A New Rose Gold Ink & Shimmering Ink Experiences

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to draw and sketch with shimmering inks. I love sweeping my water brush over the sparkling colors and seeing the ink move around. Right now, half of my pens are filled with shimmering particles of various colors. I saw a new sparkling ink popped on my radar a few weeks ago and there was a lot of chatter about a rose gold shimmer. I saw a picture of the ink swatch, but it was hard to tell if this ink was going to wow me.

I was able to get my hands on a new bottle of ink for 2021 called Rose Gold Antiqua by Robert Oster. It’s a beautiful pinky ink and to me it’s a tiny bit on the dry side. Not wet and not too dry. Somewhere in between.

Here’s my Platinum Procyon Luster in Rose Gold and filled with this new ink

The actual base ink color is more of a dusky pink. I was able to validate the shimmer color by looking at the bottom of my bottle and saw a ton of rose gold shimmers staring back at me.

Close up of my swatch card and all that rose gold shimmery particles!

I knew ahead of time I would be keeping this ink color in rotation and I selected my Platinum Procyon Luster in Rose Gold pen. Most Platinum pens have the “slip ‘n seal” caps which keeps the nib/feed nice and wet. I’m pretty sure I will keeping this ink in this pen for at least two or more weeks.

I was able to write my pen & ink entry into my ink journal and do a quick sketch on my Rhodia paper along with a writing sample. Oh my! A ton of rose gold shimmers can be seen all over my paper.

Of course I have to share my writing sample and sketch

I left my pen on my desk overnight and came back to write some notes. I noticed my handwriting was getting lighter and lighter in color and finally no ink flowed out of the nib. Yes! We have a clog! Day #2! Hahaha!

I primed the nib with a damp paper towel. Removing any excess ink blob under the tip of the nib and at the top edge of the feed where it meets the nib. I also wiped the top of the nib and breather hole to make sure ink was still flowing. It was! Good sign!

I did my typical squiggles and lines across my paper to get the ink flowing into the nib. Still nothing. I primed my nib again and then decided to dip the nib and feed into some water. Again I wiped any signs of an ink blob under the tip of the nib. A few squiggles and my beautiful dusty rose ink was flowing again! Except, the rose gold shimmers were no where to be found. Where did they go?

I went ahead and stored my Procyon pen in a pen cup with its nib up. I wanted to wait and see how the pen and ink would perform a few hours later and the next day (Day #3).

Day #3 arrived and I found my Procyon writing brilliantly. Slowly, the rose gold shimmers started to appear again and I was writing a few paragraphs in my journal.

Day #4. I was able to write a sentence and then the ink slowly faded across my paper. Another clog! Primed. Squiggles. Dipped in water. Squiggles. Primed. Squiggles. It’s writing again.

This Rose Gold Antiqua reminds me of RO’s Australis Rose ink color without the shimmers of course. It definitely has more pink than his other shimmering Rose Gilt Tynte ink. Rose Gold Antiqua is lighter and not as “rosy” as his Blood Rose shimmering ink.

My favorite shimmering pink ink is still Robert Oster Blood Rose. It’s a true medium pink color that’s easy on the eyes and readable on paper.


For the last two weeks, I’ve been experiencing some clogging issues with my pens and shimmering inks. Some are not playing well together. I’m thinking it has to do with the timing in which I fill the converters. Yes, I give the bottles a decent shake and make sure the shimmers are mixed with the ink. I do immediately fill my pens. Maybe I should have waited 45-60 seconds before dipping my pen into the bottle. Do I want to fill my pen right away and maximize the ink’s characteristics? Or do I wait a bit to avoid having my pen clog? Priorities! Hahaha!

With the Robert Oster inks, I have had a few issues with the Schwarz Rose (TWSBI Diamond 580ALR-medium), Heart of Gold (TWSBI GO-stub1.1), and now Rose Gold Antiqua (Platinum Procyon-medium). I have been storing the pens nib up overnight to avoid further clogs. Over the next few days, it will interesting to see how these three pens perform as I will be carrying them in pen cases and not nib up all the time.

The other ink I had clogging issues with is Diamine Enchanted Ocean in my TWSBI GO with a stub 1.1 nib. Rarely, do I have an issue with Diamine shimmers. This will also be in my pen case for the next few days. We’ll see how it does as well.

My other current shimmering ink Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide is in my Conklin Endura Abalone (JoWo Omniflex nib) and performing brilliantly. No issues at all. I have not had any reason to store this pen nib up. It’s been writing flawlessly. As soon as the nib hits the paper, the ink is flowing nicely.

I’m sharing a bit of experience here. No need to be afraid to use shimmering inks. It’s just a matter of knowing how to remove the visible clogs, getting the ink to flow, and mostly enjoying the beautiful sparkling ink colors.

