You can probably guess from the title that I’m more than a little taken with Diamine’s new Shimmer range, of which Diamine were kind enough to provide me with a sample set for review.

I have something of a mixed relationship with shimmer inks. I love the idea of them and the fantastic range of colours, but since my preference is for fine nibs, I rarely get the benefits of the shimmer effects, which are much more evident with a broader nib. Fine nibs can also be more prone to clogging, which is always a worry with shimmer inks, although I do have a few of Diamine’s Shimmer range among others and have only had issues with pens that are prone to clogging anyway. I usually work on the basis that they are best used in pens that have good ink flow and can be easily flushed.

So how best to show off these amazing inks? Clearly some blobs would be required and if I was going to blob, why not have some fun and make them into a pseudo-Rorschach Test. So I did. Ready to play? I’m just going to describe the ink and you make what you will of the image ūüėÄ

1. Neon Lime

I can’t honestly say I’m a massive fan of lime green as a rule, but this one really zings with the silver shimmer. ¬†Yes, it’s a bit neon, but mostly lime with a silver lining. It had me wishing for some gin to go with it.

2.  Pink Champagne

This one is pink grapefruit/salmon coloured in the main, edging towards cherry flesh at the darker end. The gold really sparkles and swirls in the light and reminds me of glittery pink lipstick.

3. Starlit Sea*

Another absolutely stunning colour, ranging from the mid blue to the deep blue-black with just a hint of redness around the edges, and oh, so much silvery stardust in this sky. A starry night indeed! (*Edit: oops, I misread the label as Starry Sky, when I should be Starlit Sea. Still looks like a Starry Sky to me though)

4. Razzmatazz

I admit to being a bit perplexed by this one initially as it came out looking like a murky olive green and I just couldn’t see what was razzy, let alone matazzy about it all. Then it dried. The gold in this is extreme, with the green adding a slightly bronzy/brassy quality. Metal enough for Ozzy Osbourne.

5. Rockin’ Rio

I must admit to being somewhat offended by the omission of either a “g” or an apostrophe in the name of this ink. What can I say, grammar is important. Another richly golden shimmering ink in an orangey-red, though not really a colour I’d associate with the tropics.¬†Made me think more of late autumn, Christmas fairs and gluhwein with slices of orange and cinnamon sticks floating in it.

6. Peacock Flare

Only one of three silver shimmers in this set and hard to resist given my penchant for both teal and silver. Slight hints of red in the darkest edges and the silver is perhaps more subtle than the gold as a shimmer. Reminiscent of Art Deco period illustrated book covers.

7. Dragon Blood

A slightly darker, bloodier red that the Rockin’ Rio with just as much gold sheen. I should perhaps point out that these ink blots were in no way contrived – I randomly blobbed, I pressed and the spirit of the ink apparently came forth. What more can I say – dragon’s blood!

6. Mystique

As well as teal, I’m a complete sucker for a nice purple and this is a very nice, regal purple which is slightly on the bluer side. The gold gives it added warmth. Evokes ancient civilisations and the search for King Solomon’s Mines or El Dorado (the golden city, not the dodgy soap opera).

So there, you have it. I rather think all of these are splendid. At ¬£9.95 RRP a bottle, I couldn’t really afford all of them, so¬†I’m very pleased to have the whole set as samples, since I’d be really hard pushed to choose between them. ¬†As you can see from the labels, for which I used a dip pen, the shimmer isn’t going to be very apparent with a fine nib, so if your preference is for broad or stub nibs, these will look stunning.

Now for the fun part! What do YOU make of the ink blots? Answers in the comments below, if you dare. You can see mine by clicking here (but do yours first or you’ll just see what I have described, which is no fun at all)


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  1. Neon Lime - It’s obviously a baboon camouflage mask
  2. Pink Champagne - some sort of tropical chicken-fish mobile above someone's reclining head. Not sure where the cherries fit into it.
  3. Starry Sky - alien bureaucrat with mad, triangular Crystal Tips* hair
  4. Razzamatazz - golden death mask.  Gold enough to leave Agamemnon green with envy.
  5. Rockin Rio - extreme cupcake consumption...with chopsticks.
  6. Peacock Flare - a couple of old genies arguing over space in the vessel
  7. Dragon's Blood - a bloody great dragon. Watch out St. George - incoming!
  8. Mystique - Inca mask. OK, bit of a death mask theme emerging here.

*youngsters may not get this reference