A United Kingdom based manufacturer of fountain pen ink. Diamine was
founded in 1864 as T Webster and Co. in London; it moved to Liverpool in
1925 and changed to its current name in 1964.
Two things tend to jump out when seeing bottled Diamine ink: the
elegant design and the bottle's size. Waterman and Private Reserve bottles
hold 50ml of ink, and J. Herbin, Conway Stewart and Yard-o-Led bottles
hold only 30ml; a Diamine bottle, on the other hand, holds an impressive
A limited selection of Diamine colours are also available in the short
international cartridge form used by most European fountain pens. These are
limited to the plainer colours; the more spectacular varieties only come in
For those using bottles, Diamine produce a spectacular range of colours.
Alongside the conventional black (which is not particularly good) and a
variety of blues (some of which are stunning), there are also some
extremely bold pinks, purples and oranges.
Diamine do make a few green varieties, but they leave a lot to be desired.
Emerald is extremely washed out, Light Green is in fact blue and Dark
Green is too dark to be recognisable. Better greens are available from J.
Herbin and Private Reserve. Nor is there a simple red; Monaco Red is good but dark, and Maroon, Claret and Brilliant Red are pink.
Yard-o-Led branded ink is also made by Diamine; it is sold in smaller
bottles and is only available in Jet Black, Blue / Black, Blue, Claret
Diamine inks tend to flow slightly slower than those from Herbin, but
considerably faster than those from Private Reserve. Most will dry fairly
quickly — again, they are in between Herbin and Private Reserve. They do
not fare particularly well in direct sunlight.
Diamine also produce drawing and calligraphy inks. These must
not be used in a fountain pen.
Sadly, Diamine ink is not particularly easy to find outside of the United
Kingdom. Several companies who used to import the ink have stopped, blaming the
low value of the dollar and the large bottle sizes — many United States
retailers are reluctant to sell ink at over twenty dollars per bottle. Within
the United Kingdom, however, Diamine ink is excellent value for money. It may
not be the first choice of most fountain pen fans for more conventional colours,
but for vibrant pinks and oranges there is no viable alternative.
My own ink collection