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Reportedly, Private Reserve is one of the companies that paved the way to the overabundance of ink colors we have now, as early on there were mostly the basic inks available, such as basic blue-black, red, green, turquoise, brown, black, and blue. PR inks come in a multitude of different hues. The original creator and owner of the ink company passed away, and the company is now under new ownership and management. Ebony Blue has been on my radar for a while. I love dark teal inks, but I'm usually pretty picky about them in person. Ebony Blue is a kind of turquoise mixed with black, and possibly some other hues in between, which results in a dark but more "clean" hue teal-black. What I mean by clean is that it's not muddy, brown-tinged like, say, Sailor Jentle Miruai. Depending on pen, paper, and illumination this ink can look more blue-teal or more green-teal. The flow is one of the interesting characteristics of this ink: it feels "creamy" to write with. I like this tactility of the ink. It does not feather nor bleed through any of the decent-to-good paper I've used it with. It has pretty decent water resistance too: while it won't look neat if you splash water on your writing, a clear, dark gray line remains behind to salvage content. There is metallic magenta sheen. This ink will work in all types of nibs: from ultra extra fine to broad. Shading becomes increasingly more prominent with broader nibs. If you use broad nibs with this ink, I recommend uncoated and more absorbent paper. It's more smear-prone on Tomoe River with broad nibs. Scan: on Fabriano Bioprima 85g ivory-toned paper with 4mm dot grid Scan: on Tomoe River 52g White Scan: on a 100g A6 uncoated paper (the first GvFC Gulf Blue should read "Cobalt Blue" instead) Scan: on Tomoe River 52g Cream paper (the first GvFC Gulf Blue should read Cobalt Blue instead) Close-up photographs:
Private Reserve is a US-based artisan ink company, originally an addition to the fountain pen department of Avalon Jewelers/Gallery. Most PR inks feature being highly saturated/concentrated, neutral pH, lubricated, drying crazily slow, of reasonable price and with a cheap looking(IMO...). Ebony Blue is one of the PR ink that is inaccurately named and labeled---the name suggests it being "blue" and the label is also a grayish Prussian blue. However, its color is in no way, blue. Box & Bottle compared with Velvet Black http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB01_zpsonpiizqs.jpg Writing Sample: dip pen on cheap copy paper http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB02_zpsqhitqyri.jpg The color of Ebony Blue is actually GREEN--- a dark green that can almost pass for black even in EF nib. When diluted, it varies from teal to mint green depending on the amount of water added. Only when smeared with water and the dye being washed out, does it start to look blue. Close up: original ink/ diluted in different ratios/ smeared with water http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB03_zpsmdqdbtai.jpg http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB04_zpswbvzsa0r.jpg As mentioned before, PR inks are all highly saturated. The above pic shows the effect you will get if you drip water on the writing and blow on it. The green and blue dye is washed out, leaving the words dark bistre, still very legible. (So this ink is basically water-resistant, unless you dilute it too much) Writing sample: with Noodler's Creaper, on FP-friendly creamy paper http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB05_zpson0p6wbu.jpg http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB06_zpshxohgtpw.jpg With a broader nib Ebony Blue(or Green, but PR also has another ink named Ebony Green...) shows rich shading and red sheen. Chromatography http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB01-1_zpsmwrrrtro.jpg Comparison with J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB07_zpsuoaiknvr.jpg Ebony Blue: darker, greener, with brown undertone and wine-red sheen. Emerald of Chivor: lighter, bluer, with copper-red sheen Although I generally like this color and its various performance, it is too saturated and dries too slow for daily use, so eventually I only use it for sketching. Here are some sketches done with different kinds of pens/ paper/ techniques, all with diluted or undiluted Ebony Blue. Ebony Blue + 3776 14K EF + copy paper http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB08_zpswzjaouxs.jpg Ebony Blue(diluted) + LAMY Safari EF + copy paper http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB09_zpsfxpiqpew.jpg Ebony Blue(diluted) + dip pen + copy paper http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB10_zpsthi0xd5r.jpg Backside---so blue! Why? http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB11_zpsfrbs2fq7.jpg Ebony Blue + dip pen + copy paper + smeared with water http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB12_zpsvqqzloog.jpg Ebony Blue + Dip pen + ROSSI paper http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB13_zpstlmssqlv.jpg