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The Best Oranges For Vintage Pens



sombrueil

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Going to be autumn soon, and being in New England it is something I eagerly look forward to. I am putting aside my brave adventuring into the world of murky grayish greens for the time being and going against my inner nature by exploring ORANGE.

The story so far: received two samples from Goulet, Diamine Autumn Oak and Diamine Pumpkin. I like both of them, in fact cannot choose between them, so I mixed them together to fill my eyedropper, since it takes such a huge amount of ink to fill it. Both samples ended up going into it in one fill.

 

Autumn Oak is good for me because most of my pens are wet writers and dry inks do very nicely in them. But I would like to experience others as well. All my pens are vintage (my modern eyedropper is the exception but it has a vintage nib in it). So, no saturated inks, sheening inks. I avoid Noodlers. I love shading.

 

I don't want anything violently bright, but more autumnal, without being brown. Ancient Copper for example, which is one of my standards, is too brown for this exploration. And not washy, such as some J.Herbin inks tend to be. Suggestions?

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I also greet the change of seasons with a change of inks but would not be likely to put orange ink in a vintage pen.

 

Why not?

Edited by sombrueil
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inkstainedruth

Probably because oranges, reds, browns and purples have dye components that can clog up nibs and feeds and possibly damage sacs over the long haul (although this doesn't stop me from putting purple inks in my Plum Parker 51 at times, and modern Skrip Purple is the first ink that worked well in a Snorkel with an EF nib -- which vintage Skrip Peacock did NOT :angry:).

As for orange? You're asking the wrong person. I have yet to find an orange ink I can stomach (the closest being Diamine Anniversary Terracotta, which is an orange-y brown (really looks just like the color of terra cotta pots). And I haven't put it in anything but modern pens.

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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I've used brown and purple inks in my vintage pens for many years (virtually all Diamine and J.Herbin). Even red (Birmingham Pens Fred Rogers Cardigan) has had no issues. Have I been lucky?

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inkstainedruth

Possibly. A lot of reds and oranges can build up crud on the nib (this is more than just nib creep). One of the worst offenders reported on FPN is, IIRC, Diamine Ochre.

And I may have had premature sac failure with using De Atramentis Red Roses in a Parker Vacumatic (I had gotten the sac replaced when I first bought the pen, and then had to have it re-sacced about 3-1/2 years later. (My attitude was, pffft -- I liked the look of the ink coming out of that pen (an Azure Blue Pearl Sub-Debutante, so I was willing to pay for the replacement sac a second time; YMMV....)

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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My eyedropper pen which has the Diamine oranges mix in it is modern (a Newton custom hard rubber one) and it has a good seal on the cap which I don't know as the others do. I am reading that this is a factor in "nib crud" because it is in part an evaporation issue.

Also nothing whatsoever is going to be evaporating in humidity like this. Must be 90% right now.

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Try and get a hold of Omas' Orange. I think it was their last ink (or was that their Grey?). A good, solid orange, full, no brown, not too bright.

Otherwise MB's Mahatma Gandi. Or their more recent Lucky Orange.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Have you tried Iroshizuku Yu-Yaki? It is my favorite orange. I have other ink from Iro line in a vintage semi-flex Pelikan 400, they go really well: great flow with vibrant color.

 

I heard good things about Noodles apache sunset. I am yet to try it.

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I have "reasons" I have not tried Apache Sunset or Yu-Yaki.

 

I have a strong perhaps irrational bias against Noodlers. I dislike his politics (especially on my ink bottles) and am afraid of his inks in my fragile vintage pens, although I am sure many are just fine.

 

I have a separate irrational bias against super-expensive inks (irrational because I don't have the same bias about pens, apparently).

I have not had luck trying to love bright-colored inks, either. That's why orange is such a step into alien territory for me. The inks I tend to use up are all deep or browny, or muted, mysterious 'in-between' colors like R&K Alt-Goldgrun.

I have waiting at the post office a Birmingham Pens orange, Albert Einstein Relative Cadmium, along with a murky green of theirs, Rodman Gunpowder Tea. Have had good luck with their inks.

If I like them maybe I will post reviews!

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I'm really enjoying Montblanc's Manganese Orange. Behaviour is great; good lubrication, decent dry time, nice flow and crucially - no nib crud. It's not super-saturated but it's not very pale either. It's more subtle than Lucky Orange, you get more in the bottle and it still has a nice luminous 'brightness' due to the pinkish undertones without looking like a highlighter ink.

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dan in montreal

I agree a lot of Herbin inks are not saturated. On the other hand, they clean up well and are safe. I like Orange indien with a medium / broad nib. Recently I've come across Monteverde Mandarin Orange and it has worked well in a variety of pens. I've experienced crud buildup with several orange Diamine inks - I've only used them in cheap pens and the crud washes off easily. No such buildup with Herbin or Monteverde.

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Adding J.H.Orange Indien and maybe Monteverde Mandarin to the list to try . . . Mandarin is closer to one of my commonly used inks, D.Ancient Copper.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For what is worth, I've used Apache Sunset in a vintage fountain pen and I enjoyed it.

On the plus side, it was one of the easiest fountain pens to clean...

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Recently, I am quite drawn to Diamine Vermillion for good legibility in slightly finer nibs. Diamine Blood Orange is my favourite but I am not sure if it is 'orange enough'.

 

Ancient copper behaves nicely in my Pilot 743FA, so far no cruds or unsightly 'growth' after 2 weeks of intermittent use.

Edited by minddance
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Well, I ordered samples of most of the oranges Goulet has on offer that seemed relatively safe to try out. They don't carry everything though. Most of the suggestions above fall into that category. But it's a start, eh?

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