Monday, February 7, 2011

J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite Ink

There are many great reviews of J. Herbin's 1670 anniversary ink Rouge Hematite, such as here, here, and here. I was more interested in comparing the color to a few others I love, Diamine Poppy Red and Noodler's Widowmaker (with Diamine's Oxblood thrown in for a third comparison).

One thing I did finally notice about the 1670 is the gold sheen, which is very subtle. Shaking the bottle is a must, and even then you won't notice much unless, like me, you raise the notepad horizontally until it's even with your eyes (and just above your nose). Then I saw the slight gold tone to the red, which is very evenly disbursed within the red color itself.

As the picture shows, Widowmaker is darker and slightly cooler (I'm seeing a hint of blue) and Poppy Red much lighter (and warmer, with a lot of yellow in it). Oxblood is in its own category, a darker red that looks more like dried, oxidized blood than the drops of the fresh stuff you might see from a shaving mishap.

Another detail about 1670 is how much it shades. I used a q-tip for the swatch and the writing, and found the way the ink pooled and deepened an attractive addition to this ink's repertoire.

If you haven't gotten a bottle yet, check out Goulet Pens--you can order a sample to check it out, or the full bottle (which is as lovely as the ink).


  1. I can't really distinguish the golden highlights from your sample but on the other hand the Diamine Poppy Red looks gorgeous. I have a virgin bottle of 1670 and can't get myself to use it seeing that it's such an expensive ink. Well, not as expensive as Iroshizuku. I don't have any pens to put it in, except my Pilot Parallel 2.4mm so I guess that's where it will go.

  2. I've been meaning to get my hands on one of those 1670s. On the other hand, the Oxblood looks more like the red I'd go for. Or why not splash out and get them all!

  3. Peninkcillin, I had to hold the paper flat and level with my eyes in medium light to see the gold sheen to the ink. To say it's a subtle shimmer is understating it quite a bit.

  4. Thanks so much for mentioning me! We literally just got some 1670 back in and I'm sure it won't be around all that long :P