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 80ml.

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 bottles.

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 and Turquoise.

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