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Is There A Listing Of All Iron Gall Inks?


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After reading Richard Binders' article on inks http://www.richardspens.com/?page=ref/care/inks.htm and after having some troubles with some of my pens using trashing ink I would like to know if there is a listing of inks or at least colors that should be avoided in high end pens, especially vintage models with steel nibs like for example a MB 138.

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The title of the thread and your actual post contents are very different. The assumption that Iron gall inks are universally dangerous and must be avoided is unfortunate at best. To each, his own.

 

Montblanc is sufficiently high end? their midnight blue ink is ferro gallic(Iron gall) and recommended for use with their pens.

Edited by hari317

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If your nib is regular steel, then all inks need to be avoided since they're water based, and you know what happens when you put nails in water.

 

As to inks to avoid, it'd be easier to list inks you can use: inks that have been around since the time of your pen Lamy, regular Pelikan, regular Waterman, regular blue, regular black. and avoid newer stuff, "fancy" colors like Black Hole Black (I made that up).

 

Personally, I love IG inks and the fancy new colors.

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If your nib is regular steel, then all inks need to be avoided since they're water based, and you know what happens when you put nails in water.

 

Completely untrue and/or irrelevant....

 

All inks are water-based, and AFAIK no fountain pen nibs have been made out of simple, ordinary steels since about 200 years ago. Almost all nails -- even up to today -- are made out of iron, not steel. Today, all fountain pen nibs are made out of stainless steel, and many are an alloy consisting of and/or coated with rhodium. e.g. an M215, iridium, rubidium and of course, as in almost all cases, any content of gold. There are about 19 iron-gall inks available, all of which are safe for fountain opens. A few iron-gall inks are not safe folr fountain pens but this is generaly noted very carefully by thre manufacturers, e.g. De Atramentis and Herbin. Here's the 19 which come to mind.... Note that Pharmacist's number can increase.

- MB Blue Black available up to ca. January 2010

- MB Midnight Blue available up to ca. September 2013

- MB Permanent Ink Blue, available after ca. October 2013

- MB Permanent Ink Black, available after ca. October 2013

- Lamy Blue Black (previous edition)

- R&K Salix

- R&K Scabiosa

- Diamine Registrar's

- Akkerman No. 10, IJzer-Galnoten bl/zw (may be related to Diamine's)

- ESSRI

- Gutenberg Urkunden - Tinte G 10

- Pharmacist Blue-Black

- Pharmacist Darkening Absinthe

- Pharmacist Oriens-Occidens

- Pharmacist Purpura Imperialis

- Pharmacist Terra Incinerata

- Pharmacist Turkish Night

- Pharmacist Urkundentinte Document Ink

- Pharmacist Vanadium

MIke

 

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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- MB Blue Black available up to ca. January 2010

- MB Midnight Blue available up to ca. September 2013

- MB Permanent Ink Blue, available after ca. October 2013

- MB Permanent Ink Black, available after ca. October 2013

- Lamy Blue Black (previous edition)

- R&K Salix

- R&K Scabiosa

- Diamine Registrar's

- Akkerman No. 10, IJzer-Galnoten bl/zw (may be related to Diamine's)

- ESSRI

- Gutenberg Urkunden - Tinte G 10

- Pharmacist Blue-Black

- Pharmacist Darkening Absinthe

- Pharmacist Oriens-Occidens

- Pharmacist Purpura Imperialis

- Pharmacist Terra Incinerata

- Pharmacist Turkish Night

- Pharmacist Urkundentinte Document Ink

- Pharmacist Vanadium

Platinum Blue-Black to the above list. it is allegedly a ferro gallic ink.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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We could always consider Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black as a bit of a teaser...

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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We could always consider Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black as a bit of a teaser...

Good idea! I remember your photo of the botttle and its label! At the same time even greater... I know, I know. I sometimes think that it is about time that someone determines exactly how much Fe2+ is in fact present in any alledged iron-gall ink.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Good idea! I remember your photo of the botttle and its label! At the same time even greater... I know, I know. I sometimes think that it is about time that someone determines exactly how much Fe2+ is in fact present in any alledged iron-gall ink.

Well, let's hope that someone takes up the 'challenge', eh what, old chap?

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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Completely untrue and/or irrelevant!

Apologies, I was being a bit snarky. Obviously his nib isn't regular steel. It was a jab at the topic being tagged caustic.

 

Opooh, yes, IG inks are acidic. But if regular water isn't corroding the nib, IG ink is also unlikely. Many other inks are acidic. Mainstay Waterman Florida (serenity) Blue is acidic yet very well regarded.

 

Though, other than cast iron pans, I don't know of anything that uses plain old regular iron. Even wood nails are steel, not good steel, but steel nonetheless. Plain iron is either too brittle or too soft for much use.

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Apologies, I was being a bit snarky. Obviously his nib isn't regular steel. It was a jab at the topic being tagged caustic.

 

Opooh, yes, IG inks are acidic. But if regular water isn't corroding the nib, IG ink is also unlikely. Many other inks are acidic. Mainstay Waterman Florida (serenity) Blue is acidic yet very well regarded.

Though, other than cast iron pans, I don't know of anything that uses plain old regular iron. Even wood nails are steel, not good steel, but steel nonetheless. Plain iron is either too brittle or too soft for much use.

I use distilled water to flush the pens, due to the amount of Cl in city water. Even stainless steel rusts when it comes in contact with acids because the protective layer of Cr2O3 is attacked ( pitting corrosion ).

Maybe I putted the question wrong, it should have been which inks are pH neutral.

