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Diamine Purple Dream (150th Anniversary II)


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Diamine Purple Dream (150th Anniversary II)


The ink maker from Liverpool is one of the staple brands in ink-land. They consistently produce solid inks for a very reasonable price. In 2017, Diamine released their second ink series to commemorate their 150th Anniversary. I obtained my set shortly thereafter, but more or less forgot about them when my attention drifted to Japanese inks. About time to do the reviews. Fortunately, these anniversary inks are still easily obtainable, so if you like what you see you can still get them.



Purple Dream is a nicely saturated purple that looks quite lovely. This is what I consider a “standard” purple – not too blue, not too red – but just bang in the middle. It’s a colour that works great for daily journaling, but is a bit too colourful for me to use at work. As we are used to from Diamine, the ink performs well and writes a saturated line in all nib sizes. Shading is present with F nibs and above, but fairly unobtrusive – there is not a lot of contrast between the light and darker parts. 



The ink itself is on the wet side: combine it with wet pens, and you get a deeply saturated purple line that almost – but not totally – drowns out the shading. With dry pens shading is more prominently visible, and can look quite stunning. Purple Dream works well with both white and cream paper. With low-quality paper, there is a tiny bit of feathering, and you can expect a fair amount of show-through and bleed-through.

This Purple Dream is one of three purple colours in the 150 Anniversary II Series. Its siblings are Lilac Night and Burgundy Royale. Lilac Night is a beautiful muted blue-grey-purple that I really enjoy.  Burgundy Royale is a reddish purple that has an old-rose quality to it – usually not my type of colour, but for some reason I find this Diamine implementation really attractive. I’m definitely going to explore this one in the near future.



To illustrate the colour span of Purple Dream, I did a swab on 52 gsm Tomoe River paper, where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This Purple Dream has a fairly narrow colour span, with not much contrast between the light and darker parts. This translates to unobtrusive shading when writing. Shading is definitely there (starting with F nibs and above) but remains fairly low. Just enough to accentuate that you’re writing with a fountain pen.



On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – the ink showed lots of smearing, but the text itself remains crips and clear. Water resistance is totally absent – most colour disappears from the page, leaving only some purple smudges. From the chroma, I expected a bit more water resistance, but that is not the case.



I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On each scrap of paper I show you:

  • An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip
  • 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation
  • An ink scribble made with a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen
  • The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib
  • A small text sample, written with the Lamy Safari M-nib
  • Source of the quote, written with an F-nib Pelikan M600
  • Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari)

The multi-paper writing test shows that Purple Dream can handle most papers well, looking good on both white and cream paper. There is a small amount of feathering on low-quality paper, but nothing really extreme. With cheap paper, you do get a lot of see-through and some bleed-through, making it nigh impossible to use the backside of the paper. Drying times were mostly around the 10 second mark with the Lamy Safari M-nib.







Because scans don't always capture an ink's colour and contrast with good precision, I also add a few photos to give you an alternative look on this Diamine ink. To my eye, the scans show the ink a bit too light, the photos a bit too dark – reality is a bit in between.





Writing with different nib sizes
The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing (written on Rhodia N°16 80 gsm paper). All samples were written with a Lamy Safari. I also added a couple of visiting pens: a Pelikan M605 with F-nib, and an Edison Collier with M-nib. Purple Dream looks good in all pens, but shading is most visible with the dry-writing Lamy pen.



Related inks
To compare Diamine Purple Dream with related inks, I use my nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test – all in a very compact format. This Purple Dream seems to occupy the central space between more blue- and red-leaning purples. Perfectly mixed, and a pleasure to the eye!



Inkxperiment – event horizon
As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I’m reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and these single-ink drawings are great for exploring the colour-range nuances that are present in the ink. I love doing them! 

Inspiration for this drawing comes from the Sagitarius A* black-hole picture, released to the world on May 12, 2022. Astronomers, using the Event Horizon Telescope, released the first image of the accretion disk around the event horizon of Sagitarius A*, the supermassive black hole sitting at the center of our own galaxy. I used the concept of an “event horizon” as central theme in the inkxperiment drawing.



