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  1. Silly curiosity, this. Cleaning my 88 from the 8o's sometime (first pen I ever bought) I see some really, really tiny figures at the bottom of the nib just before entering the section. I haven't found anything on these tiny markings, any ideas? From the top the nib reads 14k, 585, Aurora, that's all well and good, now here's the tricky bit, in an oval: a five pointed star, numeral 5, _space_ TO. They are so tiny I don't think I have anything that could provide a good photo. Now that I've spotted them, I can't let it go. Thanks kindly.
  2. Hi fellow FPNers, What is this the meaning of the marking in this cap (the "diamond" with a C with in the centre) ? The golden pen was no brand, but the nib it similar like a V model Kaweco. Thanks All, rustynib
  3. Today I'm going to post reviews of not one, but TWO notebooks by Markings by C. R. Gibson! I'll do a compare-and-contrast, along with descriptions of pen-and-ink tests for each. (Sorry, I'm terrible at photos and would only serve to malign the notebooks with my photos). Overview First up, Notebook A, the Markings by C. R. Gibson Ruled Journal in Black Bonded Leather. This is a Moleskine-esque, 5"x8", 120-sheet (240-page) journal with a rear pocket, bookmark ribbon, and an elastic band. It was on sale at the Staples by me for $5, and I bought one to test, thinking "oh, it's a $5 Molkeskine knockoff, it'll probably do poorly." Spoiler alert: it didn't. I may now run back to that Staples and buy every last one I find. Notebook B is Markings by C. R. Gibson's Jumbo Ruled Journal in Black Leatherette. This is a more classically-designed whopper of a 200-sheet / 400-page(!) journal in 7 3/8" x 9 1/2". For those of you keeping score, this is an almost identical size to the composition book form factor (which I am madly in love with), except that this journal measures about 1.5" thick rather than ~3/8" thick. Its only "special feature" is a solitary black bookmark ribbon, but that's all it needs. I paid $13.00 at Staples for this journal, which is MSRP. Design and Construction -A: This is your fairly standard Moleskine-type book. 5" x 8" form factor, elastic band, rear pocket, black ribbon bookmark. The cover is bonded leather (80% leather / 20% non-leather), and seems sturdy. Yes, the pages lay flat! They are advertised as Smyth-sewn, and they certainly behave so. Bonus points right there. The covers don't pick up fingerprints, and I think this will take a fair amount of abuse. (I am not gentle with my toys.) -B: Sturdy construction, questionable cover. The cover is a leatherette, with 0% leather (as far as I can tell, anyway), and I almost wish it had been slightly more expensive and actually leatherbound. I have concerns about the leatherette: it picks up fingerprints very easily, for one, and for another, I'm worried it will damage easily. But it has some interesting stitching, and an homage to old-school bookbinding with 5 raised bars on the spine. Form factor is 7 3/8" x 9 1/2", and is also Smyth-sewn. To my surprise, even a book this thick can lay almost perfectly flat when it's open. It's kind of astonishing. Paper This is what we've all come here to talk about, because we :wub:s our fountain pens on FPN. So here's the short version: They're both great! They're different, but both quite excellent, and behave well with FPs. Both paper stocks are acid- and lignen-free, so they should archive well. Notebook A has ivory-colored pages with 1/4" rulings, for 32 lines per page, while Notebook B's pages are bright white (a turn-off for some, but not me) and slightly larger ruled (college ruled?), containing 30 lines per page. Neither notebook offers a paper weight in their descriptions, and I'm not experienced enough with papers to guess. Performance / Ink Tests -Diamine Ancient Copper / Pilot Metropolitan (Asian M): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Not much. Recto usable? Definitely. -Noodler's 54th Massachusetts / Lamy Safari (Western XF): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Not much. Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Not much. Recto usable? Definitely. -Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun / Lamy Safari (Western M): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -Noodler's Apache Sunset / Noodler's Ahab (semi-Flex): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: None, except... Bleedthrough: only a few dots when fully flexed, but they bled through onto the next page. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: Some. Shading? This is interesting. In Notebook A (Moleskine-esque), Apache Sunset had GORGEOUS red-peach-yellow shading; in this book it's only showing orange. Not sure why. Recto usable? Definitely, apart from bleedthrough areas. -J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey / Noodler's Ahab (semi-Flex): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: Minor. Bleedthrough: Minor. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: Minor. Bleedthrough: Minor. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. Both papers showed plenty of the glitter in the Stormy Gray, which cheaper papers do not. Overall Impression I would buy either of these again, assuming they hold up to use. They're priced lower than the more-renowned Moleskines, and provide what seems to be pretty great paper, durable construction, and quality craftsmanship for the price point. If you can't afford to drop $20 on a Rhodia webnotebook or similar, this is a good place to spend your dollars.





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