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Diamine Archival Registrar's Ink - Dangerous Product From A Good Company

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24 replies to this topic

#1 Vimy13

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 00:34

There is a passion in my DNA for ‘permanent’ fountain pen ink! Having used every product available, I have found all to be very good with ONE EXCEPTION. After 5 years of stubbornly refusing to admit that there is a problem, I have now concluded that Diamine Archival Registrar's Ink is not safe to use on a long-term basis.

 

First a little background. I have 35 pens in my collection, so I have decided to associate specific inks with specific pens. This facilitates regular use and helps keep all my pens in ‘writing’ shape’. I routinely clean with tap water flushes with each fill up. This is followed-up with periodic ‘deep cleaning’ using distilled water and J. B.’s Perfect Pen Flush at least twice a year for all pens.

 

Diamine Archival Registrar's ink was paired with my Lamy Scala (gold nib added). Like most people, I freely admit to being reluctant to acknowledge growing problems when it comes to my collection. However, I now realize that right from the get-go, the Lamy Scala was not a "smooth" writer. It always felt scratchy and it was sometimes difficult to get ink to paper. For the first couple of years I put that down to "breaking in" a new gold nib and kept using this combination. Also, when submersed in water and then dried, the ink appeared light when compared to other products (e.g. deAtramentis, Rohrer & Klingner, Private Reserve Invincible Black, Platinum Carbon).

 

I am aware that this product is a traditional gall-based ink which requires strict cleaning of the pen using it. Therefore, I regularly (4 times a year) conducted a "deep clean" procedure, centered on the use of distilled water and J.B.'s Perfect Pen Flush. After this cleaning, writing was smoother, but it always reverted to the scratchy feel. I also had to frequently dip the nib into clean water in order to get ink flowing again. Of course, I chose to ignore it - must be a long breaking in period for the gold nib I thought. 

 

It got to the point that I blamed the Lamy Scala – I came to see the Lamy (even with the expensive gold nib addition) as a second-tier pen. In other words, OK but not great - what a mistake! I decided to investigate further (finally!) and read on the FPN that this ink was associated with ‘corrosion’ I checked my Scala and sure enough, corrosion had started to eat away the pen barrel near the nib.

 

I then decided to try an experiment. Since my Lamy Studio was an excellent writer (it too had a gold nib added) I changed the ink in the Scala after a VERY thorough deep cleaning. I substituted Montblanc Mystery Black for the Diamine ink. The change was immediate and dramatic – like magic the smoothness of the Scala was equal to the Lamy Studio. What a difference! My confidence in this pen was immediately restored – clearly the ink had been the problem.

 

I had been warned about the use of the Diamine Archival Registrar’s ink on several occasions which I chose to ignore. I tried to make this product work with a very good fountain pen for five years without great success. Not only did it not perform well but it seemly facilitated corrosion. For these reasons I would strongly recommend that FPN members NOT use this product under any circumstances.

 



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#2 Maccabeus

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 02:28

I've used nothing but Diamine Registrar's, the off-brand DR Chesterfield Archival Vault (when it was available), and ESSRI for the past six years in all of my pens; from modern Indian eyedroppers to Jazz-era lever fillers. None of the pens have corroded or spontaneously combusted. None of those inks ever gave me any trouble once I understood their properties and how the ink is likely to behave. 

I can't speak to the alleged corrosion, but the rest of it sounds like an improperly set nib/feed.

OTOH, some pens do work better/worse with some inks. Maybe the Lamy was a bad choice for IG. 

 

I've heard that the ammonia in pen flushes can react with Iron Gall ink and cause a shellacking of sorts on nibs. For the occasions I do flush my pens, I use a 10:1 distilled water and vinegar solution. 


Edited by Maccabeus, 02 March 2019 - 02:30.

Lux In Obscuro Sumus


#3 Jan2016

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 04:28

For these reasons I would strongly recommend that FPN members NOT use this product under any circumstances.

 

This is a pretty harsh conclusion if you only used it in one pen...

And you even say yourself:"Not only did it not perform well but it seemly facilitated corrosion."

 

Title also could have been: Montblanc Mystery Black is a superb ink which solves all of your problems!  ;) 

 

Good to share your specific experience, not good jumping to conclusions.



#4 effrafax

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 05:49

Agree with all the above.  IG inks tend to be dry writers, and may feel 'scratchy' to those without a light hand.

 

Also, you need to be very wary of what you use to clean IG inks out.  I use a 5% solution of ascorbic acid (vitamin C to the uninitiated, pure powder being available on your favourite auction site) to soak any pens with IG residues.  This is as recommended by KWZ Inks.   Using cleaning fluids other than mild acids can lead to unpredictable results.  The deposited iron has be removed this way.  Note also that as vitamin C is an antioxidant, it will not cause corrosion of pens if used sensibly.  Some people suggest dilute vinegar, but that is not a good idea.

 

I've also used Registrar's ink for several years and not had a corrosion problem.  Ditto R&K's Scabiosa and Salix.  None of these inks is particularly acidic, and shouldn't cause problems in pens, unless left unused for an extended period.

