I have been dying to try some of the Monteverde inks, the colours look interesting unfortunately they cannot be bought in my part of the world and have to be ordered from overseas. Many American companies will ship but I would recommend looking at fountainfeder.eu. Prices are similar to the US and though they don’t carry a huge range of colours the virtually non-existent shipping charges make them very attractive.
Ruby, the birthstone of July is a variety of the aluminium oxide mineral corundum and with that name all romance is lost. Rubies range in colour from pink to deep blood-red, but if asked most people would say they are red.
Interestingly gem-quality red to pink coloured corundum is called a ruby everywhere in the world except the USA if a minimum colour saturation is not met. If the minimum is not met in the USA the stones are called pink sapphires. The quality of a ruby is the same as that for a diamond i.e. cut, colour, clarity and carats. The most valuable shade is blood-red or pigeons blood.
Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems. Cardinal gems were those traditionally considered precious over all others and were used for religious or ceremonial purposes. Cardinal gems include amethysts, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds as well as rubies.
The packaging for Monteverde inks is quite simple a 30ml glass bottle with straight to the point labeling.
From here on I would not call this ink ruby it is an orange red, the colour of a blood orange. And very similar to some other inks I have that do not claim to be ruby coloured.
I swatched on col-o-ring and discovered this is not a quick drying ink.
I am discovering the more ink you have the more they all become the same. There is not much to choose between Nemosine Aeolis Palus red reviewed here and Marunouchi line from the bungbox Tokyo metro colour ink collection reviewed here.
The swatch on Tomoe river is very orange but does co-ordinate very nicely with the pen used for the writing tests.
The pen used is a red Sikib fountain pen. I bought a lot of randomly chosen cheap chinese pens from various Etsy shops. I have been impressed for quite sometime about the quality of the pens coming out of China for the price that one pays. This pen was US$6, the nib is stainless steel and a true pen afficianado would say it is a bit scratchy but I think it writes extremely well.
Just to mix things up for once ha ha I started my writing test with Tomoe river. It dried to an orange red colour with great shading. No feathering or show through but oh so slow to dry as I had previously discovered when I smudged my col-o-ring.
TR was followed by Midori. Again a very orange colour with great shading.
Last but by no means least Rhodia. Still with an orange hue but here dried to more red. However, remained very slow to dry. As with Tomoe river tested dry times are between 5 to 35 secs.
In summary I really like this ink for its shading properties but do not like its dry time. Also the colour is orange and for me it has no use unless I was doing calligraphy. I would not go out of my way to buy this from overseas but I look forward to trying other Monteverde inks.
Saturation – high
Shading – fantastic on any paper, even cheap paper when I have been at work
Sheen - no
Flow - excellent
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep – none that I saw while using the pen
Start-up - immediate
Feathering – nil on any of the papers used but could be a problem with cheaper writing paper
Drying – poor, too long
Cleaning – easy, no pen staining, probably one of the easiest inks to clean. I had it all over my fingers doing this review and it washed off immediately.
Water resistance – not sold as waterproof but good residual ink after being put under running water