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Parker Penman Sapphire And Diamine Majestic Blue Head To Head


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I recently picked up a few bottles of Parker Penman ink for what seemed like a bargain price compared to some I'd seen. The deal also included four vintage Pelikan bottles (the ones with the Mont Blanc style tip-fill well), which made it extra sweet.


I tried each to see what all the fuss was about and it came down to just loving the Sapphire and Emerald. The Ruby was an odd browinsh color with a lot of sediment, possibly suffering from too much age. The Ebony and Mocha were OK, but not interesting enough and are currently for sale on flea bay Australia if anyone's interested.


Wary of their reputation for clogging pens and not willing to risk any of my good ones, I inked up a couple of Chinese pens as testers for the the two I liked. They Sapphire rapidly became my favorite blue, and I tend to favor blues. I'm not much of a green user, but the Emerald is a really beautiful one in my book.


My mind immediately turned to finding substitutes, both to conserve what I had and to replace them in the long run. According to what I read online, Diamine Majestic Blue was a good option for the Sapphire, so I bought a bottle. Attached is a side by side comparison, and it's not a bad match. The biggest difference is that the Diamine had a significant degree of red sheen not seen in the Penman. Otherwise the color, saturation and shading seems close.


Both samples are with the same pen/nib - A Jinhao X-450 with a broad German Knox nib. The first line with the Diamine was just after I'd id inked the pen, so the ink load is higher than it would otherwise be, but it does show up the red sheen. The sheen is not as evident is subsequent lines. Paper is Rhodia 80gsm.


I've attached images, which I home you find useful. My apologies for the chicken scratchings which pass as my handwriting.







Mario Mirabile
Melbourne, Australia


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sadly if you still like the Penman Sapphire but dont like clogging I think Bungbox "Hatsu Koi" Sapphire (made by Sailor) was made for this occasion and I think that ink is almost available every time of the year

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Very nice comparison. I remember when PPS came out, I didn't like the color for some reason, but that was years ago when I was much less adventurous with ink.

Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.

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Many thanks for the comparo!


I've used both inks, and like them very much. I agree with you in that they "seem close", yet amongst the Blue inks there is an incredible amount of hair-splitting going on. (And more Blue inks are entering the market.)


I believe the closest I've come to PPS is slightly diluted Private Reserve American Blue, but that doesn't have the ineffable writing experience of PPS


Our dear fellow Member dcwaites was/is exploring various blends to emulate PPS, for which we are grateful.




The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


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Mariom - what a great comparison and step into FPN - Welcome aboard and thank you for this great review!

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY







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