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Has Lamy Blue-Black Been Re-Re-Formulated?

lamy blue black lamy blue black ink

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#1 jabberwock11


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Posted 23 December 2015 - 19:27

I recently purchased a bottle of Lamy Blue-Black and was quite surprised by the performance.  It seemed to do much better than any review would have had me believe.  I initially purchased the ink more or less just to get the bottle (with the hope that I might actually like the ink), but after using this ink for a couple of weeks I have to say that I am really impressed with it.  This leads me to believe that either Lamy has reformulated their reformulated version of Blue-Black, or that folks have been overly critical of what I have found to be a pretty good ink.


Right now I am using this ink in a Jinhao X750 with a Knox 1.1 nib; and in a Jinhao X450 with an Anderson Pens 1.1 nib (identical to the Goulet Pens 1.1, but with different brand etchings, obviously).  I have used the ink on a number of different papers all with fairly similar results.  What I have found is that this ink does not write overly wet, but still tends to bleed through a little bit even on good paper.  It is an unusual color, it  has a nice chalky blue color that dries a little bit on the dark grey side.  The most unusual finding is that the ink is actually fairly water resistant.  I would not call it waterproof, but I wrote a sample on an index card with a sample written using Chesterfield Archival Vault ink (an iron gall ink) for comparison, ran the card under water, and the Lamy held up fairly well.  I would never use it to address an envelope, but I have no issues using it as an every day ink.


I performed three water tests with Lamy Blue-Black and all of them had the same results.  The test consisted of me washing the index card under a fast moving tap for 60 seconds.  While this could have been made more rigorous by actively rubbing the ink while under water or adding a soap, I feel that my test is adequate for general use conditions.  Below is the index card before the test, an example of bleed through (on a Rhodia #12 pad...the bleed through is not as bad here as it is on many other papers, but it is still visible), and the index card after the test.










So, either I am more accepting of Lamy Blue-Black, or it has been reformulated to be a better overall ink.  I could believe either scenario, but I tend to think that I am just not as hard on this ink as other folks have been.  If it is the case that I am not as harsh as other users, then I tend to think that this is due to the fact that I never tried the old iron gall formulation.  In any event, taken on its own merits I think that Lamy Blue-Black is a good ink.  It has either gotten a bad rap, or is now better than it used to be.  I would be very interested in hearing what other folks think about this subject.

Edited by jabberwock11, 23 December 2015 - 21:37.

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#2 lapis


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Posted 23 December 2015 - 22:39

AFAIK it has not been changed again (recently. It was changed in any case back in 2012 when they started to make the ink (in the bottle) as a non-IG, just like they had already done much earlier for the blue-black in their cartridges.

One problem (over and above that move from IG to non-IG) is that the old blue-blacks (prior to 2012) and the new blue-blacks (both in bottles and in cartridges all had/have the same bar code numbers. Other Lamy distinctions and/or Ident. numbers -- like for all MB inks -- were never issued.

Long story short: maybe you just purchased an older bottle instead of a newer one.



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#3 jabberwock11


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Posted 24 December 2015 - 00:26

I purchased the bottle from Amazon, so I assumed it was the newer formulation, but I suppose it is possible that my bottle just happens to be the old iron gall version.  If this is the non-iron gall formula, then I would consider Lamy Blue-Black impressively water resistant.  If this is actually the older iron gall formula of Lamy Blue-Black, then it is not as water resistant as I would like.  The Chesterfield barely even noticed that it was wet, which is how I expect my iron gall inks to act; the Lamy Blue-Black may not have bled completely away when wet, but it certainly ran a bit and lost some of its body.


I will have to do some further investigation, but without a sample of the old version (that I am 100% certain IS the old version) to compare it to, I'm not sure how I will determine if my current bottle is the modern or older iron gall version of Lamy Blue-Black.  As of right now, I am on the fence.  I did another water test where I rubbed at the ink while it was under running water, and it did not run anymore than it did with just the water.  I will have to compare this to inks that I know are not iron gall and are also not specifically formulated to be water proof.


In the end, I may be praising the iron gall Lamy Blue-Black rather than the current non-iron gall formula...either way, I like the ink and will continue to use it, but I may end up disappointed when it comes time to buy another bottle.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: lamy, blue black, lamy blue black, ink

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