Monday Matchup #71: Noodler’s Ahab – Carniolan Honey with Diamine Shimmertastic Golden Sands

Hello fountain pen friends! Madigan here. I chose this week’s Monday Matchup of a Noodler’s Ahab in Carniolan Honey with Diamine Shimmertastic Golden Sands. I, like many members of the fountain pen community, couldn’t wait to try the new shimmering Diamine inks. My favorite so far is Golden Sands, hands down. I love to accessorize with yellow (I’ve carried a variety of yellow purses over the past few years) but I’ve found that most yellow ink is difficult to read on paper. I was so excited to see an ink that is not only legible, but also sparkly and gorgeous!

From working with the J. Herbin 1670 anniversary inks, I knew that to get a lot of shimmer I was going to need to put down a lot of ink, which is why I chose the Noodler’s Ahab. I chose Clairefontaine Triomphe A4 Tablet paper for that same reason, as it is quite ink resistant. I grabbed my brush pen, a q-tip, and a paint brush and got to work.

First, I drew a very light rough outline of the outside of the pineapple and then filled it in with criss-crossing lines with a pencil. Using the Ahab, I went over the inner lines. Since I didn’t have a lot of experience with this ink, I decided to see how it would look spreading the ink out with a brush pen. I went over it and was disappointed with the results. While the yellow ink spread out, the gold shimmer was lost. I tried laying down more with the pen but got similar results. I shook the bottle up and dipped the water-filled brush pen directly in the ink and applied it. Finally, I could see some shimmer!

With the Ahab, I drew in the leaves and filled them with contrasting patterns. I really liked how it gave a textured look. I decided I wanted one bright gold leaf, so after shaking the bottle up I took the q-tip and dipped it directly into the ink. I filled in the top leaf and was excited to see how much it shimmered. I decided I wanted to add even more shimmer to the criss-crossing lines so I went over them again with the ink soaked q-tip, dipping it back in the ink as I went along. Finally, I saw the golden look I wanted for the pineapple.

I wrote the quote in pencil, changing up my fonts to make it look more interesting. I then went over the quote with the pen. I was disappointed to see some feathering when the pen really flexed. I took the paint brush and after shaking the bottle, dipped it in the ink. I flicked the ink across the paper to give that splatter affect.

I loved working with this pen, despite the feathering. It worked beautifully right out of the box and was able to show off what this ink is capable of. Noodler’s pens in general give a fair amount of feedback which I really enjoy. However, it is not for everyone so keep that in mind if you are considering this pen.

This ink exceeded my expectations. I’ve never seen anything like it in fountain pen ink! It truly does give you a golden option. It isn’t opaque so it won’t work on dark paper, but on white or cream it will look beautiful. Maybe not the most professional ink, but certainly fun.

If I were to do this piece again, I’d try it on Tomoé River paper. This was a really wet writing pen paired with a wet writing ink, and an even more ink resistant paper would have been a better choice.

You can find the Noodler’s Ahab Carniolan Honey Demonstrator at for $23. Diamine Golden Sands is available in a 50ml bottle for $20 or a 2ml ink samples for $1.25. 

Do you have a favorite shimmering ink? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below. 

Write on,
2017-10-11T14:19:46+00:00 October 26th, 2015|Monday Matchup|20 Comments
  • jenn

    any trials of the gold sands on DARK paper? (black, navy blue)

    • Madigan

      Hey Jenn! Yes, I tried it on black paper. You can make it out but not well. It’s definitely the most golden fountain pen ink before, but it isn’t opaque like calligraphy ink. Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Kathy

    Madigan, great job again! This ink is unbelievable. I can’t wait to get it. The details on the pineapple are gorgeous! Thanks for another great Monday Matchup!!!

