How to Write with Shimmering Inks

If you’ve been in the fountain pen world for awhile, chances are you’ve come across some of the new shimmering inks. At, we currently carry two varieties: J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary inks and the Diamine Shimmertastic collection. Both types are regular fountain pen ink with added sparkle for that glittery effect that is incredibly unique.

Some fountain pen users are hesitant to use this type of ink because they are afraid of damaging their fountain pens. Additionally, there is a lot of misinformation and supposition floating around out there about these inks and their affect on nibs and feeds. We’ve got good news for you! Since all of this ink is created for fountain pens, it will not damage your pens. You will need to take a bit more care when cleaning them, however, so we’ll go into more detail about that below. We want to do a little myth busting in this blog, as well as let you in on the secrets to getting the most mileage out of your shimmering fountain pen ink.

Diamine Lilac Satin with a Noodler’s Ahab Flex Pen Lapis Inferno

1. Filling your fountain pen

Diamine Golden Sands

More so than with other inks, there is a particular technique for filling your fountain pen with shimmering inks. The sparkle additives will settle, so you need to gently shake the bottle of ink before filling it. Make sure to shake it slowly so that no air bubbles form because this can cause flow issues! Once you’ve gently shaken the bottle, you’ll want to quickly fill your pen before the particles settle once again.

2. Writing Techniques

J. Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean in the barrel of a TWSBI Mini Fountain Pen Classic 

Just like in the bottle, the glitter particles will settle in your fountain pen. Between writing sessions, or even while writing, make sure to keep the ink agitated. You can do this a number of ways including:

  • Rolling the pen in your hand while writing. This can be back and forth or rolling it in between your palms
  • If your pen sits for a long time, gently move the pen from end to end to let the sparkles distribute through the ink before writing

3. Keep it clean

Goulet Pen Flush

More so than with other ink, you need to make sure you clean your fountain pen thoroughly when using shimmering inks. The extra particles can be stubborn about leaving, and can cause clogging issues if proper precautions aren’t taken. However, with a bit of elbow grease and maybe some Goulet Pen Flush, you should be fine! Keep this in mind:

  • Make sure to thoroughly clean your pen in between uses, even more so then normal
  • Use a toothbrush to clean the feed- shimmer particles can stick to this section 
  • Use Goulet Pen Flush if you need to, it can help a lot 

4. Pick the right fountain pen

Shimmer inks shown in a range of fountain pen nib sizes

Pair your sparkling ink with a fountain pen that will really show off that extra flair! Juicy, wet writers are going to work best so stick with flex nibs or broad or italic nibs for great results. That being said, smaller nib sizes can work, just make sure they have a generous flow. Part of the fun of trying shimmering inks, and fountain pens in general, is the experimentation. Try out different pen, ink, and nib combinations and find out what works best for you!

5. Paper Matters

J. Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean on Clairfontaine Triomphe Paper

Ink resistant paper is going to work best with shimmering inks. The more ink resistant, the more sparkle you’ll see! Here are some examples of fantastic paper for your shimmering inks:

Some paper that isn’t going to show the sparkle as much includes:

  • Inkjet paper
  • Moleskines
  • Composition notebooks
  • Recycled paper
Diamine Shimmertastic Inks Package Set

The Diamine Shimmertastic Collection currently has 22 varieties of ink with gold or silver sparkles. They are available at in 50ml bottles for $20 or 2ml ink samples for $1.75. They are available in a 5-pack of your choices as part of the Diamine Shimmertastic Inks Package Set for $90.

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Package Set

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary inks come in five types with gold sparkle only. They are available at in 50ml bottles for $26 or 2ml ink samples for $1.85. You can also pick up all five bottles in a J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Package Set for $117.

Diamine Blue Flame with a Karas Kustoms Ink fountain pen in Gold with a broad nib.

Whether you are using a J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary ink or a Diamine Shimmertastic ink, the added glittering effect is entrancing. If you’ve been worried about trying these out, we hope this blog cleared up any of the confusion out there. Got questions? Make sure to leave them in the comments below!

What is your favorite shimmering ink?

Write on, 
The Goulet Pen Company Team

2017-10-11T13:55:37+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|Tips & Tricks|27 Comments
  • Alyx Walker

    I just learned De Atramentis has pearlescent inks, have you guys seen them or used them? I’m excited to see how they’ll compare!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      We haven’t seen them in person but we’ve heard about them. They look really cool. I don’t think we’re looking to carry them at this time though. Although, it’s always open for discussion in the future.

    • Hi Alyx. I have reviewed all the shimmer inks on my blog. You can access the Pearlescent review here:
      Diamine are the best shimmers by a long long way. N

  • Michael Lane

    Sold. Going for J Herbin 1670!

  • David L.

    Should I use extra care when using a higher-end pen (such as a Nouveau Premiere)? I just don’t want to damage such a pen as that. Emerald of Chivor, Purple Pazzazz, and Blue Flame are on my to-get list. 😉

    • Tom Johnson

      David, Brian says up front that these inks are not damaging to pens, just a bit harder to clean out. My four Edison Pens can be fully disassembled, the nib unit removed, and cleaned as thoroughly as I want. However, I will probably not use inks with these shimmer particles in pens where I cannot disassemble the nib and feed easily, just to play it safe. I would not hesitate to use them in my Nouveau Premiere at all.

      • David L.

        Thanks! I don’t own a Nouveau Premiere (or any high-end pen) at the moment mainly because I don’t have the money and my favorite, The Edison Nouveau Cobalt, was sadly discontinued. Just curious for when I do get one.

