Ancient Copper

Brown inks are never as interesting as I expect them to be. Maybe I’m hoping that they’ll turn my messy scrawl into a romantic sepia-tinted document. They don’t.

Diamine Ancient Copper can look so-so or it can do spectacularly well, shading nicely. It looks lovely in the bottle. It deposits crud on certain nibs (Lamy Vista yes, but my Sheaffer hasn’t been a problem).

Ancient Copper

The chromatogram leans strongly towards orange, but there’s some purple at the base of the ink–who knew? Apologies if the photo isn’t up to scratch, that dark spot at the bottom really does look purple.

Dia AC chrom

Would I buy a big bottle of this ink? Unlikely. It’s a novelty; it’s OK for making a day’s notes or addressing cards. I wouldn’t write a letter with it.

Still, I’m drawn back to it. I reckon I’ll be writing with it tomorrow. The notes I made with it are very easy on the eye. Best with a white paper (cream is makes it look to orange).

The swab above makes it look like a boring orange-brown, the truth is it’s both orange and brown. Honestly, it’s probably as exciting as brown is going to get.


  • Shades nicely
  • If you like brown…
  • Smears–about average for Diamine, but
  • Some of my notes appear to smear long after the ink should have dried
  • Would use it for cards
  • Wouldn’t use it for letters
  • Flows and lubricates well, nice writing experience with Sheaffer
  • Nib crud on dry writers (Lamy) makes for less enjoyable writing–constant wiping nib, some letters beginning with a dark blob
  • I guess it oxidises and darkens in air.

2 thoughts on “Ancient Copper

  1. I really like the colour you’ve got with this one. I’m not a fan of fountain pens generally, but this might be fun with a calligraphy pen…

    • It’s a fun ink to play with–works very well in my Noodler’s Konrad because of the sheer amount of ink that lays down. For the same reason a calligraphy italic nib may be good, although I had flow problems in my TWSBI. The photos really don’t do it justice here, I will try some more.

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