Parker Penman Ruby Fountain Pen Ink04/27/2013
Parker Penman Inks were introduced twenty years ago and for some aficionados nothing has replaced them. Sapphire is the most often mentioned color but Ruby is no less worthy of note.
Ruby has a bit more yellow and green in its base than other burgundy inks and that gives it a unique, slightly earthy color. It has good shading for its degree of saturation as well as good flow. The color combined with the other properties have kept this ink on my list of favorites for a very long time.
Several years ago, I sent a sample to Diamine hoping they would develop something comparable. After all, Ruby had been off the market since 2000 and there were few burgundy inks available at that time, much less one that offered similar properties. Since then, Diamine has released Syrah and Merlot. From Diamine’s online swatches, Syrah looks like a possible substitute for Ruby while Merlot looks more red or wine-colored.
Inks that are true color duplicates are uncommon so at best Syrah will be similar. If it shades well, it might be a worthy substitute. Not that I’m likely to run out of Ruby anytime soon. My stash of three bottles is more properly a hoard, one that could make even a dragon jealous.