For The Seriously Ink Afflicted – Yes, You!


Ever heard of sheen in fountain pen inks? Two threads on FPN will bring you up to speed. Note that a high quality, non-absorbent paper like Clairefontaine and wide, wet nibs are most likely to produce such results. Check out the images here and here. The effect can be spectacular if short-lived and a real treat for the writer.



  1. Very cool! I like that effect, but my question is how safe are they in most pens? I know some of them require more care and a lot more flushing and maintenance.


    • The effect shouldn’t affect performance or pen safety. If there were particles in the ink, that would be a different matter. It seems to be the result of light reflection that disappears when the ink dries. Cleaning these inks from pens is another matter and will vary from ink to ink. No getting around that issue.


  2. I didn’t know there was a name for this property, but how appropriate! I first noticed it with J Herbin Rouge Hematite – a golden sheen. And then with PR Ebony Blue – a red sheen. Now I’ll be on the lookout for more examples!


  3. J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen has a green-gold sheen, but it only comes out when you use a wet pen on the right paper (in this case Canson 90gsm watercolor sketchpad paper).


  4. Ha! Never knew there was a term for it, but have loved it for quite a while. Sheen on!


    • So glad to hear from you. Was wondering how you were fairing.

      Sheen is a newly christened characteristic and it certainly is a pretty one.


  5. I love an ink with sheen, I tend to buy them as soon as I hear about it.. .I afore the Sky high from Sailor, it being my everyday ink. The Hematote of divine and now I have grenadine coming in the mail…


    • What a great group of inks!


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