An Interesting Ink: Schwarz Rose

A few pen-friends mentioned and recommended Schwarz Rose to me, but that color never made it onto my inky wish list. Initially, I thought the ink was too dark for me to use. Was it a black ink color? Or a green? Was that a pinky shimmer I saw?

As I was placing my last ink order for the year, this ink appeared on my radar again. I thought let’s give this ink a try. I’m so glad I did!

Oooops! I misspelled Schwarz. There is no “t” in the name.

Can you see what this ink is doing in the above picture? There is so much color and so much shimmer. I am talking rose gold shimmers. The ink itself is a dark saturated green color. In certain lighting the ink color can look almost black. Did I mention the rose gold shimmers? I had to tilt the bottle over to see what shimmering color was sitting at the bottom of the bottle. Some folks mentioned copper, but to me it looks more like rose gold.

Wow! Right?

How about a few close up pictures?

A lot of shimmer came out of my pen!
It looks pinky/rose gold to me!

I have to add that a few minutes after writing my sample and creating my quick sketch, my TWSBI stopped writing. Squiggles and lines on my paper produced nothing. I primed my nib with a damp paper towel. A few lines came out and then the ink stopped flowing.

Here’s the results of trying to get the TWSBI and ink to work. You can see the ink is trying to flow. My test paper is a sheet of HP Premium 32.

I ended up dipping my nib/feed into some water. I could see the ink flowing out and swirls of color floating in the water. After a few more scribbles and lines, the ink was flowing again. I decided to leave my TWSBI alone and let the ink settle down. I stored the pen nib up in my pen cup.

An hour later, I went to check on my pen and it is writing nice and wet. So, I’ll place my pen nib up in the pen cup for a few more hours and write a few paragraphs in my journal to make sure the ink is flowing.

This ink is beautiful and stunning at the same time. The ink has a lot of personality. It’s an interesting dark green color and I’m looking forward to using this ink in my pen/ink water wash sketches.

(“J”: This is another fab color! The rose gold shimmers really stand out against the dark green! You made another great choice! BTW…still waiting)

My Ink…Finally Arrived

Note: This had nothing to do with shipping issues, other than my bottle of ink made a pit stop in Houston on Christmas eve before arriving to its final destination. I’ve been waiting for this ink since the middle of September.

What say you? I did a pre-order for this ink. I knew just by looking at the color that this ink would be special. I waited. Patiently. Saw other online shops were slowly getting their inventory. There were a few times I was going to jump ship and go with another online store, but I was getting a really good price for this ink. So, I waited some more. My online shop of choice was more than likely going to be the last one to get theirs. They did. Right before Christmas. They immediately shipped my bottle which probably ended up in one of those USPS pictures you saw where boxes were piled so high at the sorting facility. Hahaha!

Introducing Jacques Herbin’s latest addition: Vert Atlantide. This ink was worth the wait!

You can see in the picture that my Conklin Abalone was going to be a perfect match for this Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Not my chrome trim version, but my rose gold version.

Now, I have prior experience with using Jacques Herbin shimmering inks. Personally, it’s the best shimmering ink to use in a non-vintage fountain pen. Jacques Herbin shimmering inks are wet inks. They have less shimmering particles in their inks versus Diamine or Robert Oster. It would appear that the pens would be easier to clean. It is, but you still may have some shimmering residuals to deal with. Still, it won’t be loads of particles that you would see from the other two brands I just mentioned. Okay. Onto more pictures….

I actually made a mistake in my sketch of the bottle. There’s a lighter green shade at the bottom of the bottle that’s not the Vert Atlantide ink. I accidentally picked up the wrong pen which had Monteverde Olivine and used it for the shadows. Ooooops! Still, looks pretty cool!

Note: Make sure you read my caption in the picture. Ooooops! That’s what happens when I have too many pens on my desk and reach for the wrong one while I’m sketching.

This Vert Atlantide shimmering ink is…beautiful! I love a good green color. Not too dark and not too light or bright. This one lands right in the middle. I was going through my other color swatches and the closest color that I have (non-shimmering) is Robert Oster Sydney Darling Harbour. So, if you are looking for a shimmering version of Sydney Darling Harbour…Vert Atlantide is a great choice.

I think Robert Oster has the closest match. You can also see how dry the Graf von Faber-Castell ink is in comparison to the other two. That’s what I typically find with Faber-Castell…they are dry inks.

I gave my bottle a good shake and checked the bottom of the bottle to make sure no shimmers were stuck. After a good shaking (of any bottle), l always do my ink swatches. That gives the ink time to mix, settle, and bubbles to disappear. After the swatching, I can give the ink bottle a gentle shake and fill my pen.

When I was filling my Abalone pen, I made sure I dipped my pen all the way into the shimmers. I wanted to see everything this ink had to offer!

