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J. Herbin “Éclat de Saphir” (blue): Ink Review

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

J. Herbin “Éclat de Saphir”: a very ‘official’ blue shader

J.Herbin Eclat de Saphir_ink swab

Ink name: J. Herbin “Éclat de Saphir”
Unit capacity: 30 ml (glas bottle)
Price: ca. 12 € in Europe (cheaper in the USA – just around 11 $)
Price per ml: ca. 0,40 € (USA: 0,36 $)

  Leuchtturm 1917 Standard copy paper
Color  light, very balanced and “official” blue  balanced, “official” blue
Saturation quite high  high
Shading  lovely shading – dark blue where the ink pools  yes, but not as beautiful as on better paper
Feathering  none  no
Bleed-through  none  can happen on 2nd pass
Wetness  pretty wet – lubricates very well  quite wet, but absorbed rapidly
Drying time  20 sec.  5 sec.
Smudging when dry none  no
Regular smear test  Just okay (when not writing too fast)  ok
Left-page smear test  fine  ok

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

J.Herbin Eclat de Saphir on Leuchtturm

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

J.Herbin Eclat de Saphir on standard paper

J. Herbin’s “Éclat de Saphir” very rapidly advanced to one of my favorite blue inks from the first time I have used it. It indeed is an amazing ink – well behaved on a variety of papers, nice shading, wet flow and usable in probably any context.

Éclat de Saphir’s color is a saturated blue that is on the slightly lighter side. It is a very decent and pure blue, which makes it an ‘official’ ink that is usable in any context: business and private communication, school, university, and so on.

The ink shades nicely from a nice and saturated lighter blue to a pretty dark blue where the ink pools – even with a fine nib, you can literally watch the ink pooling as you write. Amazing. The shading is very pretty on better paper but looses a lot of its interesting characteristics on standard paper. I wouldn’t use it on cheaper paper primarily due to the ink being on the pricier side (at least in Europe). In the States the J.Herbin inks are considerably cheaper. Anyway, to me personally, “Éclat de Saphir” is such a lovely ink, it is definitely worth the price.

As for its ‘leftyness’, the ink is pretty wet – this gives it a very lubricant and smooth feel when writing it, but takes it’s toll on a slightly longer drying time on better paper. Cheaper paper absorbs it very rapidly – no problem here. Anyway, also on better paper there is not much of a problem when not writing too fast. The great advantage of “Éclat de Saphir” is that it is almost non-smudgebale once it dried, which is great for lefties (see “left-page smear test”).

Lefty approved? Yes, it is!


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

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