Pure Pens' blacks
Well, I couldn’t really ignore Pure Pens’ release of two new inks, after avidly buying all of their collection since they started producing their own inks. Especially after commenting that they were missing a black ink…
The base inks are very similar, and might be the same – so, a shimmer and a non-shimmer pair, much like their excellent 15th Anniversary Alexandrite released under the Diamine brand, of which I only tried the non-shimmer.
If they’re not the same base ink, they’re very close.
They still seem to be strictly maintaining the English/Welsh border in the branding, with Welsh Gold coming with a black-label as with the other Celtics, while Beast of Bodmin comes with the same white-label as with the English collection. This fits my earlier theory that the English collection contains the plain red, blue and now black, while the Celtic collection is reserved for the more interesting colours!
Anyway, it’s a straightforward black, with no significant sheen, slightly tending to the warmer, redder side in comparison to the few blacks and near-blacks I’ve swatched. In comparison, Diamine Jet Black is bluer, Pelikan Onyx is slightly greenish, and Parker Quink Black is tealish. Lamy Black is a purer black, but still has red/pink leanings, and Jinhao Black is similar. I’d say that Beast of Bodmin does sit more with Lamy and Jinhao blacks, but seems a bit stronger and darker… In my opinion, stronger and darker doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better ink – just that it’s closer to a “true black” if that is what you want.
So, these new inks are respectable, relatively no-nonsense blacks, at a good price (as ever). Beast of Bodmin is a well-behaved everyday black with no distraction, while Welsh Gold is interesting by virtue of it being a fairly pedestrian base colour but with added shimmer; most shimmers seem to have showy base colours (and often sheen), while Welsh Gold wears a conservative business suit with saucy accessories and socks.
They’re not deep, intense blacks, but not weak either. To be honest, Bodmin is a very middle-of-the-road ink, which is not a bad thing. To me, it means the Pure Pens collection now has all the main colours covered in their collection, and for a retailer, I think that’s a great thing… I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the value of the Pure Pens collection is their curation… while Diamine and others will supply a huge range of other colours with no rhyme or reason, the Celtics and the Englishes represent a choice selection that are easy to comprehend and choose, and they do it at a very fair price.
As usual, they arrived from Pure Pens quickly and well-packaged.