You can see how much shimmer is on my swatch card, including my writing. There’s silver and gold shimmers!

You can see how wet this ink is on my swatch card. Hardly any streaks towards the bottom. Oh the shimmers! Not too much to distract from the color. Beautiful intense ink color. Easy on the eyes to read. Oh and did I mention the subtle shimmers of silver and gold?

Remember to ignore the light green at the bottom 1/3 of the bottle. Wrong color. My boo-boo.

This “350” ink is an anniversary ink celebrating the launch of the Jacques Herbin brand in 1670 (Paris). It’s a limited edition ink. I’m not sure what that means, but there are still plenty of bottles available online.

Jacques Herbin did a great job with this color and the blend of different shimmers. This might be my favorite shimmer for 2020. That says a lot about this ink.

How Do I Swatch My Fountain Pen Ink Colors?

Believe it or not, I started creating my ink swatches six months after I started down my fountain pen rabbit hole. The few bottles I started with grew into a dozen bottles and well you know the rest.

I saw that my fellow fountain pen-folk were using rectangle cards on a ring for their swatches. A quick search produced: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Book.

Here are the basic tools I use to create my swatch samples. The Col-o-Ring book contains 100 cards.

I use regular Q-tips to dip into the ink and swipe across the card. My Col-o-ring swatch cards held together with a binder ring. My glass dip pen I use to write information on my cards.

I will typically set aside a block of time to sit and swatch my colors. Usually, that means I have a handful of sample vials or a few bottles of ink that are waiting in a queue. Remember. I have a small work area and tools (ink towel, shop towels, etc) have to be collected and placed on my desk. Think of a quick setup and quick tear down. Hahaha!

On my desk, I alway have two Oui yogurt jars filled with water. Plus a jam jar for dipping dirty pens. One of the two Oui jars is filled with clean water.

I use a small crystal candle holder to hold my sample vial of ink to keep it from toppling over. I actually found a few at Hobby Lobby when they were having their 50% off candle sale.

My crystal candle holder containing a sample vial of ink. My two glass dip pens. The blue-purple pen is my latest addition. This has a slender grip that will fit all the way into the sample vial.

Basically, I start by taking my glass dip pen and dipping the nib into the ink. Just enough to cover up to the first swirl of the nib or about 1/2″ from the tip. I will write the ink brand (Diamine, Monteverde, Colorverse, etc) and the name of the ink. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing figure eights and cross hatches followed by quick scribbles with the ink. After I’ve completed the writing, I will wipe off the ink on the nib. A few dips into a jar of water will remove the remaining ink. I wipe the glass nib and get the towel into the groves/swirls to remove the water.

Next, I will take a Q-tip and dip the fuzzy part twice into the ink and then again for the third time. This will allow the ink to saturate the fuzzy part of the Q-tip. Now, I’m ready to swab my card. I swab the card using the side of my Q-tip, going left to right and move the Q-tip further down the card, left to right, until I get to the bottom edge. It’s better to do this swabbing quickly before the ink starts to dry out on the Q-tip.

Once each card is completed, I always place the cap back onto the bottle. One time I was distracted and I almost toppled a bottle of ink over. Yes. I forgot to replace the cap on the bottle when I was finished.

Here’s an example of my swatch cards. You can see my newer swatches now have the dabbled ink on the top half.

You’ll see some dots on my cards. I drop bits of water while the card is still damp and let it dry. This gives me an idea of what the base or underlying color might be. Also if it’s a sheening ink, what color will show up on the card.

In the following picture, I want to point out several things. You can see the Q-tip I used and how far I dip the tip into the ink. My blue shop towels I use to clean my pens. I find the blue shop towels to be very durable and produces no lint. From the swatch cards you can start see some lighter base colors and rings of dark color around the water drops. The colorful towel underneath used to be a white wash cloth.

My completed swatch cards waiting to dry

With certain inks, the initial or top part of the swatch will be very saturated with color and take longer to dry. Towards the bottom the color will get slightly lighter.

Here’s a few samples I did recently:

Swatches from sample vials of Colorverse inks. Note the beautiful undertones/base colors and the dark rings around the water drops.
Here’s the backside of the Colorverse swatches. I note the basic color and if the ink has any sheen or shading properties.
Here’s a sample of new Robert Oster inks.
The backside of the Robert Oster swatches. The two top cards are shimmering inks and I’ve noted what color the shimmer leans towards.

I currently have three Col-0-Rings in use. One is used for sample inks from the sample vials. Another is used for Robert Oster inks (because I have so many). The last one is used for other bottles of ink brands (Diamine, JHerbin, Blackstone, Ferris Wheel Press, Taccia, Sailor, Monteverde, etc). As you can imagine that one is getting full with the included 1-1/2″ binder ring. I may end splitting into a 4th ring. Still deciding.


