I’ve taken a quick look, here, at all six of Platinum’s new colored iron gall inks, called the Classic Line. But I wanted to give an extended workout to a few, to see how they do in a fountain pen over time, and to preview them for the Chicago Pen Show Ink Testing Station.
Citrus Black is the first. I put it in a vintage Pelikan 400 with a OBB nib.
Here is how it looks on Rhodia paper.
Many iron gall fountain pen inks darken visibly as they oxidize and dry on paper, and Citrus Black does, too, dramatically. When it goes on the paper wet, Citrus Black is a very light and bright yellow, but that color changes, as you watch, to the darker color above.
I love the final result — Citrus Black is legible, and it’s an interesting and attractive color. And I love to watch the color change happen — that’s one of the reasons I like using iron gall inks. However, there is one drawback for me with Citrus Black: the initial yellow color is so pale that it’s hard to read at first.
Here is a writing sample of Citrus Black on cream-colored Tomoe River.
One of the benefits of iron gall fountain pen inks is that they handle any paper with aplomb, and Platinum Classic Citrus Black was true to form with great behavior on poor paper. The ink resisted feathering and bleedthrough on lower quality papers, and maintained both its look and the width of its line. Even with a wet and wide nib like a vintage Pelikan OBB.
Here’s a writing sample on Staples Sustainable Earth legal pad paper, just a regular paper.
Another benefit of iron gall fountain pen inks is their water resistance. Here too Citrus Black met expectations, as did the rest of the Classic Line inks,
Below is what happened when I ran water from the faucet over the lower half of the ink names on this paper, and let it dry. Some of the colorful dyes ran off, but a core line remained for every ink. That’s the iron gall.
Bear in mind, too, that this is fountain-pen friendly Rhodia paper, which poses the toughest challenge for water resistance. On more absorbent regular paper, water resistance is even better.
Yet Platinum Classic Citrus Black was very easy to clean from my Pelikan with just a few flushes of water, even after being inked for two weeks straight. Citrus Black was as easy to clean as Waterman Serenity Blue, my gold standard.
Many iron gall inks tend to be dry feeling, but Citrus seemed to be a moderate or even wet-writing ink. I like Citrus in a wet pen, however, because you get a darker color and more color change with a pen that puts down more ink.