I’m a sucker for shading orange/red inks. One of my all-time favourites is Diamine Ancient Copper. Another is Diamine Autumn Oak. This ink, Monteverde Fire Opal, falls smack in between them.
It’s a relatively new ink, and until now wasn’t available in the UK. I’m heading out to California in a couple of weeks and was going to bring some back with me, but it popped up on Cult Pens late last week and I ordered some. I’m bad at waiting.
Fire Opal is part of Monteverde’s new gemstone range. The community is quietly getting excited about them. Charoite is a lovely purple; Olivine a delicate green; all seem well saturated with unusual colours, decent shading, and a lubricating additive that by all accounts actually works.
But, like I said, what suckered me in on Fire Opal is the colour. It’s perfect, in my opinion. Dark enough to be usable, bright enough to be interesting, a good shader, and so far well behaved. It’s a bit pricey compared to its Diamine rivals — a 30ml glass bottle runs £8, compared to less than £3 for a Diamine plastic bottle of equal capacity. On the plus side, the Monteverde bottle has a nice wide rim, and if you’re keen on better value you can get a 90ml bottle for about £15. Of course, prices are lower in the US.
Naturally, I wanted to get Fire Opal looking as gem-like as I could. So I tried it out on tracing paper. With a backlight it’s quite magical.
This is the first Monteverde ink I’ve tried. I’m really having to sit on my hands not to order a couple more of the gemstone range.