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Diplomat Deep Green


I've been a fan of Diplomat pens for the last several years. I did my first review on a Diplomat Traveller in December of 2013. It was a fine pen. Then the first Diplomat Aero in 2016. I maaaay have accumulated a few more Aeros and other Diplomats since that time. So, when I heard that they were making a line of inks, I had to get some. 

I reached out to Dromgoole's in Houston, TX and they sent me a few bottles to review. Thanks, Dromgoole's! 

So far, I've used three of the 7 inks that were sent to me, and they've all been different from one another. This one runs really wet. Another is quite dry. Another is very medium and erasable. It may be a brand about which you can't make generalizations, and that's fine I suppose. The performance of this ink is sort of all over the place, though. Look below to see what I mean. It bleeds and feathers where it shouldn't, but when you get it on the right papers it's really good. 

The bottles say that the ink is made by Octopus Fluids in Germany. I think it's cool to know that sort of thing, and I wish more brands would be upfront about their sources. I'm not familiar with Octopus Fluids, but I do like a cephalopod, so that's cool with me. 

Written Review:

Video Review:

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Close Ups:

You can see some feathering here on Rhodia. That's odd, for sure. But wait until you see how it works on some of the papers below. 

20# Copy Paper:

There's some feathering and a bit of bleeding on this copy paper, but not really much more than on Rhodia. That's weird.  

Inky Fingers Currently Inked Notebook:

So we've seen feathering on Rhodia (a coated paper that doesn't usually absorb ink), and some feathering on some bad office copy paper. This wheat straw paper, though, has no issues at all with Deep Green. It looks great and it doesn't feather or bleed at all. 

Tomoe River Ink Journal:

TR, of course, has no issues at all. 

Water Test:


Color Comparisons:

**This ink was sent to me for free for this review. That doesn't change what you're seeing here, and I don't think it affects my reviews. What you see is what I got. **

Private Reserve's New Daphne Blue


Private Reserve is an ink brand that I'm really familiar with. My first bottles of ink were Private Reserve. They were one of the only ink brands that I could get at the Paradise Pen stores in the Houston or Dallas Gallerias, and I have been using the inks since the 90s. I'd gone through bottles of Lake Placid Blue and a few others before I ever thought of blogging.

The brand has changed hands a few times over the last several years, and it is now owned by Yafa Brands. So, when I heard that they were bringing back the Private Reserve inks, I reached out to them and they sent me a selection of PR inks to review. So: Thanks Niv!

Private Reserve's Daphne Blue is a nice sky blue. I think it's a good color, though it's a little light for me. I think it's a bit on the wet side, and so this medium nib gave it a little too much freedom. It had a tendency to bleed and spread if it wasn't on good papers. And it did want to bleed a little on Rhodia, which was just strange. I don't have any particular reason why that would be. There weren't any problems on the wheat straw, Tomoe River, or other good papers I used.

I've used the original Daphne, but only in cartridges, and they are much darker. I think they've lost some water, though, so the ink has concentrated and I can't really compare them. I do have a swatch of the original, and that'll be in the comparisons below. 

One last thing. There was an issue with PR and "slime-in-the-bottle" a while back. It was a production issue with the previous owner, and Yafa says they've moved production to their "top of the line QC facility." Yafa makes good inks and stands behind them if there have been issues. I wouldn't worry. 

Written Review:


Close Ups:


Copy Paper Test:

Inky Fingers Currently Inked Journal (wheat straw paper):

Tomoe River Ink Journal:

Water Drop Test:


Video Review

Color Comparisons

Here's the comparison between the original and new Daphne Blue. It looks like the original is lighter, but it's sometimes difficult to judge old swatches on different papers. I think we just have to take the new one as it is.

 **This ink was provided for review by Yafa, the owners of the PR brand. That doesn't shape my review in any way I'm aware of. **

Taccia Ukiyo-e Hokusai-Sabimidori


This is the first of the Ukiyo-e inspired inks I've tried from Taccia, and it's extremely good. This is an ink whose color is a little difficult to pin down. The when it's wet, it's kind of a cerulean blue. As it dries it turns green and then develops a bronze sheen. It's just awesome. There are one or two other Hokusai themed inks that I want to try, but this is one that I'd really like to have a bottle of. I'm only waiting for it to come back into stock.

For more information about this line of inks, and a nice run down of the art that inspires them, you should check out Macciato Man's blog post


Look here for my video review: 


Copy Paper Test

Tomoe River Ink Journal

Inky Fingers Currently Inked Journal (Wheat Straw Paper)


Water Drop Test

Color Comparisons on Col-o-Dex Cards

** This ink sample was given to me by my friend Beth. That doesn't sway my review one way or another. What you see is what I got. **