 

Following from Wikipedia on iron gall ink:

 

Traditional iron gall inks intended for dip pens are not suitable for fountain pens that operate on the principle of capillary action. Ferro gallic deposit accumulation in the feed system can clog the small ink passages in fountain pen feeds. Further, very acidic traditional iron gall inks intended for dip pens can corrode metal pen parts (a phenomenon known as redox reaction/flash corrosion). These phenomena can destroy the functionality of fountain pens.

Instead, modern surrogate iron gall formulas such as blue-black bottled inks by Lamy (discontinued in 2012), Montblanc, Chesterfield's Archival Vaultor, Diamine Registrar's Ink, Ecclesiastical Stationery Supplies Registrars Ink, Gutenberg Urkundentinte G10 Schwarz (certificate ink G10 black) or Rohrer & Klingner "Salix" and (purplish grey) "Scabiosa" inks are offered for fountain pens. These modern iron gall inks contain a small amount of ferro gallic compounds, but are gentler for the inside of a fountain pen, but can still can cause problems if left in the pen for a long period. Manufacturers or resellers of modern iron gall inks intended for fountain pens sometimes advise a more thorough than usual cleaning regimen - which requires the ink to be flushed out regularly with water - to avoid clogging or corrosion on delicate pen parts. For more thoroughly cleaning iron gall ink out of a fountain pen, sequential flushes of the pen with water, diluted vinegar (to flush out residual iron gall compounds), water, diluted ammonia (if needed to flush out residual color dye stains) then finally water are often recommended. The color dye in these modern iron gall formulas functions as a temporary colorant to make these inks clearly visible whilst writing. The ferro gallic compounds through a gradual oxidation process causes an observable gradual color change to gray/black whilst these inks completely dry and makes the writing waterproof. The color change behavior of the ink also depends on the properties of the used paper. In general the darkening process will progress more quickly and pronounced on papers containing relatively much bleaching agent residues.

Though not in mainstream 21st-century use like dye-based fountain pen inks, modern iron gall inks are still used in fountain pens in applications that require permanence.

In the United Kingdom the use of special blue-black archival quality Registrars' Ink containing ferro gallic compounds is required in register offices for official documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates and on clergy rolls.[4]

In Germany the use of special blue or black urkunden- oder dokumentenechte Tinte or documentary use permanent inks is required in notariellen Urkunden (Civil law notary legal instruments).[5]

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Traditional iron gall inks intended for dip pens are not suitable for fountain pens...

 

And that advice comes from the fact that they often contain gums to improve the behaviour with flex or hairline nibs.

 

All commercially available Iron Gall inks that are marketed as safe for fountain pens are safe for fountain pens. Yes, you may have to clean them out a little more often and thoroughly but they are safe. They will not corrode your pen in normal use.

 

The single proviso is that you should not let an iron gall ink dry out completely in a pen as it is mechanically difficult to remove.

 

Vintage pens tend to be from an era when iron gall inks were the most common and as such were made form materials that performed well with that type of ink. If you are at all concerned about using a type of ink on your own pens, just ask which brands are a little more gentle for pens that you want to have an easy care regime.

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After all these rumours regarding Pelikan Blue-Black I decided to run a Prussian blue reaction on some inks.


Initial result: Pelikan Blue-Black does react like an iron gall ink.
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  • 3 years later...

 

After all these rumours regarding Pelikan Blue-Black I decided to run a Prussian blue reaction on some inks.
Initial result: Pelikan Blue-Black does react like an iron gall ink.

 

 

What is a Prussian blue reaction?

CharlieB

 

"The moment he opened the refrigerator, he saw it. Caponata! Fragrant, colorful, abundant, it filled an entire soup dish, enough for at least four people.... The notes of the triumphal march of Aida came spontaneously, naturally, to his lips." -- Andrea Camilleri, Excursion to Tindari, p. 212

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Hero 232 is a nice and inexpensive blue-black iron gal ink, and of course, the various KWZ inks.

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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There is no need to fear IG inks. Zero. Yes, as someone said, they need a little extra maintenance. But that just means flushing with a dilute solution of white vinegar instead of (or before) a dllute ammonia solution (and using distilled water before and after the vinegar -- especially if you're going to do the ammonia solution as an extra step).

Really not particularly onerous. And I say that as someone who does not own an ultrasonic cleaner.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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What is a Prussian blue reaction?

If you add either ferricyanide, [Fe(III)(CN)6]3−, to an iron(II) salt or ferrocyanide, [Fe(II)(CN)6]4−, to an iron(III) salt, you get the deep blue mixed-valance Fe(II)/Fe(III) salt, Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3 , aka Prussian Blue. Thus, ferricyanide can be used as a test for iron(II) and ferrocyanide as a test for iron(III).

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  • 8 months later...

I'm sorry to necro this thread, but since this is the number one result on a Google search for "List of Iron-Gall inks", I thought it would be helpful to redirect searches to the comprehensive and crowdsourced list of Iron-Gall-Based Fountain Pen Inks I started this year.

 

This is the original announcement thread:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/331987-a-comprehensive-list-of-iron-gall-based-fountain-pen-inks/

And the most current version of the document can be accessed through this link:

http://bit.ly/irongall

Cheers!

3776 + 4810.



I'm maintaining a comprehensive list of Iron-Gall inks. Contributions most welcome! bit.ly/irongall


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Thank you very much for posting that!

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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Geodesigner, your list is wonderful. It helped me lots when I was first starting to buy ink samples and bottles. Thank you for putting the time and energy into compiling it!

fpn_1502425191__letter-mini.png

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