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Radiant Blue, A Diamine Ink From Mr. Pen


bobje
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Purchasers of the popular Italix pens from Mr. Pen in the United Kingdom receive an instruction sheet that recommends the use of Diamine ink. They may not realize that the company also offers a custom Diamine blue ink blend. The ink, Radiant Blue, recently accompanied my purchase of an Italix Churchman's Prescriptor. The ink is a cerulean blue, lighter than both Waterman Inspired Blue and Chesterfield Antique Oxford (itself supposedly a version of Diamine Majestic Blue). The founder of Mr. Pen, Peter Ford, describes the ink as the result of adding four drops of a special ingredient to a Diamine blue ink. This ingredient is a mystery, but a good guess on the base ink is Washable Blue or Royal Blue. His description suggests Radiant Blue was a Diamine color from a couple of decades ago.

 

As a supporter of attempts to recreate legendary ink colors, and as an enthusiastic fan of Mr. Ford's ability to imbue stationery products with uniquely English names and characteristics, I tried it. The ink offers a great deal of shading and a solid, business-like, not-too-flashy professional presence, with well-behaved flow and cleaning characteristics, though with perhaps a touch of showthrough to the other side of a sheet of Rhodia 80 gsm notebook paper. No observable sheen. Written with an Italix medium nib, the ink dries completely after about 20 seconds on this paper. If you like blue ink and enjoy the idea of English ink in an English pen, it may be worth ordering Radiant Blue along with your next writing instrument from Mr. Pen.

 

I forgot to complete the water-resistance test in the accompanying photographs; if you're interested, the ink is not waterproof.

 

post-123774-0-52975600-1442778033_thumb.jpgpost-123774-0-19297600-1442778034_thumb.jpgpost-123774-0-49300900-1442778082_thumb.jpgpost-123774-0-43586500-1442778063_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers

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Thanks for the nice review. I use it occasionally and believe it is Diamine's Royal Blue (plus those 4 special drops). A bit more illuminating, but not as piercing as Noodler's Baystate Blue.

 

Mike

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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My guess is that the 4 drops will be Diamine Sapphire Blue.

 

be aware that Diamine Majestic Blue is sometimes a bit difficult to wash out of some pens, but it's still a great colour

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My guess is that the 4 drops will be Diamine Sapphire Blue.

 

be aware that Diamine Majestic Blue is sometimes a bit difficult to wash out of some pens, but it's still a great colour

 

I agree, my first thought on looking at the close-up was a touch of Sapphire Blue

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


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It's a nice ink, whatever the ingredients!

The Good Captain

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

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be aware that Diamine Majestic Blue is sometimes a bit difficult to wash out of some pens, but it's still a great colour

Also, be aware that Majestic Blue is often a bit easy to wipe off some papers if you don't wait for a few days.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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The Radiant Blue is based on the colour of Stephen's Radiant Blue used by me as a child in the fifties. The only inks one could by from the local stationers newsagents was either Parker Quink and Stephens. I created the blend but Diamine could not seem to get it right. I bought an old empty Stephens bottle off of Ebay and it had enough residue to get the colour. I now use Diamine Royal Blue as the base and then add a couple of squeezes of my addition, this makes it into the Radiant Blue I remember.

http://mrpen.co.uk/contents/media/flowlittle.png www.mrpen.co.uk

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Thank you, Peter Ford -- your back story on Stephens Radiant Blue enriches the experience of writing with this new ink. A website called the Palimpset, edited by Lito Apostolakou, contains beautiful photography and a review of a vintage bottle of Stephens Radiant Blue. The Palimpset also offers reviews of other vintage inks, as well as a link to an historically detailed, analytical ink review by FPN contributor ToasterPastry.

 

fpn_1442854693__stephens-radiant-blue.jp

 

Photograph of Stephens Radiant Blue from the Palimpset, by Lito Apostolakou.