I started with an A5 piece of 300 gsm watercolour paper.  I wetted two circular rings surrounding the top-left and bottom-right corners of the paper, and applied some pure ink using a brush. These circular areas constitute the event horizon. I then used cotton Q-tips to draw in the houses within the horizon – these are elongated and being drawn into the singularity present in the corners of the page. Between the two singularities, a distorted starry background appears, drawn with Q-tips and different water-ink ratios. The stars were added with a B-nibbed fountain pen. I finally did a final pass over the drawing, adding some finishing touches. Purple Dream turns out to be a really nice ink to draw with. It’s easy and fun to use, and the resulting drawing gives you a good idea of what can be achieved with this Diamine ink in a more artsy context.



Inkxpired – computational art
I love experimenting with pen/ink/paper, and am now adding another layer as part of the hobby. I’m exploring computational art, inspired by the ink drawings I do during ink reviews. Another fun offshoot of the hobby… and all that starting with a few drops of dye-coloured water on paper.

Starting from the “event horizon” drawing, I applied some filters to the drawing (using the Oilist app on iPad), and then stitched two mirrored copies of the result together. What you get is a picture of a Yoda statue, sitting in its Jedi Shrine. Cool!



Diamine Purple Dream is a lovely-looking purple, that for me embodies the concept of a “standard” purple. The ink works well with both white and cream paper, and writes fairly wet and well-saturated in all nib sizes. I enjoyed experimenting with it – both for writing and drawing -  and can definitely recommend it if you enjoy purple inks. 

Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib




Backside of writing samples on different paper types








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  • amberleadavis


  • PithyProlix


  • inkstainedruth


  • namrehsnoom


Great review as always, @namrehsnoom! :)  You've successfully made me want a glass of grape juice. ;)


Love your event horizons and computational variant.


58 minutes ago, namrehsnoom said:

What you get is a picture of a Yoda statue, sitting in its Jedi Shrine. Cool!

:lol: Fabulous!

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+1 to @LizEF comment!


What a great review @namrehsnoom, a pleasure to read and so much enjoyment to look at your images.

This is a nice and elegant purple and an almost must have in the collection.

Thank you for the effort you put into your reviews! 🖖

One life!

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Great review, as always.  You always do such cool artwork, too, namrehsnoom!

Looking at the image of the swabs, it appears (at least on my screen) that Purple Dream is a tad less red-leaning than Edelstein Amethyst.  So possibly worth trying at least a sample of Purple Dream (not sure how I missed the ink before... :headsmack:).

So thanks for the review.  My wallet, of course, is inventing new swearwords just for the occasion.... :blush:

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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@kestrel  I think you will like this one!


@namrehsnoom  Your reviews are amazing. 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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Great, fun, and interesting review, as always!


For my tastes, the color is a 4 out of 10. I don't like it much but I don't hate it either - more a very mild dislike. 


By the way, I bought a bottle of Lilac Night largely on the basis of your review a few months ago. Now, that's one I really like! Thanks!

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Italic when I'm inclined. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis

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Thank you for such an inspiring review. I see the force has been with you :thumbup:

@InesF I loved the Trekkie, salutation ;)


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Thank you all for the nice comments. Glad you enjoyed reading the review as much as I enjoyed.making it.


On 6/27/2022 at 2:58 PM, PithyProlix said:

By the way, I bought a bottle of Lilac Night largely on the basis of your review a few months ago. Now, that's one I really like! 

I agree… Lilac Night is a top-notch ink. Of the three purples, it’s the one I enjoy the most. I’m reserving final judgment on Burgundy Royale until I take a closer look at it, but from first experience it seems like an intriguing colour.


On 6/27/2022 at 4:24 PM, yazeh said:

Thank you for such an inspiring review. I see the force has been with you :thumbup:

@InesF I loved the Trekkie, salutation ;)

I didn’t manage to get a Spock statue, and anyway Spock-in-a-shrine wouldn’t be “logical” (raising my eyebrow). Anyways I enjoy both universes, but - like Sheldon - my heart goes where no one has gone before. 

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