Yesterday, the folks at J. Herbin released the new, and stunning Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural 1798 fountain pen ink, which is a deep purple ink with tiny silver flecks that give the ink a great sparkly sheen. Lucky for me and for all of our great readers like you, our friends at J. Herbin got us a bottle of this ink to test out before the official on sale date of September 1, 2017. This is their first ink in the Jacques Herbin 1798 Collection, and you can pre-order a bottle here from one of our sponsors, Pen Chalet as they seem to have the lowest price based on some quick searches. – Looks like the pricing may have been in error.
When you look at a bottle of Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural you can see the dark purple ink through the glass walls, but you don’t see the sheen of the silver flecks until you flip the bottle over, assuming its been sitting right side up for them to settle. Its really a great contrast of the light silver against the dark purple. I’ve seen a few forum and social media posts question why Herbin didn’t use gold flecks, but personally I think the gold wouldn’t pop as much against the dark purple. Opinions though, you know what they say about those, so take that with a grain of salt.
Inks such as the Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural show their beauty best when used in a fountain pen with a nice broad nib, so I loaded this up in a TWSBI thta has a 1.1mm stub nib. This wider nib lays down a thick line that gives the silver flecks a nice solid backdrop to glisten against.
While the use of a wide nib is key to appreciate the writing experience of the Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural Ink, it also doesn’t hurt to load it up in a demonstrator pen so you can enjoy the look of the silver flecks settling when you place the pen down. Keep in mind though that with ink like this you will not want to leave it in your pen any longer than truly necessary because it can cause some trouble in your feed and nib.
Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural 1798 Close Up Writing Sample and the Silver Flecks
Here is a close up look of a few printed letters with the Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural Ink and the 1.1mm TWSBI nib. You can see that the silver flecks are pretty evenly distributed and rather dense, but not so dense that they block out the great looking purple color of the ink. You will also note that on this Clairefontaine bright white paper, the ink handles really well. There is absolutely no feathering, minimal spreading, and there was no show through on the back of the page.
Simple writing with this ink lets you catch random glimpses of the silver flecks where some tend to be stronger and more vivid than others. I’m sure this has to do with the size, position, and how the light hits each fleck but I can’t exactly measure any of those things. The scribble tests on the right of the above Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural 1798 Purple writing sample gives you a bit of a wider background to get a better idea of how densely distributed the flecks are in a few random samples. When I loaded the pen, I did make sure to shake the bottle well to ensure none of the silver flecks had settled to the bottom.
Besides the writing sample, its always great with an ink like this to do some splatter type tests to see what kind of effects you can get with the ink. Depending on all kinds of variables you can get some places where the ink is dominated by the silver flecks, or other areas where they are almost impossible to even see. Overall though its just an amazing looking ink that seems to perform well and is definitely a head turner.
In a completely random bit of good luck, when I did the splatter test I got a cool little heart shaped effect with a pure silver heart and deep purple outline which I thought looked pretty awesome and definitely reflects some of my feeling for this ink.
A nice improvement between the Jacques Herbin Améthyst de l’Oural 1798 Bottle and the J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary inks is that both the cap and the opening of the bottles have been enlarged. The larger cap makes it a little easier to get on and off, and obviously the wider neck makes it a little easier getting your pen in there to fill it up with this lovely purple and silver ink.
If you are out and about shopping for this ink (starting on September 1st) here is the box you want to be looking for, its different from other Herbin brand packages so it should stick out. In the mean time though, as I mentioned before you can pre-order it at a few of the usual places online like our sponsor Pen Chalet, which you can do right here.