The glass dip pen I use has several swirls above the nib versus straight lines. I found having the swirls allows for more ink to settle into the grooves. I can write longer and dip my pen less often.

A brand new glass dip pen may feel scratchy at first. Take a sheet of paper and practice writing with the new glass pen. Dip the nib into some ink and just write a few quotes, to do lists, favorite musicians, etc. This will help you develop a “feel” for the glass pen and how it writes. Also, the glass tip/nib will smooth out the more you write with it.

For sample vials that have less than 2ml of ink, I have a slender glass dip pen that I can place all the way into the vial. The one that I have shown in the above pictures, the wide grip area is too wide for the vials. At most, I can dip the pen and barely reach the 2ml mark on sample vial.

I use both ends of my Q-tip for swatching. That would mean I get ink on my fingers from the previous ink color. No worries.

Can swap out the binder rings for different size rings. In my case, the binder ring started to get loose from all the color sorting I was doing. Eventually, the ring would not lock tight. I purchased extra rings at my local office supply store. The extra rings, allow me to also create several different books.

My Fountain Pen Inks

Last year (April 2019) when I began my fountain pen adventure, I bought my first one from JetPens. It was a Pilot Metropolitan Gray Houndstooth with a Medium Italic nib. I had no idea what a converter was and so just used cartridges that came with the pen. I also purchased a Pilot Plumix set that came with different colored cartridges. I was happy and thought that’s all I need. Then I saw the tiny and cute Kaweco pens. Back to JetPens and a shopping cart that included the Kaweco AL Sport in Stonewashed Blue. Oh yeah. I needed ink cartridges to work with that pen. Into my cart went the box of Diamine mixed ink set of 18 cartridges. Oh the beautiful colors that were in my first box!

That’s how it started for me. I eventually learned about bottles of inks. The only way to use the bottles was with a converter. So I made sure the pens I purchased included a converter. Yes, I had to purchase one of those Pilot CON-40 converter for my Pilot Metro pen. I did not enjoy using the metal & rubber squeeze converter that was included.

My first purchased bottle of ink was Diamine Ancient Copper from Goulet Pen Company. The next bottles were “document inks” from De Atramentis in brown, dark blue, grey followed by red and then turquoise. Think artwork and watercolor washes over my sketches. I dabbled with Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo and loved how they packaged their ink. I added a few other Iroshizuku colors (Kon Peki, Shin Kai, Tsuki Yo, Syo Ro, Ku Jaku, Ama Iro, Asa Gao, etc) to my small ink bottle stash. A few more Diamine inks were added (Rustic Brown, Aurora Borealis, Syrah, Purple Dream, Imperial Purple, Earl Gray, Asa Blue, etc).

I went to my first local fountain pen show and sat for a few hours at an “ink table” where there were bottles of inks everywhere. In different shapes. Different sizes. I brought my disc journal with me and borrowed a dip pen. It was crazy and so new to me. I started to grab bottles of inks and then confusion set in immediately. Being the methodical person I am, I scanned the table to see what brands I was dealing with. In front of my chair sat Graf von Faber-Castell bottles. I lined them up and started to write and swab on my paper. Next was Monteverde. Then I had to move. To the next available chair. That’s when I met Robert Oster Signature inks. Oh my! Next came Noodler’s Ink, JHerbin, Private Reserve, and Sailor inks.

Next thing I knew I was ordering the Robert Oster ink samples from Goulet and various other online shops. I was hooked.

Here’s my current collection on swatch cards. Oooops! I’m missing about 1/2 dozen ink colors that I recently acquired. (Will be back to update this post with additional pictures). Until then:

Robert Oster gets his own card ring as I have a lot of his ink colors
I store his inks in a decorative box
This container holds the 15 ink colors I will be using for the current month and possibly the next month
This container holds 9 bottles of my favorite ink colors. This will change depending on the season.
Here’s a side profile of my plastic holder. It’s suppose to be a lipstick holder with 1-1/4″ slots that hold my bottles of inks. This one holds 15 bottles.

Yes. I’ve made an investment in his inks. Initially, I used his inks for artwork. I started out with many of his blues and teals. He is well known for his blue inks. When I started to use his inks on Tomoe River Paper and in my Stalogy journals that was when I noticed the shading/sheening properties of his ink.

I haven’t had any issues with his inks. His inks are easy to clean out of my pens. On average his inks flow extremely well. Some wetter than others.

I’m also experimenting with other brands of ink. The last two months I’ve been enjoying Taccia, Sailor, Colorverse, Blackstone, Rohrer & Klingner, and a few others.

Here are ink swatches that were on my desk the last two months. Ink colors waiting for their turn to be used. I’m venturing out into other colors and brands. I have way too many blues and needed more greens and reds.

I will be back to do a post on how I create my swatch cards and the tools I use. Stay tuned!