Edited by bobjpage

Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA, JAPAN, AND INDIA

Hua Hong Blue Belter | Penbbs 456 | Stationery | ASA Nauka in Dartmoor and Ebonite | ASA Azaadi | ASA Bheeshma | ASA Halwa | Ranga Model 8 and 8b | Ranga Emperor

ITALY AND THE UK

FILCAO Roxi | FILCAO Atlantica | Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA, INK, AND EXPERIMENTS

Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers

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Wow, that's a great color. Is the ink available without purchasing a pen? My shopping budget will (mostly) be shot to heck between repairs of pens at DCSS last month and repairs of pens at OPS in November -- to the point that at yesterday Commonwealth Show I *only* bought the Noodler's LE inks (okay, partly to get the Charlie pens) and a large-size Tomoe River pad. (Although that little black ringtop with the original lanyard was mighty tempting, and so was one of the Emerald Pearl Vacs I saw....)

I know, I know. Like I really need more ink :blush: (and the ones on my short list didn't happen yesterday either...).

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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Ruth, I think so. It's listed separately on the Mr. Pen website.

Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA, JAPAN, AND INDIA

Hua Hong Blue Belter | Penbbs 456 | Stationery | ASA Nauka in Dartmoor and Ebonite | ASA Azaadi | ASA Bheeshma | ASA Halwa | Ranga Model 8 and 8b | Ranga Emperor

ITALY AND THE UK

FILCAO Roxi | FILCAO Atlantica | Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA, INK, AND EXPERIMENTS

Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers

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Bob, thank you for sharing this beautiful ink with us. It reminds me of the Rotring Brilliant Blue that I bought years ago. What a gorgeous and vibrant colour. Maybe Mr Ford could have a discussion with Diamine to see if they could reformulate this as the Diamine Italix Blue?! My next pen is going to (HAVE TO) be an Italix...!

If there is righteousness in the heart, There will be beauty in character. If there is beauty in character, There will be harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, There will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, There will be peace in the world. Bhagawan Shri Satya Sai Baba

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http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu264/peli46/Radiant%20_Blue_1.jpg

These are the four Diamine Blues we mentioned above, in that order (from left to right, RA = MrPen's Radiant Blue, MA = Majestic Blue, RO = Royal Blue, and SA = Sapphire Blue).

 

No, this doesn't prove anything.... Does it actually tell us anything? IMO it says that for Radiant Blue – in respect to those other three Diamine inks –

 

1. The main constituent is definitely Royal Blue.

2. There is neither any Majestic nor Sapphire Blue in it. Or at least practically none.

3. Whatever those added four drops of MrPen's special ingredient is, it is, or they are, apparently not visible on such a paper chromatography due to the fact that such a substance is simply not visible to the eye like a normal dye is. That is because their actual effect (fluorescence, photoluminescence) is due to substances which themselves are not visible within the normal spectrum. The same holds true for other additives to inks such as surfactants. A lot of those, e.g. Lubrols, Emulgenes, Tritols, Tweens etc. are all completely colourless liquids which unfortunately just don't show up on this "primitive" type of chromatography. Now size exclusion, reversed-phase, hydrophobic interaction or hydroxyapatite chromatography, or better yet IR, UV, NMR spectroscopy or mass spectrometry would yield even better results here....

 

Mike

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Mike, a fascinating experiment. Those 4 drops are an entertaining mystery! I get the impression that they are brighteners. Thank you.

Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA, JAPAN, AND INDIA

Hua Hong Blue Belter | Penbbs 456 | Stationery | ASA Nauka in Dartmoor and Ebonite | ASA Azaadi | ASA Bheeshma | ASA Halwa | Ranga Model 8 and 8b | Ranga Emperor

ITALY AND THE UK

FILCAO Roxi | FILCAO Atlantica | Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA, INK, AND EXPERIMENTS

Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for posting this.. I just ordered a bottle of Radiant Blue. This is a fantastic looking ink I had to have.

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  • 2 months later...

Mike, a fascinating experiment. Those 4 drops are an entertaining mystery! I get the impression that they are brighteners. Thank you.

 

Noob question, but can you give examples of brighteners? Curiosity is killing me (as someone who loves the MP Radiant Blue).

Why are there fourteen samples of dark plum ink on my desk? Because I still haven't found the right shade.

Is that a problem...??? : : : sigh : : :

 

Update: Great. Finally found one I love (Lamy Dark Lilac) but I can't get more. Ah, life in my inky world....

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