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Diamine Sapphire Blue (blue): Ink Review


On Scrively's Ink Reviews - Background Information (click to expand)


Diamine Sapphire Blue: a solid and “official” blue ink

Diamine Sapphire Blue_swab

Ink name: Diamine “Sapphire Blue”
Unit capacity: 30 ml (plastic bottle)
Price: ca. 3,35 € (via the Diamine Webshop)
Price per ml: ca. 0,11 €

  Leuchtturm 1917 Standard copy paper
Color  lovely dark blue – very “official  great “official” blue
Saturation  very high  high
Shading  nice dark shading  not that much anymore
Feathering  none  no
Bleed-through  no  might happen on the 2nd pass
Wetness  rather low  rather low
Drying time  15 sec.  3-5 sec.
Smudging when dry  yes  no
Regular smear test  okay  okay
Left-page smear test  so and so  okay

Handwritten review on Leuchtturm 1917 paper
(scanned @600 dpi with Doxie Flip – click image to enlarge on Flickr)

Diamine Sapphire Blue on Leuchtturm

Handwritten review on standard photocopying paper
(scanned @600 dpi with Doxie Flip – click image to enlarge on Flickr)

Diamine Sapphire BlueThis ink was not an easy one for me to think through. But first things first.

The color of Diamine Sapphire Blue is lovely – and I suppose one can not go wrong with this ink. It is what I would consider a very “official blue”, i.e. it has neither hints of other colors nor is it too bright or too flat or shades too much or too little. It really is just there, and a little more. So I think this really is an ink that can be used at work, for official communication, and so on.

The ink looks extremely nice on Leuchtturm paper, which really makes the color pop. It shades lovely, but rather dark. So it is very noticeable, but subtle. I find that for a blue ink, Sapphire Blue still looks really nice on standard copy paper. However, it if course does flatten out a little there. Drying time is super fast on standard paper.

Pricewise, as with all the Diamine inks, Sapphire Blue is really affordable. So if you need another blue in your collection, you simply can’t go wrong with that one – especially considering the awesome price tag.

As for its ‘leftyness’, this ink really is a rather tricky one: the drying time is (probably) rather good, but the problem with this ink is that it does smudge once it dried. Hence, it might be that it is dry even a bit earlier than one thinks (e.g. under 15 sec. on Leuchtturm paper – like around the 8-10 sec. mark) and the occasional smearing really comes from the ink just still smudging  despite being dry. While this generally it not too much of a problem, it might become a problem with the “left page-smear test”: because when you rest your (maybe slightly sweaty palm) on the left page of your notebook, while you write on the right page of a notebook, the ink will most certainly smudge. It does not do that when you are careful (i.e. you rest your palm only shortly) or when your palm is not wet at all. So, while the ink might well be usable for lefties (under more careful circumstances), I would still feel uncomfortable with approving it 100% for lefties. And this is for one special reason: Diamine Florida Blue (which I have not reviewed yet, but I will at some point) is sooo much better here. It does not smudge at all! So, if you have not totally fallen for the Sapphire Blue, go for Florida Blue instead if you are a lefty. Truth to be told: I like the color and shading even better! For righties, Sapphire Blue is of course no problem. Also, it is okay for lefties on standard copy paper, where it dries (or rather: gets soaked in) very fast and is hard to smudge.

Lefty approved? Almost…but, nah. (Go for Diamine Florida Blue instead.)


I hope this was helpful – feel free to check out my other ink reviews as well.


  1. Jonjo Jonjo

    A truly great Blue ink.
    I find it vibrant and somewhat luscious to use
    with just a hint of purple.
    A toned down Bilberry

    • Scrively Scrively

      True! The color is really nice

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