Brian's Top 10 Sheening Inks


After we put together the video on my top 7 favorite shading inks, many of you asked us to do the same for sheening inks. You may be thinking, "what is sheen exactly?" In regards to fountain pen ink, it could be sparkles like glitter, or a shiny color that happens in the areas where ink really pools up. You can't always see the sheen in the swab, so be sure to check out the video for up an up close look at each ink, or the individual product pages for images showing off the sheen.

Here are a few important points to remember about sheen: – (:35)

  • The paper you use impacts sheen tremendously
    • more absorbent paper = no sheen
    • really ink resistant paper (like Tomoé River) brings out crazy sheen!
  • Longer dry times
  • Some are harder to clean out of the pen, especially the sparkly ones, but I don't hear about any actual ‘damage'
  • Always good to shake the bottles, especially the ones with glittery stuff in it, like the J. Herbin 1670 inks


Here are my picks for the top 10 sheening inks (in no particular order)

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor, 50ml bottle – (2:13)

-can cause clogging due to the metallic flakes
-red and gold sheen
-shine shows up well on Tomoe River paper – helps with the pooling instead of absorbing



J. Herbin Stormy Grey, 50ml bottle – (2:48)

– gold shine
– shake before use – prone to clogging
– good everyday grey


J. Herbin Bleu Ocean, 50ml bottle – (3:23)


– originally the 2nd of the 1670 J. Herbin anniversary inks, and had no shimmer when it first came out

– redesigned in spring 2015 to have the gold shimmer like you see in Stormy Grey
– slight purplish/violet color
– higher maintenance ink, may not flow great in all pens


J. Herbin Rouge Hematite, 50ml bottle – (4:19)


– Red to orange to brown in color- gold/brownish sheen
– gunks up on nib after awhile if it dries out
– prone to clogging


Diamine Majestic Blue, 80ml bottle – (5:16)


– vibrant deep blue
– color will look deeper or lighter dependent on paper
– lightly shades
– sheen seen from angle


Private Reserve Electric DC Blue, 60ml bottle – (6:00)


– red shine in pooling
– very slow drying
– good shader
– can feather dependent on the paper


Diamine Sherwood Green, 80ml bottle – (6:23)


– nice shading
– color goes from green to almost a black in the bigger pooling areas
– quick dry time


Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun, 50ml bottle – (6:49)

– good shading
– wet ink
– yellow to brown to green


Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo, 50ml bottle – (7:25)

– gold/yellow reflective shine in the ink pools
– has good shading as well
– more conventional ink, fast dry time and low maintenance


Pilot Iroshizuku Tsutsuji, 50ml bottle – (8:06)

– highly saturated, bright
– leans to a red/blush color
– sparkles
– more conventional ink, fast dry time and low maintenance


There you have it! It's also worth noting that Diamine Shimmertastic inks are now available. Diamine's 22 shimmer inks fit right in with the ones listed here. With any of these shimmer or sheening inks, it'll be a good idea to try a sample of these inks first. They're kind of unconventional and might not be for everyone.

Photos of sheening inks with examples of how they sheen