A kind friend sent me a sample of KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold, and I’ve been using it in two pens, a Pelikan with a broad nib, and a Lamy Al-Star with fine nib. It performed well in both, and I’d have to say “incredibly well” with the drier Lamy with the fine nib. In my experience these Lamys can be finicky about ink, too, so this was a good match.
KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold is lubricated enough to write fairly smoothly, but it isn’t super wet or super lubricated. After using it for a while I’ve decided it pretty much straddles the middle between wet and dry, perhaps falling slightly to the dry side. But KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold started up perfectly every time, even after I left the pens unused for days.
The inks shades very nicely, too. Here is what it looks like on Rhodia.
Dry time for KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold was slightly longer than average, but very workable. On Rhodia it was dry within 20 seconds with the fine nib and 30 seconds with the broad nib. It took longer to dry on Tomoe River paper, but it dried very quickly on normal paper.
However, while it dries, you get to watch a nice color change, because this is one of the KWZ iron galls that changes colors as it oxidizes. KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold initially has a brighter, almost fern green color, but the green softens and silvers as it dries down.
The color of KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold stayed consistent across pens and papers, but I think the cream background of Tomoe River paper emphasized its green and gold hues.
Here is a writing sample on a more absorbent regular paper, Staples Sustainable Earth.
Finally, here is a closeup of KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold interspersed with a standard blue, a standard blue black and a standard black, just to try to give a sense of the color in context.
KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold behaved really well. It is a great match for poor paper. I saw no bleedthrough, no showthrough and no feathering on the Staples paper or other poor quality paper. It’s a medium color, but easy to read even from the fine nib.
And KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold cleaned out of my pens incredibly easily, on par with Waterman Serenity Blue, my standard for a low-maintenance ink.
I keep marveling at this, and it bears repeating: every single KWZ iron gall I’ve used has been low-maintenance. KWZ seems to have figured out how to make inks with iron gall, and interesting colors with good saturation, that have been as gentle on my pens and as easy to clean as low-saturation dye based inks.
Despite its easy-clean nature, KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold has good water resistance on both coated and regular paper.
In terms of color, while I was writing with it, KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold reminded me of my two favorite “unusual greens,” which are J. Herbin Vert Empire and Montblanc Jonathan Swift. I knew the hues weren’t the same, but all three inks have that silvery green quality I love.
Of course, swabs do confirm that the hues really aren’t the same.
But those are still my closest inks to KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold — and I’m sure without testing that neither of the other two have the same water resistance as KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold. The Montblanc was a limited edition, too, and no longer on the market.
Just for context, here are some other swab comparisons. Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrün, a yellower green, is on the left, and Diamine Green/Black, a darker green, is on the right.
Finally, here is KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold amidst Diamine Racing Green and some similar Sailor greens.
A writing sample of Diamine Racing Green can be seen here. The Diamine is not that far off from KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold, to me, but I think the Diamine is greener.
Since Diamine Racing Green was formulated to emulate the discontinued Montblanc Racing Green, fans of the latter may want to try KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold, too. I’ve never had a chance to try the Montblanc, but I’ve seen it in letters, and what I’ve seen has been darker than any of these, but your mileage may vary.
Here is paper towel chromatography of KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold. There’s a lot going on there.
I really liked KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold. That line between green, gray and brown inks is where some of my favorite inks can be found. Stipula Verde Muschiato is another that comes to mind. If it’s a color range that appeals, KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold is a good one to try, with its great behavior, water resistance and ease in cleaning out of a pen.
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.
I had to laugh when I realized that I put the wrong Pelikan in the first photograph. That White Tortoise would have been a great match for KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold. But this actually is the Pelikan I used for this ink review. No worries: I think the White Tortoise improves the photo. Best of both worlds.