I'm curious to know as well.
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#4 wallylynn

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 23:49

Wow, that's much bluer than I expected. I think I'll like it. I was hoping my order (I caved and got the 3 bottles for free shipping) would arrive before xmas but probably not. Looking forward to that comparison with Diamine too.

#5 fwyun

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 00:22

Thanks for the review!

Very tempted to get some for myself

#6 gary

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 03:03

A nice review.

xfountainpens leaves unanswered the question. "Why repackage Diamine?"

gary

#7 Ann Finley

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 05:45

A nice review.

xfountainpens leaves unanswered the question. "Why repackage Diamine?"

gary


Diamine makes ink for various other companies. Chesterfield is one of them.

:) Ann

#8 fiberdrunk

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 17:22

Wow, that's much bluer than I expected. I think I'll like it. I was hoping my order (I caved and got the 3 bottles for free shipping) would arrive before xmas but probably not. Looking forward to that comparison with Diamine too.


The blueness seems to depend on the paper. I've checked all writing samples today, and they are considerably darker. Depending on the paper, it transformed almost black on some acid-free paper, a dark blue on the Strathmore 100% rag, and nearly black on the Office Depot inkjet paper. So it's behaving like iron gall ink, in other words!

Edited by fiberdrunk, 24 December 2010 - 17:23.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#9 hari317

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 18:58

Thanks for reviewing this ink. My 100ml bottle of the Diamine Registrar's ink tends to sediment if the bottle is left undisturbed for a few days. Have you observed any such sedimentation with this ink?

Thanks!
Hari

Edited by hari317, 24 December 2010 - 18:59.


#10 Mr.Rene

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 22:44

Hari,
sediments are normal in any galic ink...do not worry about it.
René
:thumbup:

#11 fiberdrunk

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 04:50

Thanks for reviewing this ink. My 100ml bottle of the Diamine Registrar's ink tends to sediment if the bottle is left undisturbed for a few days. Have you observed any such sedimentation with this ink?

Thanks!
Hari


I've only had the ink for 1 day. I'll check back in a few days and let you know what I see.
Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

#12 hari317

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 06:16

sediments are normal in any galic ink...do not worry about it.


Hi Rene, no worries here, have been using the Registrar's for a long time now without any ill effect. However I understand that a well made IG ink should not sediment for a few years at least. Registrar's was the first IG ink that I had bought. Subsequently I bought MB B/B, and R&K Salix and Scabiosa also. I have observed no sedimentation with the other brands. It is possible that my bottle is from a not so well balanced batch.

I've only had the ink for 1 day. I'll check back in a few days and let you know what I see.


Thank you! i look forward to what you have to say.

#13 fiberdrunk

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 21:46

Thanks for reviewing this ink. My 100ml bottle of the Diamine Registrar's ink tends to sediment if the bottle is left undisturbed for a few days. Have you observed any such sedimentation with this ink?

Thanks!
Hari



It's been a few days, and I checked the ink today: no sediment that I could see. The ink was very dark, so I had to shine a light through it to be sure. But I don't see anything. So far so good. :thumbup:
Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#14 fiberdrunk

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 21:55

I wanted to add an update about the pens I used with this ink review. I had inked a Parker Vector and a Rotring Surf. The Parker Vector is still writing with this ink as smooth as ever. I'm making the Vector my designated iron gall ink pen from now on. But the Rotring Surf started getting fussy with this ink after a day or so. The flow started to skip a bit. I've since re-inked it with vintage Rotring ArtistColor (which always worked great in my Rotring ArtPens) and it's doing just fine with that so far. But I don't recommend it for Chesterfield Archival Vault ink.
Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#15 hari317

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 15:55

It's been a few days, and I checked the ink today: no sediment that I could see. The ink was very dark, so I had to shine a light through it to be sure. But I don't see anything. So far so good. :thumbup:


That is really good news! Thanks for checking, so it means that I got a particularly "sedimenty" bottle, the sediment settles to a 4mm thick layer in the bottle's bottom.

#16 rockydoggy

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 19:16

I received my shipment of Chesterfield Archival Vault ink and I just did a comparison with Diamine Registrar's. Using two identical pens on the same piece of paper, I couldn't tell one ink from the other when dry. Both went on a pale-ish blue and both turned to a dark blue-black within minutes. Absent evidence to the contrary, it does, in fact, appear to be a case of xFountainPens selling Diamine Registrar's ink under their own brand. (The label on the Archival Vault bottle says that the ink's made in the UK from "meticulously crafted formulas since 1864," which is one of Diamine's marketing claims.) In any case, it's nice to have another source for Registrar's ink at a pretty decent price (the xFountainPens site says that you get 50ml per bottle, but my 60ml/2oz containers were full).

#17 fiberdrunk

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 20:00

I received my shipment of Chesterfield Archival Vault ink and I just did a comparison with Diamine Registrar's. Using two identical pens on the same piece of paper, I couldn't tell one ink from the other when dry. Both went on a pale-ish blue and both turned to a dark blue-black within minutes. Absent evidence to the contrary, it does, in fact, appear to be a case of xFountainPens selling Diamine Registrar's ink under their own brand. (The label on the Archival Vault bottle says that the ink's made in the UK from "meticulously crafted formulas since 1864," which is one of Diamine's marketing claims.) In any case, it's nice to have another source for Registrar's ink at a pretty decent price (the xFountainPens site says that you get 50ml per bottle, but my 60ml/2oz containers were full).


Glad to hear it confirmed, that both inks are the same. My containers are full, too (or, at least until I cracked into them, hee). I'm so glad we were able to get such a great deal on this ink! Thanks for telling us all about it! :rolleyes:
Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#18 fwyun

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 20:08

I'm so glad we were able to get such a great deal on this ink!


Sad to say, the coupon code provided in the other link has already expired :(

By any chance does someone have a new code that could be used?

Francis

#19 dianeb

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 16:45

Many thanks for this great review, I just received my bottle and have posted at my blog. What's interesting is how different the Chesterfield Archival color is from Diamine Registrar's ink. I've got them side by side, like them both, but they are not the same shade even after they've oxidized.

http://bit.ly/h3qL1F

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#20 fiberdrunk

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 17:25

Many thanks for this great review, I just received my bottle and have posted at my blog. What's interesting is how different the Chesterfield Archival color is from Diamine Registrar's ink. I've got them side by side, like them both, but they are not the same shade even after they've oxidized.

http://bit.ly/h3qL1F


Great review! Your batch of ink seems darker than mine, more like Montblanc Blue-Black, which I've noticed goes on immediately darker than Archival Vault. Maybe I'll do a scan for comparison. I just got a bottle of Montblanc Blue-Black a few days ago (also an iron gall ink). Rockydoggy did the same test but said his looked identical. He used the same pen, same paper. Your handwriting sample does look close, but the thicker swabs are quite different.
Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik






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