    • Madigan

      Hi Kathy! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I haven’t used all of the Diamine Shimmertastic Inks yet, but I can’t wait to ink them up. Golden Sands is so gorgeous!! 🙂

  • Tom Johnson

    Madigan, this is another wonderful Monday Matchup that brightened up my Monday. I just got three samples of these new Diamine inks and will test them out very soon. I loved how you learned how to use this ink in your artwork so quickly. Anna’s note on my last Goulet order packing slip was in Brandy Dazzle, and it is just amazing! On your copier paper it showed an amazing amount of shimmer and sparkle. Thanks Madigan for a beautiful Matchup.

    • Madigan

      Hi Tom! As soon as I saw this ink, I knew I had to try it. It’s so unique!! I think you’ll quickly see how different these Diamine Shimmertastic inks are from the J. Herbin variety. Let me know what you think of them! 🙂

  • stu elman

    Sweet. I have so many inks I want to try in my Ahab. I’m still on my first ink.

    • Madigan

      Hi Stu! Ahh! You are going to have so much fun. I love working with all my flex pens. 🙂

      • stu elman

        I really want to try this indigo ink in it. It is the same ink I have had trouble getting to work.

  • David

    Now that’s a match-up! Well done Madigan… David

    • Madigan

      Thanks David! I had a great time with this pen and ink. 🙂

  • Hi Madigan! Another great wonderful Monday Matchup. You always do such wonderful work. I love the ink/pen combo. I need these new Diamine inks in a bad way. So many new fountain pens, such wonderful inks – I am looking forward to playing with them all eventually, hopefully. Oddly I do not own an Ahab, always one of those fountain pens that’s on my list to buy when there’s nothing new I want. I am definitely going to have to change that situation, time for an Ahab.

    Have a great week and keep up the great work!

    • Madigan

      Hi Kenny! You’re going to love the Ahab- definitely worth trying out. They are especially good with any of the shimmering inks (J. Herbin or Diamine). Let me know what you think! 🙂

  • Mitch Halpern

    Hi Madigan! Great matchup! I must admit though that I am probably the only pen nut who has not joined the shimmering ink craze yet. I think I am probably overly concerned about clogging my pens. BTW, I did try Private Reserve Midnight Blue as you suggested and it does a great job filling the role of a quick drying blue-black with minimal feathering; much better IMHO than Noodler’s Q-ternity

    • Madigan

      Hey Mitch! I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying the PR Midnight Blue. I really like that ink. The shimmering inks aren’t for everyone (this ink was a really wet writer) but I enjoyed using Golden Sands. Not the most professional, but very fun! 🙂

    • Tom Johnson

      Mitch, probably best to use these inks in pens whose nibs and feeds can be flushed out easily. However, if you don’t let the ink dry in the feed, these inks do not clog pens. I put Emerald of Chivor in a TWSBI Vac-700 (easy to disassemble & clean) two months ago. Once the ink filled the nib and feed I would close off the reservoir and write with it. Before I opened up the reservoir to replenish the ink in the grip section I would shake the pen back and forth to distribute the glitter in the ink. Open the reservoir for a while, then close it again. That was two months ago and I used the ink numerous times for the first couple of weeks. No clogging at all. Yesterday, after sitting UNUSED for two weeks or more, my pen wrote immediately, no clogging at all after two months and periods of inactivity. I recovered the ink and flushed my pen out well, no problems. Now I am going to use it with three Diamine shimmer inks that I just got. If the look appeals to you, don’t worry that much about clogging. Just use it in a pen easy to flush out and you will be fine.

      • Mitch Halpern

        Thanks Tom! I feel a bit better now about giving it a try!

  • MarlaBee

    Hello Madigan! I have the distinct feeling I will love Golden Sands as much as you do. I do have a simplistic question about the Ahab pens . . . what does “A H A B” stand for? I’ve been pecking around the site for a glossary that would tell me, but no find. Please advise . . . and THANKS!

    • MarlaBee

      Any body home in the land of Goulet? 🙂

    • Kate

      I’m guessing it’s a reference to the ship captain in Herman Melville’s book, Moby Dick