I primarily work with gradients of grey and black, and occasionally tones of earth, so these constitute the main part of my ink collection. A couple of times my passion for purple has kicked in, I consider adding my thoughts of those darlings as well – I guess we’ll se.
De Atramentis Document Black Ink
When it comes to resilience, De Atramentis Document Black Ink is my top horse.
It was created to be safe for use on official documents, and I believe it is. Besides being pH-neutral and resistant to tampering from heat and solvents it features exceptional lightfastness and waterproofness – like you can hold your paper under the running tap without affecting the ink.
Only downside is, surprisingly enough, fading when erasing excessive pencil marks if you have sketched before writing.
It’s smooth, doesn’t feather or bleed badly, and is one of a few waterproof inks suitable for fountain pens.
Lamy T52 Ink
Lamy T52 Black Ink
The Lamy T52 Black ink doesn’t leave you with a luxurious impression, but it is a perfectly fine, affordable, everyday ink.
Feels and looks a bit watery and shows some tone variety with a bit of magenta and a gray-gold component appearing once the ink is dry.
It is well behaved, has little feathering on most paper and a decent drying time.
The ink bottles of the Lamy T52 are rather handy as they have a cavity at the bottom for easy extraction of the last drops of ink and a built-in roll of blotting paper.
Lamy T53 Crystal Ink
Watery is not what comes to mind when you open a bottle of a Lamy T53 ink. It is rich with an exceptional color intensity and a smooth finish.
The Ink is presented in a nice compact bottle, with a wide opening, making it great for dip pen calligraphy.
Lamy T53 Benitoite Crystal Ink
A grayish blue.
Lamy T53 Obsidian Crystal Ink
A rich black with a touch of green. A bit viscous and taking quite a while to dry, but no feathering.
Mont Blanc Mystery Black
The Mont Blanc Mystery Black belongs at the top of my stationery supplies must-have list.
The color is awesome with a spectrum ranging from slate grey to deep black while hiding a purple shade – almost like a super dark purple appearing black and with the most delicate matte finish.
Mont Blanc mystery Black is my favorite ink for dip pen calligraphy, leaving the nib in a perfect line whether or not pressure is added.
In a fountain pen the ink performs pleasantly as well – nice and smooth with a good, consistent flow.
It is one of the least feathering inks I own, even on crappy paper – and dries up fairly fast. It is however anything but water resistant, it just flushes away. Handy when cleaning your pen, not so nice if you happen to spill water on your writings.
Due to the genius design I have to mention the bottle as well. Beautiful, luxuriously heavy with a stiletto like shape, creating a small well to fill when the level of ink runs low, a brilliant combination of elegance and functionality.