 

As Maccabeus noted, some pen and ink combinations just don't work well.  Maybe the Lamy was a little stingy with ink flow that suited the black ink better.

 

Try a wetter pen with Registrar's, but blanket statements like this serve little purpose other than to irritate people.


Cheers,
Effrafax.

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#5 Geert Jan

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 10:10

As effrafax and Maccabeus already (implicitly) suggested: a 'pen flush' is not the best way to clean out a pen used with a iron-gall ink. Pen flush contains (dilute) ammonia and is therefore alkaline in nature. I combination with an iron-gall ink this may cause precipitation of the iron content.  would suggest that in your cleaning setup you make a distinction between iron-gall and non-iron-gall inks (or better (slightly) more acidic and (slightly) more alkaline inks) and adjust your cleaning to the ink used in that pen.

 

It seems that for you the combination of that particular pen with that particular ink is not a happy one; please try other combinations before conclude that either an ink or a pen is not good.

 

As a reference from KWZ on the use of itron-gall inks: http://kwzink.com/la...pens-iron-gall/



#6 pepsiplease69

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 11:39

I've used nothing but Diamine Registrar's, the off-brand DR Chesterfield Archival Vault (when it was available),
 


I use Chesterfield Archival Vault nowadays in a Monteverde Jewelria for writing my checks. Seems to work okay for me. No corrosion. I cannot say Ive been doing this for years but so far no issues.

Also I have stopped worrying about cleaning and flushing my pens often. I just use them and hydrate them when they run a bit dry. I only do the flush disassemble clean when there are obvious signs of crud or when switching inks. Otherwise I try to stick with low maintenance easy to clean inks which dont create a mess.

#7 lapis

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 16:40

Diamine's Registrars ink is the driest ink I know of. No, not just the driest of all of my IGs but the driest of all/any inks I've ever used. That is due to the fact that there is only little or too little concentration of superfactants/tensides/detergents which increase an ink's wettness plus lubrication. All you need to do to improve that situation is to add a "bit" of dishwater detergent yourself. By "bit", I mean start off small, then expand. Use only a small amount of ink in the first place like a 5 or 6 or 7-ml sample vile and then add the wetted tip of a toothpick or at most one drop (up to ca. 50 µl). Also, your job of washing would also be improved by including a diluted detergent solution rinse, with or without any latter inclusion of an ammonia rince. If you by any chance happen to love the actual colour of the ink, take a look at Akkerman's Number 10, which is reputedly a newer (i.e. Akkerman's own) version of Diamine's Registrars ink but with more wettness (presumably thanks to their addition of some and/or more surfactant). I have never had the problem which you address here. OTOH I almost never ever use that ink (Diamine's Registrars), not at all because I find it dangerous, but just because I find it too dry (which IMO is not dangerous, just simply tedious and annoying).

 

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#8 eharriett

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 17:12

Interesting.  I've got Diamine Registrar's in an old safety pen (corks changed to rubber when I bought it).  Stuff has been in the pen for over 6 months and no leaks.

 

I'm unaware of the Chesterfield IG ink.  I may have to look that one up in the index.

 

I use the Diamine regularly for addressing envelopes and other places where the ink has a reasonable chance coming into contact with the elements.  Has been a reliable ink.



#9 5Cavaliers

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 17:20

This may upset some, but I do appreciate the OP's warning.  It is a dangerous product for those who do not understand differences in inks and particularly how to use iron gall inks safely and effectively.  So, I appreciate all of the comments given in this thread. 

 

From my perspective, I have chosen not to use any ink which has the reasonable chance of causing a problem with my pen.  Some may say that this would include all ink.  Note I said "reasonable" chance.  So, where I absolutely need a bullet-proof permanent ink - such as for signatures on legal documents - I either use a pigment ink in one of my lesser expensive Jinhao's and only for one converter full (then thoroughly flushed), or a ballpoint pen or rollerball ( :yikes:). 

 

Yes, I am a bit obsessive about my pens - even to the point of cleaning my pens with running water every couple of weeks.  Then, about once every three-four months, I use an ultrasonic cleaner on the nibs and feeds. 

 

For anything where I want some permanence, I find one of the dye-based inks that have that characteristic.  There are many good ones out there. 


Edited by DrPenfection, 02 March 2019 - 17:25.

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#10 Inkysloth

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 10:48

Ive had Diamine Registrars in a Lamy Safari with an EF steel nib (what can I say, Im a sucker for a fine line & a dry pen!) for over 4 years now. Ive had no corrosion or clogging, just giving it a plain water rinse every few fills.

Im aware in the long term the nib might start to rust, but so far theres been no issue.

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#11 gary

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 14:14

Reports of Corrosion on pen sections is not limited to Stipula pens or IG ink.

OP: did you detect corrosion of the nib? Clogging of the feed? Have you tested the pen with other dry writing inks?

I admire your diligence in cleaning your pens, and wish you luck in finding an ink with the properties you desire.

#12 SchaumburgSwan

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 15:26

Hi,

 

I use this unique ink in pens made for such iron gall ink.

Vintage Swans with wet 14K gold nibs, sacs and ebonite feeds.

