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  1. Since J. Herbin released the beautiful Rouge Hematite as the first in their the-new 1670 Anniversary line it has been through several iterations. The first release was, in my eyes, as close to perfection as Rouge Hematite could ever be; deep and rich without being dark or dull, shimmery and sparkly without being garish or gaudy. The ink's sheen was not simply caused by what we're all familiar with, which is sheen induced by (according to Nathan Tardif) drying ink crystalizing. Rouge Hematite had its sheeny component resting at the bottom of the gorgeous bottle waiting to be shaken—a minutes-long process with the bottom new and full. It looked not gold or red, but almost like a maroon-tinted wax (until shaken). And then, from the inky shadows (see what I did there?), came the whiners. The ones who know not how to maintain a good hygiene schedule for their pens. And with their ignorance came the clogging. With the clogging, complaints. So J. Herbin, listening to their customers (which is usually a good thing), took a good portion of the heavily-sheening component out. The second formulation still has the same type of sheeny bits, but just way less than the original. But since haters gonna hate hate hate, the third iteration of the once-perfect ink came soon after, with barely any of the gold-inducing sediment at all. This, as Henry Hill once said, is the bad time. The third iteration was sheen-less. The third iteration was boring. The third iteration was wrong. And thankfully, J. Herbin heard RH's faithfuls' complaints. They made the announcement that they re-instituted the sheening component to match the good ol' days. Or did they?… Yes. Well, sort of. But first, I'll backtrack. When the company released the second ink in the Anniversary series, Bleu Ocean, a lot of people, including myself, were disappointed that the ink lacked any sort of sheen. Many had wished it would be given a similar, but silver-colored, sheen component. When I tried it I couldn't even coax any good old crystal-based sheen from it. It was a nice shade of blue, but without the signature sheen, and coupled with the fact that it wasn't half as well behaved as Rouge Hematite—RH can be used with a flex nib on cheap paper and still retain its sheen and shading—it was a bust for many. More recently, us sheenoholics have praised the release of J. Herbin's Stormy Grey 1670. In contrast to the earlier Rouge Hematite, Stormy Grey has a blatantly golden pigment component to impart its sheen. With the original RH, once the sediment was shaken and integrated into the ink the only difference was that the ink took on a bit of a chalky look in the bottle; it also took quite a while for the sheen component to settle back down to the bottom of the bottle. Stormy Grey's golden component, whatever it really is, is very consistent and exceedingly easy to see as it swirls around in the ink after shaking it. It also settles back to the bottom MUCH quicker. Now, back to the most recently released Rouge Hematite version (what I dub the fourth version). The fourth version of RH seems to have the same sheening component in it as Stormy Grey. It's obviously metallic when it's at the bottom of the bottle (not waxy looking, like the original), and it settles very quickly like Stormy Grey. Instead of the original formulation's smooth "fog" of gold/green sheen that would settle over the red ink when spread with a q-tip, the newest version has star-like "pinpoints" of gold spread fairly evenly over the entire q-tip sample. I'm not going to say it's inferior to the original version (mainly because I haven't even done a writing sample with it yet), but it is different, and I think people buying it with the understanding from the company that the original formula is back need to know the differences. I'll be doing a new review of the most recent version in the next few days. When it's out I'll link to it from this thread. Now for the comparison pictures! Left to right: Original version, Second version, Fourth version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/538/1GzS1a.jpg http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/661/7vDUYL.jpg Original Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/661/2RoPFk.jpg Second Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/537/ujBGrt.jpg Fourth Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/673/ovuTGg.jpg Left to right: Original version, Second version, Fourth version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/673/rorNxl.jpg Original Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/661/dZq7Ha.jpg Second Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/661/4iJYeo.jpg Fourth Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/538/xs7Eq2.jpg Original Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/8O3cbM.jpg Fourth Version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/673/q6ILau.jpg http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/673/XSNAOZ.jpg Here's what Stormy Grey's sediment looks like: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/746/ofYoGc.jpg And now on the page: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/908/GYZE0R.jpg Left to right: Fourth version, Second version, Original version: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/661/I7UZzn.jpg Again, this comparison is just about the inks' properties in general; I still haven't filled a pen with the newest version yet. I'll post back when I have some more to say about the most recent version.





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