I was lucky enough to get samples of the new Platinum Classic Line of inks. I dipped them all with a Kaweco dip pen. (And yes my writing is even worse with a dip pen, but it was the quickest way to look at them all.)
I like all six, but my initial favorites are Cassis and Citrus, which darken a lot and are colors I happen to like. Sepia is a little unexciting for me, as is Khaki — both end up more in the brown-black range, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Lavender is really nice for a purple if you don’t skimp on the amount of ink. Forest was nice, too, as it turned very dark green. I wonder if the inks will keep darkening as the days go on; I feel like they might.
However, I want to warn people: my first impressions lead me to believe that these are going to be higher maintenance iron gall inks. They seem strong. So I’m going to be careful picking an appropriate pen.
The main thing in choosing a pen, for me, will be to pick a pen with a gold nib, without any metal trim on the section end that could come into contact with the ink when filling. That’s because my dip pen nib looked like this by the time I had finished dipping three inks.
The surface of this nib’s plating was discolored where it made contact with the ink. I don’t mind that on a steel dip pen nib costing $3. But I would mind terribly if that happened on an expensive pen. A gold nib is not subject to this type of damage, and that’s what I’ll use.
Given the visible damage quickly inflicted on this dip pen nib, more care needs to be taken choosing a pen/nib for these Platinum Classic inks than with other iron gall inks for fountain pens. For instance, most KWZ iron gall inks don’t require this kind of caution — the ones I’ve tested have been perfectly safe for Safari nibs.
Here’s why, I think: Platinum Classic Line iron gall inks are described as “highly water resistant and suitable for permanent preservation,” per Platinum. That places them in the document ink category, like a Registrar’s ink. That would explain a higher iron gall content, higher acidity and also the higher-maintenance and greater risk to metal plating.
In contrast, most KWZ iron gall inks are not document inks, and not as permanent. And these lighter iron gall inks from KWZ also are more gentle on pens. It’s a tradeoff.*
I also will choose a wetter pen for these inks, because I suspect that the wetter the pen the darker the color you’ll end up with. I saw a dramatic color change with all of these, as they darkened noticeably as they dried. But I also kept dipping to make sure that I had a generous amount of ink on the pen nib.
I’m not surprised: traditional iron gall inks are drier-writing inks. A wet pen is a better match for traditional iron gall inks, so it makes sense that would be true for these Platinum Classic inks, too.
* KWZ Iron Gall Blue Black is a document ink, I’m told, so it should be treated with the same caution as Platinum Classic Line inks. I found KWZ Iron Gall Orange higher maintenance than others, too, so that’s another I’d treat more cautiously.