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Noodler's Baystate Blue ink versus Krishna Lyrebird Water Sapphire (Water & Bleach Resistance)


PuliMorgan
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Noodler's Baystate Blue needs no introduction. I am just a few months into the fountain pen hobby, but even I know that there is no other ink that polarizes the fountain pen community as much as the Baystate Blue (BSB). You either hate it or love it. I bought a bottle of this ink because much of my work happens near water tanks and I needed a waterproof ink for signing documents. 

 

But after I ordered the BSB on Amazon, I came to know about another water resistant ink that is made by a part time ink and pen making medical doctor named Sreekumar who lives just 3 hours away from my home. He owns Krishna Inks and Krishna Pens. His waterproof ink is beautifully named as Krishna Lyrebird Water Sapphire Blue. So I got a bottle of that too. I now use BSB in office and Krishna Ink at home for signing the documents.

 

IMG_20210613_140745.thumb.jpg.80254f2b5339c2352d6cac34922872be.jpg

 

The comparison of both inks, including their resistance to water and bleach, follows.

 

1. Colour

 

The picture compares Krishna Water Sapphire and Baystate Blue with common inks like Lamy Blue, Sheaffer Blue and Camlin Blue on TNPL 80 GSM Platinum Copier paper.

 

IMG_20210613_160501.thumb.jpg.f2d3589d0ac070f21928bc4308aeb90d.jpg

 

Without question, Baystate Blue is the best colour (in my opinion). In fact the BSB actually jumps out of the paper and my amateur photography skill doesn't do justice to its vibrance. All other colours including Krishna Water Sapphire look dull and boring in comparison.

 

2. Writing Experience

 

I used two identical Camlin Elegante fine nib fountain pens and Rhodia paper to test the writing experience. Baystate Blue is wetter and and gives more line width. Krishna Ink has less flow but is no less smooth.

 

IMG_20210613_141614.thumb.jpg.dac3d5614aa2bf121b0be4d88d452c73.jpg

 

3. Drying time

 

I again used identical Camlin Elegante fine nibbed pens on Rhodia paper to determine the drying times. Average drying time for both inks is seen to be about 10 seconds on Rhodia.

 

IMG_20210613_150250.thumb.jpg.f6d2aea9121a5c8ce8b5ffe6a635ed36.jpg

 

I repeated this test on TNPL 80 GSM copier paper and the drying time was about 8 seconds for both inks.

 

4. Water Resistance

 

a) Drip Test

 

I dropped nearly equal amounts of water on the handwritten samples and let the water remain for 30 minutes. Photograph shows the condition after 30 minutes.

 

IMG_20210613_141732.thumb.jpg.b255d7f6fc427dc6806eb0658adfaf0f.jpg

 

Both inks showed some top layer run off, but BSB is more water resistant to Krishna Water Sapphire.

 

b) Dip Test

 

I dipped swabs of 5 ink different inks on TNPL copier paper in plain tap water filled tumblers. 

 

Before dipping:

 

IMG_20210613_141837.thumb.jpg.e67076a619e02a698acbda47b05d77e4.jpg

 

The next picture is taken just a few minutes after dipping. Lamy, Sheaffer and Camlin inks are no longer in the race.

 

IMG_20210613_150928.thumb.jpg.f355c7233644c27d95d432a37c09003b.jpg

 

30 minutes later:

 

IMG_20210613_141959.thumb.jpg.19aa1afa0bda5ab5c0269beb79459dcc.jpg

 

Krishna Ink is somewhat water resistant and we can still read the text. Baystate Blue is also not waterproof  but clearly more water resistant than the Krishna Ink.

 

5. Bleach Resistance

 

This was the most interesting of all tests. I used the same ink swabs which had undergone the dip test and poured a few drops of 0.5% w/w Harpic bleaching solution over them.

 

IMG_20210613_142059.thumb.jpg.bb102f219ae35e9573785ace90a15dc4.jpg

 

5 minutes after the exposure to the bleach, Baystate Blue had already started dissolving but Krishna Ink was holding up:

 

IMG_20210613_213932.thumb.jpg.71e07933d68940414febe31cf507190f.jpg

 

1 hour after exposure:

 

IMG_20210613_142238.thumb.jpg.c51e02567a092f7cfffa4a836dfe4766.jpg

 

Within an hour, Baystate ink was almost gone and the text was no longer visible. Krishna Water Sapphire was still holding up and the text remained legible.

