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Platinum Classic Ink — Cassis Black Iron Gall


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Platinum Classic Ink — Cassis Black #15 Review




(Note: Due to FPN's compression standards, I've had to compress the images to less-than-favorable quality. To view them in full, high resolution, please click here to be redirected to my blog.)


Platinum announced a new series of Iron Gall Inks—the Classic Inks—in January with six colors: Cassis black, Forest black, Citrus black, Khaki black, Sepia black, and Lavender black. And ever since they came out earlier this month, I’ve wanted to give them a try, and I could not have been more happy with them.
The first ink of the bunch is Cassis black (#15), a really pleasant magenta-red ink that over time fades darker, and over a period of years, should fade to black. The ink, although sold by Platinum, was actually created by an iron-gall mastermind by the name of pGary who had created a blue-black iron gall for Platinum in the past.
Modern iron-gall inks are a bit of an enigma. For the most part, they are safe for use in pens, but often are some of the more high-maintenance inks available, as, without cleaning, they can corrode the metal of a pen or leave a really difficult to remove sediment in the feed. For a really detailed read on IG inks written by the creator of KWZ inks, click here, (I highly recommend it).
Anyway, the ink itself comes in a very pleasantly-designed 60 mL bottle—Its shape resembles that of a tall rectangle with convex sides, and it is very nice for storage (similar to Noodlers). The bottle also has a decently wide neck, so most pens should fit inside. However, there is a plastic secondary reservoir which might prove a bit of a challenge for larger pens—although it is quite tall so most nibs should be able to fit inside. Nevertheless, it can be removed if you find it annoying.

The ink itself is astonishingly pretty. Going in, I—based off of my previous experiences with iron-gall ink—was rather pessimistic as I thought the ink would be rather dark and dreary. However, the Cassis is almost the opposite. Named for the liquor made from a blackcurrant, the ink is quite colorful and vibrant without being eye-piercing.
Cassis black has very nice shading (but no sheen) and is extremely well behaved on almost all papers (I have used it on papers anywhere from Clairefontaine to news-stock and, even on  the worst paper possible, it didn’t feather at all and it barely bled through. As a student, this particularly helpful as, often, the paper made available to me is over a rather low caliber—but this ink tackles it without an issue. The ink is also decently water-resistant, and likewise, I found it somewhat difficult to wash is both off my hands and my desk when it spilled (so try to keep it safely inside the pen at all times).




However, far and away, the coolest thing about the inks its color change. The ink looks like a bright red from inside a converter. However, after touching paper, the ink rapidly transforms from an almost cherry-candy red to a deep magenta. (The entire process takes about forty seconds or so to go through fully). However, on more absorbent papers, the effect happens immediately so it is not as obvious. On top of this, the ink also shades beautifully in any nib from extra fine to double broad.
The ink is currently available only in Japan (I purchased it from Rakuten who ships to the US). However, it seems to be coming soon to the US by way of Goulet Pens. The ink costs ¥2160 on Rakuten or $25.00 from Goulet when available (Goulet also will also have samples for $1.75).
If you’ve enjoyed this review, please consider taking a look at my blog and subscribing—every subscription helps immensely and I promise not to spam your inbox. Also, if you subscribe, you’ll also be alerted of giveaways (I plan to give away a couple samples of this ink so click here to be notified.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review.

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  • PDW


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Thanks for posting this review. I like iron gall inks, and so I've been wondering when these would be available and what the colors are like. Any idea how Cassis Black compares to Scabiosa or KWZ IG Red no. 3?

I've been on a quest to see if I could commit all Seven Deadly Sins in a single day. Finally, it dawned on me I shouldn't try for the One Day Wonder Prize for all seven in one day. It's simply out of any question as you can't commit decent sloth while busily ticking the other six off your crowded "to do" list. -- ViolinWriter

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Wow, that looks nice. How much more does the ink oxidize?

Thanks for the review. Some of these have looked interesting and this one has just gone to the top of the "want to try SOON" list.

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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This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

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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Thank you for introducing the cassis black ink.

But I haven't made platinum blue black.

I made Wagner ink for Pen trading Tokyo in 2010, 2012 to 2016. (Wagner is a fountain pen community in Japan.)

Through that experience, I am collaborating to develop Platinum Classic Inks.

For more details, please see Bruno's blog. http://estilofilos.blogspot.jp/2017/02/garys-classic-inks.html

Thanks again :)

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The color is very interesting, thanks for reviewing it.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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If any UK pen/ink sellers are on FPN, are you going to stock these inks?

Not UK, but La Couronne in The Netherlands already announced start of sales.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for your review. A bottle is on order.

R&K Scabiosa is one of my favourite Iron Gall inks. I wonder how Platinum's Classic IG Cassis Black compares, particularly when it's fully oxidized. :unsure:

Edited by tinta

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)




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  • 4 years later...

I love the way this ink looks when dry, but hate it wet.  It comes out of the nib a watery orange.  Sorry I bought it.  I should have gotten a sample first.

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