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Ink Review: Diamine Sargasso Sea


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I have had this Diamine Sargasso Sea sample for reviewing for a while. I looked at this sample and thought how similar it looks to Diamine Blue Velvet. However, after I started writing with it, I started to see that it leans a little more towards the red end of the colour spectrum than Blue Velvet does. I like that about it, and I would happily live with both colours. Notably though, Blue Velvet is more expensive because it's one of the 150th Anniversary inks.

This is an excellent dark to medium blue type. It varies according to the type of nib used, and looks darker when written with a F nib than it does when written with a stub or wider nib. It could be used as an every day blue ink.
It's an excellent performer. I'm not 100% happy with my Pilot CH92 F nib, because I find I get much more feedback from it than I do from my other F nibs. However, it loved this ink. It felt well lubricated and flowed across the page beautifully. I could have carried on writing with it for ages, but wanted to look at the writing with the stub nib too. I was surprised how different the colour looked between these 2 nibs.
This was a slow-drying ink and exhibited much show through and bleed though on my thick 100g/sm paper. If you are content with that then I can recommend it.
  • The water test on the review form shows this isn't a waterproof ink, but there is some water resistance.
  • Bearing in mind the paper I use is thick with a shiny surface, and I used a 1.1 and a F nib, this ink only took 17-20 secs to dry. That's common on this smooth, thick paper.
  • It flows through the pen very well and lubricates the nib very well. I saw no skips or hard starts while I did swabs and dry time tests.
  • It is currently available in 80ml glass bottles, 30ml plastic refill bottles or cartridges.
  • Diamine sell it directly to end-users on their web-site.
  • It's a reasonable price


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I heard it has some kind of clogging or staining problem?

Yes - it is well known for exhibiting bad behaviour sometimes, including clogging after being in a pen for a few days, and it can very naughty at staining some types of plastics.

On some papers it can also take an absolute age to dry. I used it on Triomphe paper for a letter once and the recipient found the ink still smeared a week after writing.

It hasn't been mentioned but this ink does sheen a lot, which is why people put up with it. The shading can be very distinct too.

If I use it, which is infrequently, I usually dilute it, at around 70%.

Verba volant, scripta manent

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  • 1 month later...
Danny Kaffee

Nice review.


I've been using this lately but diluted at 2:1 with water (2 parts Sargasso, 1 part water). When diluted it exhibits a beautiful true blue. I found it too saturated and dark at full strength.


I will note that, as mentioned above, it's probably a stainer based on how long I can continue to see it inside a plastic bottle after I've swished it around.

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Thanks for the review and especially the comparison with Blue Velvet. The two inks seem quite similar.


I've been using Sargasso for some time now and never had any clogging problems in three different pens. My only issue with this ink is the purple seen but this diminishes if diluted (in my case with Quink Washable Blue, even up to two parts Sargasso to one Washable so far).

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  • 2 weeks later...

i agree with migo984, this sheens heavily. very wet ink. dilution causes the ink to lose the sheen. when looked at from top, there appears to be something oily in the bottle. i use this ink to brighten up pilot blue.

this is the ink that introduced me to sheen and made me look out for other sheeny inks.

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In my 30ml bottle I can see that when I tilt it there is a line where I can see the darkish part of the sheen. It is very saturated, and clings to the sides of the bottle.


However, I didn't experience a problem with it clogging in either of the pens I used, or not drying on my paper.

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  • 4 years later...

For the #50shadesofbluechallenge (link to the hashtag on Instagram), a challenge over at the German PenExchange forum for July & August 2020, I inked up all my pens with all the 50+ blue inks I have. The snapshots might also be of interest to some here.


My most recent experience with Sargasso Sea was in a humble Pilot Petit fountain pen. The ink was poured into the cardridge sometime in June and I have this pen in my purse since then. I can attest that pen & ink always write, even after weeks in hot summer and unused.


And even in this less than spectacular nib the writing looks nice, pretty even without considerable shading, reliable, pleasing -- except for the weird, dusty smell. Ugh.


I might have to come back to this ink with a more interesting nib, such as a flexy Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA, but for now the results in a Pilot Petit were promising.

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The ink splotches really show the sheen, don't they? I picked up OS Santiago Sea a little while ago, and the sheen is amazing. This has a more sober pronouncement. Thanks for the review!

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