This week we’re going to take a look at Kobe #53 Kitano Pearl Silver. I originally tried this ink when I was writing my grey ink comparison. It was probably my favorite grey ink that I tried and I immediately bought a bottle of it. I use it fairly regularly and feel quite comfortable with it, so I’m excited to share it here with you!
Kobe #53 Kitano Pearl Silver
To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. Kobe #53 is a light-grey ink that is neutrally colored. It takes its name from the town of Kitano, which was known as a pearl craft city and is where many of Japan’s pearls were processed. I’m not sure how the ink color came to be, but I guess maybe light grey is the closest ink color to pearl? Regardless, I think it’s a wonderful color. While I’m sure many people will find it too light to use on a regular basis, I like using it for both writing and doodling.
It has fantastic shading and no sheen. I think the shading is one of the reasons I like this ink so much. While I wouldn’t call it severe shading (it doesn’t make writing hard to read), it is significant. As you will see, depending on how wet your nib is, this ink can appear quite dark or quite light.
This ink doesn’t have an interesting chromatography. When exposed to water it just gets a bit lighter. It is fairly waterproof and didn’t really change when I added water to dry ink.
Dry times are fairly quick. Once dry, it doesn’t smear. Even during a hot day when my hands were a little sweaty, I didn’t notice any smearing or smudging once the ink was dry. That makes sense since water doesn’t really affect it much.
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:
Pelikan M205 – F nib
This Pelikan nib makes this ink look like a pencil. While I normally think of it as a wet nib, it writes the lightest of the pens I used this week. I don’t like it for writing, but for doodles it’s fine since it brings out the shading.
Waterman 92 (vintage) – M flex nib
This Waterman nib is fairly wet and is is a great match for this ink. When not flexed, writing looks nice and dark. When flexed, the shading really starts to show.
Pilot Metropolitan – M nib
This Metropolitan nib writes with a consistent wetness that doesn’t show a lot of shading. I actually quite like it for writing.
Omas Paragon – M nib
I love this Omas nib. It is wet and a joy to write with. It really shows off the shading of this ink and makes it look fairly dark. This is the pen I reached for most often this week.
Pelikan M800 – custom grind B nib
This Pelikan is the wettest and broadest nib of the week. While this isn’t an extremely wet ink, it is still wet and was a little tricky to write with in this pen. I enjoyed it for writing, but preferred it for doodling.
On cheap paper this ink performed fairly well. I didn’t see any feathering, even with the flex nib, and only minimal bleedthrough. On fountain-pen-friendly paper I didn’t see any feathering or bleeding, even on the Leuchtturm which typically bleeds a bit. I’d say this ink is safe to use on pretty much any paper you’d like.
Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens
As you’d probably expect for an ink that is this light, it was not difficult to clean out of pens. With low saturation and a light, neutral color, I feel like even if a bit of ink did remain in the pen, it wouldn’t even effect the color of the next ink to go into the pen. I would use this in any pen that I own.
I love Kobe #53 Kitano Pearl Silver, but I know that it’s not going to be for everyone. The color is quite light and can be a little tough to read when used in a fine or dry pen. Still, I think it is really something special and always enjoy writing with it. It has enough shading to keep things interesting, doesn’t smear once dry, and performs well on most papers. Most people (myself included) love the variety of ink colors that you can fill a fountain pen with, but sometimes it’s nice to go neutral and use a grey ink. If you’re not opposed to a light-colored ink, I can’t recommend this one highly enough.