Platinum announced a new series of iron gall Inks ‘the Classic Inks’ in January with six colors: Cassis black, Forest black, Citrus black, Khaki black, Sepia black, and Lavender black. And ever since they came out earlier this month, I’ve wanted to give them a try, and I could not have been more happy with them.
The first ink of the bunch is Cassis black (#15), a really pleasant magenta-red ink that over time fades darker, and over a period of years, should fade to black. The ink, although sold by Platinum, was actually created by an iron-gall mastermind by the name of pGary who had created a blue-black iron gall for Platinum in the past.
Modern iron-gall inks are a bit of an enigma. For the most part, they are safe for use in pens, but often are some of the more high-maintenance inks available, as, without cleaning, they can corrode the metal of a pen or leave a really difficult to remove sediment in the feed. For a really detailed read on IG inks written by the creator of KWZ inks, click here, (I highly recommend it).
Anyway, the ink itself comes in a very pleasantly-designed 60 mL bottle—Its shape resembles that of a tall rectangle with convex sides, and it is very nice for storage (similar to Noodlers). The bottle also has a decently wide neck, so most pens should fit inside. However, there is a plastic secondary reservoir which might prove a bit of a challenge for larger pens—although it is quite tall so most nibs should be able to fit inside. Nevertheless, it can be removed if you find it annoying.
The ink itself is astonishingly pretty. Going in, I—based off of my previous experiences with iron-gall ink—was rather pessimistic as I thought the ink would be rather dark and dreary. However, the Cassis is almost the opposite. Named for the liquor made from a blackcurrant, the ink is quite colorful and vibrant without being eye-piercing.
Cassis black has very nice shading (but no sheen) and is extremely well behaved on almost all papers (I have used it on papers anywhere from Clairefontaine to news-stock and, even on the worst paper possible, it didn’t feather at all and it barely bled through. As a student, this particularly helpful as, often, the paper made available to me is over a rather low caliber—but this ink tackles it without an issue. The ink is also decently water-resistant, and likewise, I found it somewhat difficult to wash is both off my hands and my desk when it spilled (so try to keep it safely inside the pen at all times).
However, far and away, the coolest thing about the inks its color change. The ink looks like a bright red from inside a converter. However, after touching paper, the ink rapidly transforms from an almost cherry-candy red to a deep magenta. (The entire process takes about forty seconds or so to go through fully). However, on more absorbent papers, the effect happens immediately so it is not as obvious. On top of this, the ink also shades beautifully in any nib from extra fine to double broad.
The ink is currently available only in Japan (I purchased it from Rakuten who ships to the US). However, it seems to be coming soon to Goulet Pens so keep your eyes out there. The ink costs ¥2160 on Rakuten or $25.00 from Goulet when available (Goulet also will also have samples for $1.75).
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