PenBBS inks have been made since 2005 but it is only recently they have been making an appearance outside of China. This is the one PenBBS ink I own, it was part of an ink sample box. I had been reading about Pen BBS inks (love their pens) but couldn’t find them anywhere to purchase. A lot of trawling through the web reveals they are no longer available through aliexpress but can be bought via ebay at about UD$7.50 a bottle. However, the adverts come with the disclaimer they may not able to be shipped to me. The alternative is Vanness pens who now stock 43 colours at US$16 for 60ml (27c/ml), so tempting as there are some very nice colours .
Quartz is a mineral made up of silicon and oxygen, its framework is a tetrahedra of silicon and oxygen but due to way oxygen is shared it has an overall chemical formula of SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz, in its pure form it is transluscent. Some of its more famous varieties include citrine, amethyst, agate and not to forget rose quartz.
Rose quartz has a pale pink to rose red hue, the colour due to trace amounts of iron, manganese or titanium. It was Pantones colour of the year in 2016.
Rose Quartz exhibits an asterism in transmitted light (I learned quite a lot of gems etc doing this review). If Rose quartz is cut en cabochon (shaped and polished rather than faceted) and then illuminated from behind, you see a star like concentration of reflected or refracted light. The star like concentration of light is the asterism, the star sapphire is the archetypal asteria.
Rose quartz is a symbol of love and has been used in various ‘love rituals’ for centuries. If you are into crystal healing apparently it opens your heart chakras to compassion and unconditional love and you can even make an essence from the quartz. Personally, I think it just makes nice jewellery.
The ink comes in a glass bottle and despite its name it does look very dark.
As well as the ink looking unusually dark in the bottle another unusual thing is when wet it is so pale as to be barely visible. It darkens to the pink you see as it dries. I was so surprised about how pale the swatch in the col-o-ring was at the start that after it dried I swatched a little more so I could take a photo to demonstrate. When dry it looks like it might be a bit of a shader when its used for writing.
On Tomoe was a bit non-descript – just a pale pink ink, baby pink.
I used this ink for day one of the September 30 inks in 30 days challenge. I never managed to finish reviewing all the inks from the June challenge and am not even going to attempt that here – pens needs cleaning. I inked a PenBBS pen, it seemed fitting and I do like my cheap Chinese fountain pens.
Even without doing anything more you can see the ink does have some nice shading, the paper used for the ink challenge was a moleskin notebook.
Not having used Tomoe river paper for a while I decided to use it here as the original swatch was so pale. When the ink was wet it was a dirty brown colour, becoming paler as it dried.
In the photo can you see part of the swatch I made in the top of the photo. The ink is wetewhere the writing is and there is a real difference between the two. As the ink dried it became paler and became a dusky pale brownish– pink. It lives up to its name of rose quartz. It also shades but is quite a wet ink.
I went from Tomoe to copy paper, it behaved quite well here, still some shading no feathering and no show through.
The last paper was Rhodia which tended to emphasise the browner tones of this ink. I am not enamoured with this colour but if I am to use it I like the best on Tomoe river, again it lives up to its reputation as the best paper for fountain pens and thus ink.
I have already stated my bias in that I don’t really like the colour of this ink. I thought it was interesting in the way it was dark in the bottle then the colour changed as it dried. The ink was well behaved even if a little wet and took time to dry. It is also very reasonably priced and if it wasn’t for the postage costs from the USA I would look to buy more colours.
Saturation – low
Shading – yes
Sheen - no
Flow - good
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep – no
Start-up – immediate
Feathering – no
Drying – on the slow side, >30 secs
Cleaning – easy
Water resistance – not sold as waterproof and I had to get pretty close to the paper to see that any was left after put under running water.