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Black Nibs Staining


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I've been using pilot iroshizuku shin-kai ink in a pilot vanishing point and a lamy lx ruthenium for a while, the pens both have black plated nibs and the ink has been staining or reacting with the coating near the slits of both pens. I got the pilot vp nib replaced under warranty because of this issue and some other problems, and recently the lamy lx has been showing the same problems on its black nib. Here's what the vp looked like before I got it replaced:




The lamy lx is starting to look like the vp, but I couldn't get a picture. I think the ink is slightly alkaline, but it hasn't caused any issues with other pens without black plated nibs. I've tried cleaning and soaking both nibs in soapy water and a 10:1 solution of ammonia as well, but nothing has worked for me. Anyone know what could be happening? Should I just avoid black nibs or switch to a different ink? Any help is appreciated, thanks.

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I don't know, but was interested in buying a black nib, until so many had problems with them flaking or wearing off so fast.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:


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I've read that anodised nibs should protect the nib against any kind of corrosion; at least that seems to be the theory. However, many 'black' nibs seem to be little more than a painted coating. The black Sailor nibs, for instance, have been reported and photographed here on FPN as having either crumbled or peeled off. What you show in your picture can sometimes appear with lots of different kinds of inks on non-coated normal solid gold nibs, and in my own experience, can be polished away. In short, I've no idea what causes it, but I'm sure someone with chemistry out there might have an idea.

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I was a little hesitant to get a black nib when I bought the Dark Lilac Safari, because of my experiences with an early pen purchase, a Platinum Plaisir. I bought one where the nib "matched" the barrel color, and after a couple of years of a variety of inks the coating started to come off. I was worried about clogging the slit and/or having the coating contaminate a bottle of ink. I haven't (so far) had any similar issue with the anodized Safari nib. But I also have only had that pen a couple of years, and it hasn't had the range of inks the Plaisir did (although I also just now checked my notes, and it's had both alkaline-leaning (Iroshizuku Fuyu-gaki) and acidic ones (several iron gall inks) in it. When I get home later I will look and see if the nib has any issues.

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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