Smeared with water, with a Chinese paint brush http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB14_zpslagmybaq.jpg When dried (added some lines with Aladin gold ink) http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB15_zpsbfgccr2q.jpg With only one ink and water, you can get green, blue, black, red(sheen) all at once! http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu239/chingdamosaic/PREB16_zpsute2qhfu.jpg Overview Color description: saturated deep dark green with brown undertone. Looks bluer when smeared with water. Shading: rich Sheen: red sheen shows easily. Feathering/ Bleed through: only a little on cheap paper Flow: medium Lubrication: good Water resistance: good Cleaning: requires extra soaking and flushing (but no staining observed so far) Dry speed: slow Conclusion A generally well-behaved ink that can always give you surprise, especially when use for sketching and painting. If you like its color and want it as a daily-use ink, a little dilution is recommended--- to help improve the dry speed and decrease the sheen. I love this ink! Just finished one 50ml bottle(well, I've probably given away about 15~20ml, but still)! ----- Thank you for reading this review : )
Sorry if this is missing some of the nuts and bolts of other reviews, but I thought I would share my experience with Ebony Blue. It is just copy and pasted from my blog so please check it out as I am just getting started! My first review, so It should be my favourite ink naturally. Browsing around on reddit and other pen blogs (hi fellow bloggers!) I don’t see this ink being recommended too often and I definitely haven’t seen anyone say that this their favourite. If I am alone on this one, so be it. If you are also a proud Ebony Blue fanatic please let me know! The reason why I love this ink breaks down easily into 2 things: colour and sheen. This tells you almost nothing, so let me explain. http://i2.wp.com/www.thepenhaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PR-Ebony-Blue-in-Vanishing-Point.jpg?resize=300%2C300 In my stealth black Vanishing Point The Colour First I want to talk about why I own the ink. Well when I first got into fountain pens and began browsing pen stuff for hours online, I finally stumbled upon GouletPens.com. After looking at what it seems like every single ink on the website, I came across Ebony Blue, the perfect shade of dark blue/teal that was just screaming my name. I immediately put it in my cart and let it sit there for weeks, taunting me every time I would visit the gorgeous Ebony Blue, which ended up being almost daily. I finally decided to pull the trigger, but to make up for expensive shipping to Canada, I ordered 5 bottles of ink. For the curious, they were Diamine Ancient Copper, Eclipse, and Green/Black, along with Private Reserve Avacado. Just imagine how the wait felt like waiting for this pen haul. Also keep in mind that I didn’t really understand the benefit of ink samples at the time. If I like the colour online, that means I will love the ink right? Well I’ve gotten over that now (check out My Collection for all of the samples I own now). Funny story to go with this. I also had a fairly large wish list piling up on WonderPens.ca that I also decided to pull the trigger on at the exact same time (I had a few Visa gift cards). Guess which sample I forgot to remove from my order. Yup, Ebony Blue. Needless to say I didn’t use the sample before diving right into the bottle. http://i0.wp.com/www.thepenhaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Swab1.jpg?resize=225%2C300 Swab of Ebony Blue http://i1.wp.com/www.thepenhaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Writing.jpg?resize=225%2C300 Writing Sample The Bottle When I purchase a bottle of ink, I always consider what the bottle looks like and how it will look sitting on my desk. The 66ml bottles are what all of my Private Reserve Inks came in. They are a fairly simple cylinder shaped bottle (yes, a little geometry) with a fairly simple label on in. Nothing to fall in love with right? Well when my girlfriend first saw these bottles sitting on my desk, you would have thought they were made of diamonds and were made for The Louvre. This made me appreciate them more than I did at first, but also gave me some leverage to buy more Private Reserve Ink. This next part did not make her happy and may or may not make you cringe, but my lovely bottle of Private Reserve Ebony Blue that was fit for a museum has some battle scars. Here is what a pristine bottles looks like: http://i2.wp.com/www.thepenhaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/39-be-2.jpg?resize=300%2C225 Picture Courtesy of Wonderpens (50ml bottle) And here is what my bottle looks like: http://i2.wp.com/www.thepenhaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Ebony-Blue-Bottle.jpg?resize=225%2C300 Battle Scars If you are curious to how this can happen, I suppose I can indulge. I was refilling my pen before leaving for school one day and everything was going according to plan. When I went