Diamine Dark Brown Ink Earns Top Marks


Diamine Dark Brown is a seldom mentioned ink that deserves top marks for performance as well as its soft brown color. Even for ink users who aren’t fond of brown, this one might be a useful option.

A different name would be more descriptive, so I think of it as Diamine Dark Brown – That Isn’t. Unlike the rather orange colored Sepia that barely qualifies as a brown, Dark Brown is properly a medium brown. Very well-behaved and easy on the eyes, it produces lovely shading and a hint of outlining here and there. Good flow and average lubrication make it suitable for a wide variety of nibs. It dries slightly faster than Diamine Sepia and significantly faster than some of the heavily saturated inks in my collection.

Levenger True Writer with Diamine Dark Brown Ink

Dark Brown is a chameleon depending on the light source. In daylight, it has a red slant. In artificial light, it looses the red and looks balanced or neutral. It isn’t a red-brown like Waterman Havana but there is a subtle bias. My ancient scanner was flummoxed by it and no amount of color adjustment could produce an accurate rendition despite three of us attempting to pin it down to a single image. This one will have to do.

Diamine Dark Brown Ink

The color is soft and attractive enough for drawing purposes. It also works well for correspondence and in many business applications. My Kyoto Levenger True Writer custom stub suits it perfectly.

Diamine’s selection of brown inks has expanded greatly in recent years and it is a color at which the company excels. It’s hard to go wrong no matter which one you choose but my current favorites are Dark Brown and Chocolate Brown, just in case you were wondering.


  1. It seems, but is it similar to Herbin Terre de Feu?


    • They are similar but Terre de Feu is more red.


  2. I’m glad you mentioned Waterman Havana. It’s one of my favorite inks ever. Amazing shading. But this one has a certain resemblance.


  3. Thanks for the post. I don’t have many browns in my collection, Waterman Havana being the only brown I currently own but I am beginning to experiment more in the brown category because I’m seeing a lot of interesting browns in letters I have received from pen pals. I would never have given Diamine Dark Brown a second thought, but after reading your post will give it a look-see. Curious if you might have any preferences and recommendations for very dark browns that are almost brownish-black?


    • Good question for which I have no suggestions. All of my brown inks look brown. Maybe someone else will have experience with an ink that is that dark.


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  5. […] Diamine Dark Brown Ink Review (via Inkophile) […]


  6. […] Diamine Dark Brown Ink Review (via Inkophile) […]


  7. […] Diamine Dark Brown Ink Earns Top Marks […]


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