Platinum Citrus Black Ink Review

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(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

When it comes to yellow inks, I can't say I have much experience. It's not a color that I've been attracted to so far in my ink journey, but it doesn't mean I have anything against it, either. So, when I received a bottle of Platinum Citrus Black to try out, I was intrigued. The color of the ink that's visible through the bottle is very light and mostly transparent. I didn't expect this ink to surprise me as much as it did.

Upon inking up a pen and taking it to paper, the light, highlighter yellow ink was barely visible as I wrote. My impression was, "this is a useless color," but that's when things started to change. I hadn't researched the ink before trying it, and I discovered very quickly that Citrus Black is an iron gall ink that Platinum offers. To my surprise and delight, I watched the highlighter yellow ink transform into a deeper yellow with green tones, followed by an even deeper green/yellow that looked closer to olive. Needless to say, my initial impression was blown away.

Drying characteristics taken over a 30 second timeframe

Drying characteristics taken over a 30 second timeframe

If you've never tried an iron gall ink before, you're missing out. They have a unique characteristic (the iron) that causes the color and shade to change drastically as it dries. In every iron gall ink I try, this trait fascinates and delights me. With Citrus Black, it's no different.

Apart from the obvious color-changing trick, this ink also packs a pretty significant shading characteristic that makes it even more fun to use. Once the ink dries (which is a fairly quick process), you're left with a medium yellow/green/brown color on the page. It's technically an off-black, but it's not nearly dark enough in my mind to qualify for that name. Either way, it's an attractive color both wet and fully dry.

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Being an iron gall, it's also very water-resistant if that's something you look for in inks. It's also worth pointing out that iron galls can cause some damage to your pens if left inked and unused for extended periods of time, but just make sure you clean it out after a month to ensure your pen keeps functioning as expected.

If there's one downside to this ink, it's the fact that the wet ink is just so darn difficult to see while writing. It really is a shade similar to highlighter, which makes it nearly illegible when wet. After about five seconds, that problem no longer presents, but it can be difficult if you're trying to keep your handwriting steady and legible. It's almost like writing with invisible ink.

Platinum Citrus Black, and all of the Platinum Classic Inks, are available in 60ml bottles for $25 at JetPens. The price is a bit higher than what you might normally expect, but it's a large bottle and a fascinating ink wholly worth the extra couple of dollars.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on August 23, 2017 and filed under Platinum, Ink Reviews.

New Life Stationery Notebooks Now At Vanness Pens (Sponsor)

Life Stationery is as good as it gets when it comes to paper goods, and two new notebook releases at Vanness Pens have my interest piqued.

The Life Stationery Margin A5 Notebook is a new interior and exterior look for the brand. The cover style is more subtle and modern, and the paper features a faint red margin on the left side on all of the blank, lined, and grid models. The Life Stationery Spiral A5 and B6 Notebooks are a traditional school-style notebook with double ring spiral binding and grid paper on the inside.

What makes both of these notebooks special, and all of Life’s products special, is the paper quality. It is top-tier for nearly every pen, pencil, and ink you can throw at it. Yes, even your wettest fountain pens. They also have letter writing accessories with wonderful Airmail Envelopes, Airmail Writing Pads, and Bank Writing Paper.

Vanness Pens offers free shipping in the US on orders over $40, so get shopping and try out the products from Life Stationery. My thanks to them for sponsoring The Pen Addict this week.

Posted on August 21, 2017 and filed under Featured Sponsor.

Lamy Pico Pearl Chrome Ballpoint Pen Review

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In all of my recent discussions around pocket pens on the blog and the podcast, the Lamy Pico was left out of the primary conversation. That was a mistake on my part, because it is one of the best pocket pens on the market today.

The main feature of the Pico is the unique retractable mechanism it offers. When closed, it is a sleek, compact pen that is easy to slide into a pocket or a bag. When deployed, the pen extends into a full length writer that is comfortable to hold in any situation.

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Many compact pens offer a standard length when in the writing position, but what sets the Pico apart is the full-sized, or even over sized to some, barrel diameter. Pocket pens generally have a slimmer profile to suit their reason for existence, so it is nice to see a normal barrel width in a compact pen. The Kaweco Sport series is another pocket pen that does this well.

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The refill is above average quality for a ballpoint, but the size is proprietary. So, there is no swapping of refills for your favorite D1 or Parker. The Pico ships with a medium black ink cartridge, but Lamy offers a fine blue refill, which is always my go to choice if possible.

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Aside from being an excellent pen, the Pico is part of Lamy’s limited color rotation, so you will see fun colors like Neon Pink and Blaze Orange pop up about once per year. This Pearl Chrome is part of the stock lineup, and features a satin silver finished that feels great. And since the barrel is metal, is is perfect for engraving, which makes the Pico a great gift.

This makes my second Pico, although I can’t seem to find my white one at the moment. Regardless, it won’t be my last, especially if Lamy keeps releasing fun colors in this lineup.

(Pen Chalet provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

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Posted on August 21, 2017 and filed under Lamy, Pico, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.