        • Tom Johnson

          David, I predict you will love the Nouveau Premiere when the right one for you comes along. The nib and feed unit comes out easily and you can remove the nib from the unit if you want, I haven’t done that yet. I got the Arctic Currents ebonite Nouveau Premiere as soon as it came out, and I see that this seasonal edition is now back in stock – the final shipment came in. Very nice pens in my opinion. I just got the Collier and got the Beaumont last year. All have become favorites. I got the 2016 LE Edison Glenmont back in October (from Edison) and it is a wonderful pen too. Good luck, lots of great resins to choose from, and the Spring seasonal edition should be introduced soon.

          • David L.

            Thanks for the info! Can’t wait to get my hands on one!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      I think Tom pretty well summed up what I would have said, David! 🙂 Thanks, Tom, for all the wonderful information! I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to use these gorgeous inks in a high end pen, provided it is easy to disassemble as Tom mentions. As long as you can clean the feed of the shimmer particles easily, I say have fun enjoying some sparkle in your writing!

  • Tom Johnson

    Great video Brian, I’ve used Emerald of Chivor and Rouge Hematite for several years now with no problems. Great for writing in my Christmas cards with nice wet, wide stub nibs. Pilot Parallel pens are great for these inks. I’d say Emerald of Chivor is my favorite, I love the base color, its shading, and its wonderful red sheen and gold shimmer. I also like Brandy Dazzle.

    I’ve had great success in drawing the ink from the middle of the bottle (after shaking) with a Goulet pipette, transferring it to a sample vial, and then filling my pens from the vial. I can see how well the shimmer is dispersed in the vial, and settling is not as much of a problem in the vial.

    I’ve seen posts where people are obsessed with getting every speck of shimmer our of their pen’s feed before filling with a non-shimmer ink. This is not necessary. If the ink has been flushed out and there are some sparkles left in the feed, it will not be enough to make any difference in the new ink. You might see a speck every sentence or three if you look real hard with a magnifier in the right light angle, but it won’t hurt the flow of the replacement ink at all and is virtually non-existent for all practical purposes.

    Looking forward to hearing more about the De Atramentis pearlescent inks you mentioned, and how they differ from the shimmer inks.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      What a great tip, Tom! Thanks for sharing that technique. That sounds like a great way to get the most shimmer. I can definitely see where the concern to clear out the shimmer comes in, but I appreciate your reassurances about cleaning. Those stray sparkles might be a fun surprise in writing 😉

  • Nancy

    How do you guys get such extreme color variation in inks like diamine blue flame or osters fire and ice? Whenever I write with them in my Rhodia notebooks it just looks blue.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      It is all about the pen and paper choice, Nancy. Flex nibs and brush pens put down a huge flow of ink which really lets the shimmer and sheen shine through. Tomoe River is the best paper to achieve it on.

    • AmyStev

      I don’t know what pen you’re using, but I had the exact same experience when I first tried a shimmer ink (Diamine Shimmering Seas) in my Noodler’s Ahab flex. Then I decided to try removing the breather tube from the pen. HOLY SHIMMER!! Made all the difference in the world.

  • Renee Olsen

    I’m not a person who loves pink, but I do love orange and I love Diamine Pink Glitz. If Pink and Orange had a beautiful baby it would be Diamine Pink Glitz.

  • Uniotter

    Emerald of Chivor and Rouge Hematite are also favorites of mine, but after seeing your post, I want to pick up the Diamine Blue Flame! The shimmering inks really add some excitement to an already pleasurable hobby. 🙂

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Great choices! Shimmering inks really do add a new level of fun! I always keep a pen inked up with one so when I meet someone who doesn’t know about fountain pens, I can get them hooked by showing them the sparkly inks. Haha. Sneaky tactic, I know.

  • As an artist I am also seeing that good cold-pressed watercolor papers do not seem to work as well as a mixed medium bristol (smooth) paper or some hot-pressed papers, which allows the ink to sit on top a bit longer.

  • VickNish

    i’ve noticed at times, the shimmer can build up a bit and clog my nib & feed in some larger ink capacity pens (eyedropper and piston fillers). when flow seems hindered a bit, i just pull the nib and feed out, give it a good scrub down, and shove them back in. good as a new filling!

  • MP

    My experience isn’t wide-ranging yet, but Emerald of Chivor certainly is gorgeous. I remember getting an invoice from Goulet with the note written in Caroube de Chypre. I hadn’t really registered shimmering inks yet as a fountain pen newbie, but the moment I saw that note, I knew I had to try that ink. Gorgeous!

  • Lacey

    I really like Emerald of Chivor as well! I have a couple of the Diamine Shimmertastic inks too, and I have a hard time finding pens that can handle them for some reason… I have a TWSBI Diamond 580 stub that writes really wet, but when I try shimmering inks in that one, it pretty much immediately clogs the feed. The best pens I’ve found for the Diamine shimmering inks are Jinhao pens (they tend to write really wet, I think) that I’ve put stub nibs on.

  • ec

    I love the Shimmertastic inks and have had great results with all that I’ve used. (Six bottles plus a few other samples.) No cleaning issues, but I’m a bit OCD when cleaning pens with any kind of ink. For consistently showing lots of shimmer, I think Blue Pearl is tops, but I love them all. My sample of Emerald of Chivor didn’t show as much shimmer as the Diamines do; maybe just a bad sample.

    • Amy Chen

      From my experience, the J. Herbin 1670 series simply seem to have less shimmer to begin with than the Diamine Shimmertastic series!

  • Wendy

    For me, it is a toss up between J. Herbin’s Stormy Grey or Emerald of Chivor. Rich ink colors and just a hint of shimmer. Love them. 🙂

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