to put the lid back on, it did not line up correctly the first time, so instead of doing what a logical person would do and lift up the lid and try again, I decided to twist the cap backwards to let the threads line themselves up. DON’T DO THIS!!! Apparently that created a vacuum that was pulling ink up and eventually exploded the ink outwards all over the bottle and my desk. Not the best way to start a day I’ll tell you. The Sheen For those of you who don’t know, sheen is when you can see a different colour, usually where the ink goes on wet or pools, than what it is actually supposed to be. There is probably a more detailed/scientific definition out there, but this is how I like to put it. Ebony Blue is special not only because of it’s gorgeous deep blue/black/teal colour, but also it’s amazing red sheen. I had no idea there was sheen when I purchased the ink and didn’t even notice it until a month into using it. I was using it in a fine nib, so it wasn’t as apparent. I was sitting in class with the afternoon sun shining through the window behind me when I seen it. A beautiful red coming from my accounting notes. I was so excited when I seen this that I went online to tell everyone what I discovered, only to find out that this was a well known fact with a simple google search. That was fine. After knowing this, I put it in a wetter pen and was mesmerized every time I could see this amazing red sheen. Just take a look at how amazing the red sheen goes with Ebony Blue, how can this not be your favourite! http://i2.wp.com/www.thepenhaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Photo-2015-03-23-10-21-34-AM-1.jpg?resize=300%2C300 Just look at that sheen The Bad As much as I love this ink, it is not perfect. Thankfully the negatives are limited to just one. What can this nearly perfect ink have wrong with it you may ask? Well it smears quite easily, sometimes days after it has dried. I am not going to blame the ink 100% since I have fairly sweaty hands, but it happens more with Ebony Blue than other inks that I own. http://i0.wp.com/www.thepenhaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Smear.jpg?resize=225%2C300 Some smearing after a day Final Thoughts I think it is obvious that I love this ink, even with the annoying smearing. This is just my opinion of course, but I definitely recommend that you try a sample for yourself! A few similar inks that I have tried are Noodler’s Air Corp Blue Black, which is a bit darker, and Sailor Yama Dori which is lighter than Ebony Blue, but shares that amazing red sheen.
Lately, Dr. Inkenstein has been, well, let's say highly INTERESTED in blue-black inks. After all, they are our favorite colors, if you include those which look teal, like Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku and Chesterfield Teal. So based on various online reviews and scans, I tested a bunch of new inks (all except the Everflo, which is not at all new and has been on my ink hutch for years, and is not a true blue-black but it's here for comparison purposes). Part of the 'fun'of testing inks is finding a perfect ink/pen combo. The Nemos write dry. The Hero and Lamys write wet. The dip pen dips. So many different factors, including paper! The paper here was, uhh, an Office Depot composition notebook with Brazilian paper. The scan looks different from the photo. The differences are interesting. The ink colors in real life are also different. On to the particulars. Brand(s): Everflo, Diamine, OrGaNicS Studios, Private Reserve Color(s): True Blue, Eau De Nil, BlakWa (sample courtesy of a pen pal), Ebony Blue Intensity: Ebony Blue the highest and most saturated; the Diamine and OS less saturated. Everflo was tough to place. It's semi-saturated, and not a real BB, but whatever. ;p Flow: All except the OS had decent flow, that is, until the PR EB had been in the pen for a couple of weeks, and then it needed multiple water-dips to start. It also began smearing badly. FPG had a discussion on similar problems with intensely saturated inks; it appears that it's just part of the breed. Dilute or suffer. The reluctant nature of the OS was not due to the pen (A Hero Summer Colors), because with its provided cart of Hero ink, that pen is an absolute gusher. I believe the Diamine would have good flow but the Nemo pens are dry writers. Shading: None whatever in the Everflo. All others had varying good degrees of shading, and the PR had SHEEN! Summary: While OS and Diamine Eau De Nil look almost identical on paper, in the scans and photos they look quite different, with the OS Blakwa appearing far more green. Possibly the BlakWa shades a bit better than Eau De Nil. What follows is the scan AND the photo of the four inks. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7347/11298988096_350663ef7e_z.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7324/11309385205_867a9b1eb2_z.jpg We have further blue-blacks to test: Noodler's Blue-Black, a sample of Chesterfield Night Sapphire, which I like a lot, and the cart that arrived with the Hero Summer Colors. Until next time!