Ink Review: KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink writing sample

I’ve had KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise inked for about a month now, in two pens, a Lamy Safari with fine nib and a vintage Pelikan 400 with OBB nib.  Iron Gall Turquoise is an ink that feels well-lubricated and smooth flowing from the nib, but it’s also ever so slightly on the dry side.

That made Iron Gall Turquoise a perfect match for the vintage Pelikan. The ink flowed perfectly in that firehose Pelikan; it started up the instant the nib hit the paper, every time, even once after a week of not being used.  However, a Lamy Safari is a much drier pen than a vintage Pelikan, so if I left the Safari unused for a few days, I needed to scribble to get Iron Gall Turquoise flowing.

I really like how KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise looks.  The word that came to mind was “dramatic,” with its gorgeous deep color and beautiful shading.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink writing sample

That’s Tomoe River paper.  Here’s a better look at Iron Gall Turquoise on the cream-colored paper.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink writing sample

And here it is on Rhodia.  The top part is written with the Pelikan 400 with OBB nib, and the bottom with the Lamy Safari with fine nib. The ink color is consistent, but in the wider nib it looks lusciously rich, while it’s crisper from the fine nib.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink writing sample

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise behaved nicely on lower quality paper, as well.  Even with the very inky OBB nib, there was no feathering or bleedthrough, and showthrough was manageable.  Here’s a writing sample on Staples Sustainable Earth legal pad paper. Ignore the water drop: your blogger decided to try to take photos outside, at which point the outside decided to rain.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink writing sample

As you can guess from the rained-upon page above, KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise resisted water well.  When soaked, the blue and green dyes washed away, but an easily legible line remained even on smooth paper.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink water resistance

Like all the other KWZ inks I’ve used, cleaning Iron Gall Turquoise from a pen was very easy.  Actually, I’ve only cleaned out the Pelikan; I refilled the Safari, so it’s still going strong.

The color of Iron Gall Turquoise distinguishes it from traditional turquoise fountain pen inks, which tends to be more of a sky blue color.  Here is KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise in an array running from blue green, to a traditional blue black, to the traditional lighter blue turquoise.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink comparisons

In my ink collection, the ink that Iron Gall Turquoise most resembles is its stablemate KWZ Iron Gall Blue #6, which is a green-tinted blue black.

I’ll refer you to my Iron Gall Blue #6 review, here, if you’d like to compare to similar blue black inks.  Rather than go through that analysis again with Iron Gall Turquoise, instead I’ll compare KWZ Iron Gall Blue #6 and KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise.

KWZ Iron Gall Blue #6 and Turquoise

Let me emphasize that Iron Gall Turquoise is not green — it’s a green-blue mixture.  But compared to Iron Gall Blue #6, Iron Gall Turquoise does look slightly more green. Iron Gall Turquoise also shades more, is more water resistant and is a drier ink than Blue #6.

In contrast, Iron Gall Blue #6 is a bluer ink.  Both inks worked well for business or personal writing, but I do think of Iron Gall Blue #6 as slightly more business-like.

But, after enumerating those difference, I have to admit that sometimes, especially from the two Lamy Safaris with fine nibs, these two KWZ inks could look nearly identical.  I actually emailed KWZ to make sure that I hadn’t gone completely bonkers comparing the two inks.

Yes, the inks are different. The following photo should show both the differences and the similarities.  Both writing samples are from a Lamy Safari fine, on Rhodia. Iron Gall Turquoise is on the left, and Iron Gall Blue #6 is on the right. Do not stare at this photo too long, because you may join me in the looney bin.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink and Iron Gall Blue #6 comparisons

I did paper towel chromatography on both KWZ inks. Here is Iron Gall Turquoise alone.

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink chromatography

And here are both inks, with Iron Gall Blue #6 on the left and Iron Gall Turquoise on the right.

KWZ Iron Gall Blue #6 and Iron Gall Turquoise ink chromatography

Iron Gall Turquoise and Iron Gall Blue #6 are so interesting and attractive that I did something I never do: I kept four pens inked with these two inks for more than three weeks.  In fact, I wrote three of the four pens completely dry.

I was actually penning the writing samples for my reviews when I started running out of ink.  And then it started raining. As Robert Frost might say, something there is that does not love an ink review.

I do suspect that Iron Gall Turquoise is similar enough to Iron Gall Blue #6 that most people will choose one or the other. I like that KWZ has given us the choice.

I received a sample of Iron Gall Turquoise from KWZ Ink so I could review this ink.  A friend also gave me an additional sample, and that has allowed me to review it for a longer time.  KWZ Ink is available online from at least one US store and also directly from KWZ in Poland.  KWZ’s website contains excellent information about using and cleaning out iron gall inks.

6 thoughts on “Ink Review: KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise

  1. This ink is a winner. I love it so much I bought two bottles! Your reviews really are top-notch.

    I recently acquired a vial of Pharmacist’s Turkish Night. I’m going to compare it with this on my blog soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I used to have two bottles of Turkish Night, years ago, so I really look forward to your comparison. Turkish Night was a particularly striking ink, but I loved all Pharmacist’s inks — and what a nice person, too.

      It’s my recollection that Turkish Night had more dramatic color change than KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise, but it’s only dim memory now. 🙂 I probably prefer KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise, for both color and easy-going behavior, but I never actually compared the two, so I really can’t wait to see what you think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will have to photograph the swabs twice, to show the change. I recently got a full bottle of Urkundentinte from the FPN classifieds, I need to try that as well. That’s the seller who so kindly threw in the vial of Turkish Nights for free. I’ve always regretted missing out on Pharmacist’s inks, so this is a real treat.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I was too young to remember the first half clearly, so most of my awareness of trends etc is actually filled in later, from movies, photos, etc added to the memories I do have. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think you missed much *eyebrow arch* Besides, the nineties are retro now. Half of Instagram is a throwback 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This ink is great – the guys/gals at KWZ seemed to be on a real winning streak! – but I really want to see more of that lovely pale blue safari with the bright red clip! There is something so nineties about that color combination – it’s great! The good kind of nineties, I mean. The nineties in general do have a lot to answer for in terms of colors 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure, but I think the supply of special edition and annual edition Safaris is actually something Lamy hit upon in the 2000s. I can’t remember the 90s very clearly, though. Work plus motherhood. I didn’t see a movie that wasn’t a cartoon for at least seven straight years. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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