Platinum Citrus black is an extremely unique, fascinating ink. A brand new offering from Platinum as part of their Classic Ink series, Citrus black is an iron gall ink with fantastic color and some fascinating features.
The ink comes in the standard cardboard Platinum box—which is actually rather ornate as far as ink boxes go. The paper itself is textured and the box is coated in an ink which is a very close facsimile to the ink itself. The 60 mL bottle is likewise well-crafted. It has a wide neck and a nice, easily storable, rounded-cube shape. Inside the bottle is an inner ink-cone whose purpose is supposedly make filling easier at lower levels. If I have one gripe about the bottle, it is this cone. It is so narrow that by the time the nib has gone fully into the cone, there is really only 0.2 – 0.3 mL of ink left to fill—so—a complete fill requires flipping the bottle and refilling the cone two or three times. Fortunately though, the cone is easily removable, so I can’t be all that mad.
Now—the ink. Citrus black is easily one of the more fascinating inks I have ever gotten to use. This is all due to its properties as an Iron Gall—namely—its color-shifting. When it goes onto paper, the ink is a bright, candy yellow color. However, within seconds, the ink starts to shift towards a more light-olive shade. Here is a video on the color shift. And, I have to say, the final color is actually quite pleasant. While I wouldn’t necessarily advise it for business correspondence, it is easy on the eyes and perfectly legible (which is a rarity amongst yellow inks).
On top of this, the ink also has fascinating shading—parts of characters can go from a pale yellow-olive to a dark green-amber hue. The ink also has some pretty interesting sheening—a gold sparkle—however, it really only shoes if the ink is irrationally heavy on the paper. Although, I have not yet had the chance to test it on Tomoe River, so I will update the review when I manage to get my hands on some. The ink is also quite water resistant—actually, there is a decent chance that the ink will eat through the paper before it ever has a chance to fade. (As is to be expected with an iron gall). And the ink is decently quick drying—it’ll take around 20 seconds.
The ink is also very well behaved on less expensive papers. On newsprint, the ink barely feathered (although it did bleed a bit). On cheap copy paper, however, the ink didn’t even bleed through at all. Although, when you write on absorbent papers, the ink goes straight to it’s olive color, so you lose the shifting and the shading.
However, there is one extreme negative about the ink—its corrosiveness. I tested this ink in a gold-nibbed Pilot Custom 74, where there were no problems. However, there were quite a few problems in the converter. The CON-20 had started to stain a dark yellow, and the ink looked like it was about ready to start eating away at the converter. Although, this was after leaving this ink in the pen for a week without cleaning. Nevertheless, I would advise caution and not use this pen with steel-nibbed pens—its better to be safe than sorry.
On the whole however, I heartily enjoyed this ink, and, if you have a gold nib, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It comes in a 60mL bottle will be available soon from Goulet Pens for $25 in the US or for €24 from La Couronne du Comte in the Netherlands.
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