Friday, November 25, 2016


I have over 100 bottles of ink at the moment, yet when it comes to writing down (somewhat) important things or taking notes in class, I rarely use anything but black (Lamy black most of the time). That's boring, I know. So I decided to up my notetaking game by finding an ink that is still subdued, but has a bit more character.

The answer was grey. Grey inks have become an obsession in the past few months, I'm trying to find the perfect grey that isn't too light, has shading, is neutral in color and performs well. In my search so far, Graf von Faber-Castell Stone grey tops the charts.
When does an ink become a favourite? Simple: when it ticks all the boxes!
Stone grey is what I would call a 'neutral' grey (YMMV) . Grey inks can be either colder, more towards blue, or warmer, with a more yellow undertone. In between those two is a neutral zone. It has no color, only different shades of grey. (A black and white photo of it would probably show no difference in color to what you see here) That's what I wanted, and that's what Stone grey delivers.
Another good reason for liking this ink is that it shades quite well. The base color isn't that dark, but because of the shading it appears much darker on the page. Darker also means more legible, so it's a win-win situation. This is definitely an ink worth trying out in a wide, wet nib to get the best possible shading out of it!
Sheen is hard to find, but the shading more than makes up for that. Certain inks just have better sheen than others, and grey inks are in the latter category. Apart from that it does perform as it's supposed to. Graf von Faber-Castell calls it 'indelible' which means it should be smudge-proof, resistant to water, UV and certain chemicals. In my water test it still smudged. But part of it remained somewhat legible, I suppose you could get away with it but I wouldn't recommend trying it on purpose.
Overall -and this is something I found with GvFC Hazelnut brown as well- it's a well-behaved ink: nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing to complain about either. It's good looking but sober, reliable ink, which makes it ideal for daily use. Shading is what makes this, and other grey inks, attractive in my book, and it's something I miss with black ink. I can definitely see this completely replace Lamy black over time as my go-to ink.

I like what Graf von Faber-Castell is doing with their inks, I've tried two so far, and I'm eager to try the other colors in the collection. Price is a downside, at 25 EUR / 30 USD for a 70ml bottle (Really nice glass bottles though!). But the inks are very good quality and the colors that I tried have been great, so I think they are worth a shot.

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