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I’m Sorry Shimmer Inks

Posted in Ink

“I don’t use shimmer ink… they really just don’t do anything for me.” Sound familiar? You’ve likely read that on my blog. Possibly more than once.

Over the years that I’ve been part of the fountain pen world, I’ve actively avoided shimmer ink. On the rare occasions where I actually bought a shimmer ink, I let the shimmer settle, using just the color, without the particulate.

My main reason for avoiding shimmer is the extra maintenance. I didn’t want to deal with clogging or the extra effort required to get the shimmer particles out of the feed and converter.

That all changed in February last year.

elegant peacock train ink swatch card

2023’s February Ink Flight box featured Van Dieman’s Birds of a Feather Series. One of the inks was Elegant Peacock Train.

When I swatched it, I fell in love with both the base color and how it looked with the shimmer.

Since I had this gorgeous shimmer ink, I decided to use it. I made sure to put it into one of my pretty ink sticks so I could completely disassemble it for cleaning.

To my surprise, it didn’t clog. Elegant Peacock Train proved to be a rather well-behaved ink, working better than some of my standard inks.

For the main writing sample for this post, I purposely didn’t agitate the ink. This provides a subtle shimmer. If you click to view the below image larger, you can see some shimmer in various spots, especially in the bottom three quotes.

A5 page of writing samples with Elegant Peacock Train

But, as you can see in this next image, at certain angles, it’s almost impossible to see the shimmer. You can see how pretty the base ink color is, though.

close up of writing sample

These next images prove that the shimmer is there, and fully visible at the right angle.

And, finally, here you can see just how pretty the ink can be in standard use if you make a point to agitate it some before writing.

close up of writing sample

Having avoided shimmer for so long, after trying Elegant Peacock Train, I found myself curious to try other shimmer inks. Somehow, over the course of 2023, I bought 16 bottles of shimmer ink. And, honestly, I love using them.

So… yeah, I’m a shimmer ink convert. But, I can also readily acknowledge that there are some bad shimmer inks. There are still shimmer inks that clog my pens and really annoy me. So, I plan to only buy shimmer inks after testing samples.

Of course, to paraphrase, humans make plans, and the gods laugh.

Have you tried Elegant Peacock Train? Do you like shimmer inks? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. Make sure to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss any posts. I generally post at least once a week.


    • That isn’t the point of my blog.

      January 15, 2024
  1. LaDonna Qualtieri
    LaDonna Qualtieri

    I have a few large bottles of Van Dieman’s Underwater shimmer inks- from their first release. The bottles came with a plastic plug under the cap that is super difficult to remove. By the time I got the plug out, the shimmer was back at the bottom! Of course I have work arounds but now I prefer the smaller bottles that do not have that safety plug. Talk about inky fingers lol. Do you have any hacks for replacing the plugs with something easier to remove? Thanks

    January 14, 2024
    • Unfortunately, I’ve never seen the older Van Dieman’s bottles; Elegant Peacock Train was my first bottle purchase of their ink. The only thing I can think of is to get a different bottle and decant the ink into it.

      January 14, 2024
  2. Caroline

    Give me all the shimmers! I only failed with one brand, the pretty but too cloggy inks from Ancient Charm. They even clogged my TWSBI 580s.

    January 13, 2024
  3. Clark Fralick
    Clark Fralick

    Rachel, I’m a 50/50 shimmer person. My favorite shimmer inks are mostly from Van Dieman’s. The whole Birds of a feather series is amazing. I have learned that there are some shimmer inks that clog my pens. Thanks for the blog.

    January 12, 2024
  4. This is such a pretty ink!
    I’m still relatively new to fountain pens and haven’t yet tried any shimmer inks, as I’m kind of worried about clogging. There have been a few I’ve been tempted by though, so maybe I’ll have to try it out and see if I end up a shimmer ink convert too!

    January 12, 2024
    • I’d suggest using a cartridge/converter pen that can be fully disassembled (especially any pen that takes a standard Jowo or Bock nib). That way you can really get the sparkles out of the feed. You may also want to dedicate a converter or two to shimmer ink, as shimmer definitely gets stuck. But, if you like the shiny, it’s worth it. 🙂

      January 12, 2024

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