Diamine Teal fountain pen ink bottle

Ink of the Week – Diamine Teal

John BosleyFountain Pen Ink 13 Comments

This week we’re going to take a look at Diamine Teal. When I lived in San Francisco, I purchased this ink at a local shop and used it quite a bit for a few years. I haven’t used it recently due to so many other ink purchases, but remember really liking it, so let’s see why I liked it so much.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink written name

Diamine Teal is a blue-green ink with a bit of sheen.

Diamine Teal

To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. Teal inks are fairly popular and can vary in their overall appearance. Some, like Emerald of Chivor or California Teal, can have a heavy sheen. Diamine Teal is more subdued and is not a high-sheening ink, but does have a bit of dark red sheen with very heavy applications. It leans heavily towards the green side of teal. It has great shading.

Since teal is a blue-green, I figured there would be a bit of color separation that happens when this ink is exposed to water. Sure enough, it separated out into yellows and blues with some hints of green in-between. It’s not the most interesting chromatography you’ll see, but it’s not too bad. It is fairly waterproof, in that you should be able to read what was written if it gets wet, but expect a smeary mess.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink chromatography

With water, you’ll find some blues and yellows

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink waterproof

This ink isn’t waterproof, but won’t completely disappear

Dry times are a bit longer than I’d like for writing, but are not ridiculous. I mentioned that this ink has a bit of sheen. Unfortunately, this causes some smearing of dry ink. It isn’t drastic, but is enough that I would suggest you take precautions to prevent smearing.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink smearing

Here you can see some of the smudging and sheen in the dry ink.

The Pens I Used

Each week I choose five different pens to fill with the ink I’m testing. My goal is to get a variety of nib sizes and styles, as well as a mix of modern and vintage pens. Here are the pens I chose this week and some writing samples from each:

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink pens used

Pens used this week (L-R): Wing Sung 3008, Cross ATX, Waterman, Lamy AL-Star, Esterbrook J

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink pen nibs

Nibs used this week (L-R): Wing Sung EF, Cross M, Waterman M 14k, Lamy M, Esterbrook 9968 B

Wing Sung 3008 – EF nib

I was happy to see a lot of color with this EF Wing Sung nib. The ink doesn’t show much sheen and isn’t as dark as with the other pens, but still has a bit of shading and visual interest.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink ef nib

Writing sample with EF nib

Cross ATX – M nib

Dang I love this combo. The Cross nib is nice and wet and makes this ink look really dark. It doesn’t shade too heavily, but I like the overall effect even better than heavy shading.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink cross m nib

Writing sample with Cross M nib

Waterman (vintage) – M flex nib

Speaking of shading, this Waterman nib gives a more traditional amount of shading that really shows a good mix of dark and light. I like it, but still prefer the Cross.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink waterman m

Writing sample with vintage Waterman M

Lamy Al-Star – M nib

My writing with this Lamy looks very similar to the Waterman, with comparable shading and darkness. While not as dark as the Cross, I still like this combination.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink Lamy M nib

Writing sample with Lamy M nib

Esterbrook J (vintage) – 9968 B nib

This is another great combination. I always love using this nib and when combined with this ink it gave a great writing experience. I probably still prefer the Cross nib overall since it’s a bit wetter, but a broad, wet nib like this one pairs great with this ink.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink Esterbrook B nib

Writing sample with Esterbrook 9968 (B) nib

Paper

On cheap paper, all pens bled through a bit and the flex nib showed some feathering. On fountain-pen-friendly paper, this ink fared much better. On the Life Noble and Apica paper, all pens did great. On Leuchtturm paper, the flex nib feathered and most of the pens bled through. I’d stick to good paper when using this ink.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink apica

Writing sample on Apica paper

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink Leuchtturm

Writing sample on Leuchtturm paper

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink life noble

Writing sample on Life Noble paper

Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens

Although this isn’t a heavily-saturated ink, it still takes a bit to completely get it out of a pen. Using it in a pen that has a converter or removable nib would be ideal. When I cleaned it out of the Waterman, I needed to flush it and let it sit filled with water for a while before I felt like it was totally clean.

Diamine Teal fountain pen ink doodles

Conclusions

Now I remember why I liked Diamine Teal. It’s not the kind of ink that has crazy sheen or dramatic shading. It doesn’t have a fun or interesting name. It’s just a really nice color. I sometimes forget how satisfying it is to use a “plain” ink that looks nice. This greenish teal has just enough shading to bring out the depth this color has. It’s also dark enough that I could imagine using it for pretty much any type of writing. It also works great for doodling and I enjoyed playing around with it. It may have sat unused for a few years, but I can see this ink going back into a regular rotation for me.

Comments 13

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  1. I’m glad that you are including photos of the nibs. I didn’t realize how different they can be in design! Now I know why there have been some fountain pens I have purchased that I ended up not liking. I hold my pens close to the tip, and if the nib itself is pretty long, I can’t get a close enough grip to write comfortably! It’s too bad that we can’t always try out a pen before buying. But at least from now on, I’ll know to avoid a long nib! I learn more here than about inks! Thanks!!!

    1. Deborah,

      I cannot imagine buying a pen without trying it first! Are you buying online? If you can possible get to a physical store, you must request that you be allowed to try out the nib prior to purchasing the pen!

      1. I wish, and not the boonies but also no FP stores within a 2 hour drive of me which is impractical for various reasons. If they do locally, it’s only one or two brands (Cross, Waterman). I rely heavily on pics and reviews 😊

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      Glad you’re enjoying the nib views! I’m sure you can experience quite a few issues if you like to hold a pen really close to the nib. Between the nib size and the grip shape, there can be a lot of variables in there to overcome.

  2. I’m a Diamine fan, partly because it’s local for me and easily available. Teal has always been a favourite. As you say, it’s dark enough for everyday writing with good legibility. I went off Green Black – it might as well be black; as much as I like the other greens available, most are too pretty for writing.
    My few inks I must have are: Black, Teal and a brown.

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    2. Yep I can get away with Teal at work, it’s almost-but-not-quite black in the pen I use there 😊 Green-black is another favorite of mine. I probably have more Diamine than anything else!

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