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  1. I'm at a complete loss trying to figure out why this is happening. The nib unit for my Santini Italia Calypso Mother-of-Pearl pen, which houses a rhodium-plated 18K gold nib and an ebonite feed supporting it, has just been returned to me from Italy after repair. I bought a bottle of Waterman Mysterious Blue ink from a local department store a couple of weeks ago, while the nib was still away. After flushing and drying the nib unit, I decided to fill the Calypso pen with this ‘safe’ ink first, to test how the repaired nib writes. The first few pages of writing samples were sufficiently ‘wet’ on the page, that the ink marks exhibited sheen on Rhodia DotPad 80g/m² paper. I reported back to Santini that the nib is all good, thanks very much; and I set the pen aside — properly capped, of course. I picked up the pen not even two days later, and to my utter surprise, it wrote (“Sunday, 10 October 2021” below) extremely faintly. I thought the ink may have dried out somewhat in the nib and feed the pen was hard-starting, but there was no skipping or breakage in the lines of ink, so that wasn't what it was doing. Pushing the nib a bit harder, I got slightly more colour out of it, but it still looked nothing like Waterman Mysterious Blue ink. Eventually, I primed the feed by turning the piston knob, and the colour became a bit closer to blue (or teal-black). I've marked out in the image below —with straight magenta lines — where or each time I primed the feed. Only after the nib and feed were literally dripping ink (and cleaning it up with a paper towel) did the colour of the writing return to what I thought Waterman Mysterious Blue ink looks like. I emptied the contents of the ink reservoir into a sample vial, then flushed, cleaned and dried the nib unit. After reinstalling the nib, I gave the pen a fresh fill from the same bottle of ink as before, and started a second test sheet to check if the issue persists over the following couple of days. In the meantime, I compared the ink extracted from the pen and the ink still in the bottle by chromatography, just in case something has contaminated or denatured the ink from the first fill after it passed through the nib and feed into the reservoir. Nope, it doesn't appear to be the case. What it does look like, however, is that the blue and violet dyes have somehow been filtered out, such that then nib was only laying down the turquoise dye in the ink when I wrote with it after it was capped for a day or so, as opposed to the ink evaporating and getting more concentrated with dye (thus appearing darker). Can anyone explain what's actually happening?





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