 

2 hours after exposure:

 

IMG_20210613_155702.thumb.jpg.fd224435b1463c0f4081efb3def91e4f.jpg

 

Part of the text written with Krishna Ink was visible even after 2 hours! Krishna Ink thus won the bleach resistance test.


6. Price (in India)

 

Baystate Blue: INR 4888/- (US$ 66.75) on Amazon for 133 ml (4.5 oz) bottle, after a 75% discount. But you get a beautiful Noodler's Charlie pen for free with the ink.

 

Krishna Water Sapphire: Rs 250/- (US$ 3.41) for 30 ml bottle.

 

The math is left to you.

 

7. Staining Potential

 

Noodler's Baystate Blue is notorious for staining various surfaces. But I have found it to be a non-issue so far. Bleach can easily remove it. Just be careful not to spill it over something that can't be bleached - like the currency notes, fine leather, costly carpets etc.

 

Krishna Ink stains can be removed with water (and soap, if required) if you notice them immediately. But once the ink dries, those stains can be stubborn due to the water and bleach resistance.

 

Be careful while handling either ink.

 

The Verdict

 

I like both the inks. Both Baystate Blue and Krishna Lyrebird Water Sapphire have character. I use both the inks regularly.

 

So which one to buy? The choice is yours.

 

IMG_20210613_160836.thumb.jpg.988a943bbbd3f4992a131fdad43ef6e9.jpg

 

 

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Excellent! Could serve as a reference for "How to post an Ink Comparison".

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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5 hours ago, lapis said:

Excellent! Could serve as a reference for "How to post an Ink Comparison".

 

6 hours ago, hari317 said:

Very detailed and interesting. Thanks. 

 

 

Thank you, @hari317 and @lapis

 

🙂

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As far as color goes, I not a great fan of BSB.  It's also not very UV resistant.  Don't know easy for you to get in India (especially since it might have been a limited run for a pen show) but I am starting to really like Noodler's Baltimore Canyon Blue -- it's less purple leaning than BSB and also doesn't have the feathering issues my bottle has.  And it's more water resistant and a more vibrant color than my previous favorite -- Noodler's Liberty's Elysium (exclusive to Goulet Pens).  But Krishna Lyrebird looks nice too, and might have more shading than Baltimore Canyon.

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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44 minutes ago, inkstainedruth said:

  Don't know easy for you to get in India (especially since it might have been a limited run for a pen show) 

 

It is available on Amazon, but is terribly expensive. The original price is shown as INR 19317 (~ USD 264!!), but they offer a discount of 75% for some weird reason.

 

I went for it only because I happened to receive a small windfall on the day I was reading about the ink.

 

(Hopefully what I have isn't a fake product).

 

 

44 minutes ago, inkstainedruth said:

But Krishna Lyrebird looks nice too, and might have more shading than Baltimore Canyon.

 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

Yes, Krishna Lyrebird Water Sapphire is an ink worth trying if you can get it delivered to your country. The ink is just USD 3.4, but shipping costs could be high though.

 

 

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I think that Vanness might carry it (they have a huge number of brands, especially ones that nobody else in the US carries).  And they sell samples, so I'm not out a lot of money if I decide I *don't* like an ink.

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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12 hours ago, txomsy said:

Excellent review! Thank you so very much!

 

6 hours ago, yazeh said:

Great job. Agree wholeheartedly with lapis:thumbup:

 

Thank you! 🙂

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  • 4 weeks later...

WONDERFUL WORK. Thank you!

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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Extremely well presented and helpful comparison. I dont have to burn a hole in my pocket for a waterproof ink here in India. 

 

It's great that we have options that are made in india.

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9 hours ago, Lithin Mylapur said:

Extremely well presented and helpful comparison. I dont have to burn a hole in my pocket for a waterproof ink here in India. 

 

It's great that we have options that are made in india.

 

Yes Lithin, Krishna waterproof ink is waterproof enough for most practical purposes and it very cheap too.

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