No problems at all, Diamine Registrar's is one of my favorite and most used inks.

A great product, as ESSRI and Akkerman #10 are.

Just not the right fill for you...

 

Best

Jens


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#13 Vimy13

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 15:45

Everyone:

 

This is the author of the original post. I have read all the input - I GREATLY respect the evidence based disagreement expressed. What a wealth of knowledge exists in the FPN community!!!!! I am going to study carefully the advice around cleaning and pen use. You have convinced me to give this product another try!

 

Thank you all VERY MUCH!



#14 Maccabeus

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 16:49



Everyone:

 

This is the author of the original post. I have read all the input - I GREATLY respect the evidence based disagreement expressed. What a wealth of knowledge exists in the FPN community!!!!! I am going to study carefully the advice around cleaning and pen use. You have convinced me to give this product another try!

 

Thank you all VERY MUCH!

 

We all live and learn. FWIW, I highly recommend ESSRI  Maybe you'll have better results with it than the Diamine. Research and anecdotal evidence are very good, useful things and will help you make informed decisions. The bottom line, however, comes down to what works for you. 


Lux In Obscuro Sumus


#15 inkstainedruth

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 18:51

I'll admit that I didn't like Diamine Registrar's when I tried it.  But not because it was "dangerous".  Rather, I found that (at least the sample I had) oxidized to a washy blue-grey.  It had a lot of shading, but that's pretty much all that could be said on its behalf, because besides the underwhelming color, it was also extremely dry.  

I have since found other iron gall inks that I like a lot better.  And yes, I'm using them in pens with stainless steel nibs.  IG inks do need a bit more maintenance (flushing them more often, definitely not letting them dry out in a pen, and using vinegar solution rather than ammonia solution (or, at least using that between flushing with distilled water and then flushing the pen with ammonia solution.  And as to the OP's regimen of sticking the pen under the tap?  I wonder how hard your tap water is.  I know where I live there is a very high mineral content.  I see the buildup around my faucets and definitely do NOT want that gunk clogging up a pen's nib and feed.  My pens get distilled water.  Or (depending on the ink) ammonia solution or vinegar solution -- also made with distilled water -- and a drop of Dawn dish detergent.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#16 wallylynn

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 17:40

 

I'm unaware of the Chesterfield IG ink.  I may have to look that one up in the index.

If I recall, consensus was that Chesterfield was just a rebottle and relabel of Diamine inks. I only bought once, coincidentally it was 3 bottles of the IG on sale. But back then I didn't know to decant out of plastic into glass.

#17 ajcoleman

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 17:12

I am also a Registrars ink fan. I love how it behaves on some of my cheap paper: no bleeding, little or no show through, and its permanent. T have used it quite a bit for several years. Straight water seems to flush it out pretty well as far as I can tell, and I havent seen any sign of damage to any pen, though I have seen it stain a converter. It is dry, and I have a couple of pens that I think feel a bit rough with it, but even in those the ink flow is consistent and doesnt skip. I sometimes get tired of the greyish color, but it is still a favorite.
Adam
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It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

-- Prov 25:2


#18 Arkanabar

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 17:45

Chesterfield was a house brand of ink, for xfountainpens, an online pen store that has since changed its name (now Birmingham Pens), and its house brand of ink.  Given what they used to say about it, the consensus around here was that it was rebottled Diamine.  Attempts were made to exactly match various Chesterfield inks with correlating Diamine inks, but they were never entirely conclusive, as it's possible that some of them were blends that Diamine made to order for xfountainpens.



#19 majorworks

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 15:10

I have a bottle of Diamine's Registrar's ink. I've used it in various pens over the years, i.e. ebonite ED pens, Lamy 2000 EF, etc. Never had a problem with it. Yeah, it's really dry and all that but I like how the color changes. I ought to try the ESSRI sometime.


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#20 inkstainedruth

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 16:47

I keep thinking about trying ESSRI -- but it comes in such large bottles that I'd never get through it before the iron precipitated out.  Even if it was the only ink I used.  Plus, shipping to the US costs more than the ink does, unless I added in one of their pens (which appear to be Parker Vectors, so that WOULD be a bonus incentive IMO...  ;)).

I do like a lot of IG inks -- a number of the colors of the KWZI IG inks, Akkerman Ijzer-Galnoten (which is definitely NOT just relabeled Diamine Registrars, IMO), a couple of colors of the Platinum Classic line, and some of the old IG inks FPN member Pharmacist used to make.  But Diamine Registrar's was super dry and, like I said before, oxidized to a washy blue grey.

The only other IG ink that I didn't like at all (and I'm not 100% certain it IS IG ink) is a little vintage bottle of Sanford Pen-It Blue-Black.  That ink must have been so old that all the "color" component is now gone (leaving an almost illegible white-ash writing on the page.  And I'm pretty sure it's what destroyed the sac in my Pilot Metropolitan's original converter (I've read that a lot of Japanese inks are pretty alkaline, and of course IG inks are pretty acidic.  So -- a buck for the bottle, and about $6 US for a replacement converter...  :( 

And for the IG inks I DO use?  I don't leave them for months.  They get fully flushed every couple of fills.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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