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My Experience With J. Herbin 1670 Gold-Shinning Inks



gammada

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After reading many postings on this and other forums regarding J. Herbin's 1670 inks and their apparent ability to clog pens, I decided to share my experience with them after some 6 months of usage on several pens on an almost daily basis. Hope this is helpful.

 

Like many pen enthusiasts the world over, I became truly hooked to the idea of using J. Herbin's inks after watching some videos depicting their shinning and sheening characteristics, specially those of Emaraude de Chivor, which is without a doubt, the most fascinating ink on this earth for those of us creative types (I'm a designer and photographer). Yet, after doing my proper research on them, I came across many, many posts, stating that these inks were the equivalent of Armageddon for the majority of fountain pens. A few lone voices claimed otherwise, but the general consensus was to stay away from them.

 

Low and behold, I ordered 3 bottles: Emaraude de Chivor, Blue Ocean, and Stormy Grey.

 

I filled 2 Lamy Safari pens with Ocean Blue (M nib) and Stormy Grey (F nib) and then I filled an Al-Star with a stub 1.5mm nib with Emeraude. After using them for nearly 3 months (refilling the same pens or inking similar pens), I've had experienced no flow issues whatsoever. No hard starts, no skipping, no clogging of any sort. The only "issue" I got to experience is that the finer the nib, the less gold flecks that will end up on your paper.

 

After this initial test, I decided to convert my brand new transparent Kaweco Sport Classic with an M nib into an eyedropper and the ink I decided to fill it up with was Ocean Blue. Kaweco's are known to have starting and skipping issues when brand new. Mine not only turned to be and excellent writer right away, but the conversion also helped turn the feed into a very wet one. After 3 months of constant use, I'm yet to experience issues.

 

BTW the gold flecks look gorgeous laying on the barrel and match the pen nib, clip and markings in a lovely way!

 

One thing that I have noted thou is that the gold flecks tend to get everywhere into the pen. My eyedropper has some flecks -with ink- stuck between the feed and the section, it also appears trapped in some parts of my converters and, needless to say, they are also present on the feeds. Yet, so far, they seem to be quite easy to clean off.

 

The only bad experience I've had so far has been with a Kaweco AL-Sport that I filled with Stormy Grey. Right after filling it, all it came out the nib were gold flecks, not a single drop of ink!

 

I shook the pen hoping for the specks to settle but it never worked. I had to extract the ink from the cartridge, and then it all took to clean and unclog the pen, was a standard rinse with water. This pen has since been inked-up twice with other inks and so far, it works flawlessly. The AL-Sport uses a different feed than that of the Classic, so maybe it is a bit more restrictive.

 

I have also used the Emeraude ink on my Pilot Parallel pen without any issues. The only thing I should note here is that the gold flecks didn't show on the lettering work I did with this combination. I will fill it up again and update this post to reflect the outcome.

 

So, to recap, I truly consider these inks to be pretty safe for most pens and they seem pretty easy to clean-off. I will refrain myself from putting them on vintage pens or expensive ones just to remain on the safe side. But other than that, they all prove why J. Herbin has been around for more than a hundred years!

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Glad to see this review.

 

At a pen meet this year was generously given 2 of these inks. As much as I've wanted to use them, my typical mo is a super quick re-ink (of same) & dash out the door, so the thought of excessive cleaning procedures kept both unused. Until now.

 

What I may do is add a 1.5 or 5 to my Vista to play with both.

Question.. have you mixed these inks? What happens if you move from one to another in constant daily use without in between flushes?

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Glad to see this review.

 

What I may do is add a 1.5 or 5 to my Vista to play with both.

Question.. have you mixed these inks? What happens if you move from one to another in constant daily use without in between flushes?

No, I have not mixed them... yet. As for the other question, I went from Stormy Grey to Caran's Cosmic Black without a hitch. The only aftertaste was that some gold flecks appeared on initial writings but quickly vanished. So far, no issues yet.

 

Glad it was helpful!

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I've used these inks in many of my pens and have experienced similar results and no problems.

 

Maybe I clean out my pens more carefully than other users, so that's why I don't experience hard starts, skipping, blocked feeds or clogging.

 

Or maybe it's because my pens are generally modern and none of them is more than 30 years old so they are somehow better equipped to cope with these inks.

 

I'm really happy that there are some fountain pen people who don't like these inks. That means there are more left for those of us who do. :D

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Chrissy, when I spoke to Susan Wirth at the SF pen show a few years back, she suggested that the older feeds are have wider channels and are better designed for ink with particles in it, because back then ink was less carefully filtered and you got rat tails and so on in it. I think she might have been speaking facetiously about the rat tails.

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I'm really happy that there are some fountain pen people who don't like these inks. That means there are more left for those of us who do. :D

Indeed!!

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Chrissy, when I spoke to Susan Wirth at the SF pen show a few years back, she suggested that the older feeds are have wider channels and are better designed for ink with particles in it, because back then ink was less carefully filtered and you got rat tails and so on in it. I think she might have been speaking facetiously about the rat tails.

Well, that would be really nice to do some research about. In my humble opinion, if the pen is easy to disassemble, I wouldn't mind filling it with these inks. Unfortunately, the only vintage pen I've got, is a Parker Vacumatic which is not easy to take apart, nor easy to clean, so it won't be seeing the gold treatment anytime soon. Then again, a more modern Sheaffer Imperial is coming my way...

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I can't easily remove my Lamy Nexx, Safari or Al-Star feeds, and I've heard people say that these pens can write quite dry. Nevertheless, I have regularly used inks with particles in them all and then cleaned them out afterwards. Then I carry on with regular ink without any problems. I can see the odd particle in the bottom of some of my Lamy converters, around the black stopper, but that makes absolutely no difference when I'm writing with the pens.

 

I wish I had bought Caroube de Chypre, but I wasn't sure how much I would like brown, so I didn't pull the trigger on it. I haven't even seen it or tried it yet either. Perhaps I should. :)

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Chrissy, when I spoke to Susan Wirth at the SF pen show a few years back, she suggested that the older feeds are have wider channels and are better designed for ink with particles in it, because back then ink was less carefully filtered and you got rat tails and so on in it. I think she might have been speaking facetiously about the rat tails.

I can see how that might be the case. However, with these older filling mechanisms, you can't see what's in there, so maybe that's what concerns some users?

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  • 2 weeks later...
OmegaMountain

I will chime in here because I was hoping to find some info on the metallic Herbin inks. I have Stormy Grey in a Conklin Nighthawk with the 1.1 Goulet nib. It's a wet writer and has had the Stormy Grey since new. Maybe it's my fault for not giving the pen a flush before inking it or maybe I had it sitting nib down a little for a while but I got some clogging. I think the gold particles settled toward the nib end of the converter and may have caused the issue. I may drain the pen and give it a good flush. I wasn't expecting to have any issues with a larger stub nib, but there you have it... It's a darn beautiful ink though. Not disappointed I bought it.

"Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts." - Patrick Rothfuss

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