Ink Review: Private Reserve Ebony Purple

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Private Reserve has a small collection  of “ebony” inks, very dark, in some cases, nearly black, shades of a whole parcel of colors.  The first one of these I ever tried with Ebony Purple.  (Ebony Green was shortly thereafter.)  I first got this as a sample from GPC, but liked it so much that I eventually ended up buying a full bottle myself.  I have also given samples of it away to several family members, many of whom also purchased the ink.  This is an ink that is great for people who want to use colored ink, but who, perhaps, don’t feel comfortable with brightly-colored inks, or work in environments where bright colors might not be appropriate.  It is also, I have found, a good ink to use when writing letters to people whose eyesight isn’t great.  The ink is so dark that, on nice white paper, the contrast is nearly as high as pure black.

Aside from green, purple is my second favorite color.  I like this purple a lot.  It was hard to get the color exactly right in the photos for this ink, but the handwriting above is pretty darn close.  Under most lights it looks nearly black, with just a hint of purple.  In the right lights or on ivory paper, the purple will tend to stand out a little more, but in no way could this be considered a garish color.

Because the ink is so dark, you will see very little in the way of shading.  There can be a bit of a gold-ish sheen to the ink, but in retrospect, I would probably rank this ink’s sheening capabilities closer to a 3 or 4, not a six.  You can sort of see a touch of sheen in some of the photos below, but it is very slight.  The ink’s water resistance surprised me more than a little.  As you can see, it does wash out some of the color, but leaves behind more than a little bit of ink.

I am not one of those people who has ever had an issue with Private Reserve inks.  (I know there are a few folks out there who don’t care for PR, and a couple of retailer who say that PR inks will void warranties…which I think is more than a little ridiculous.)  For me, PR inks have always flowed well, performed well, cleaned easily, and have been a pleasure to use.  As a lover of saturated colors, they offer a lot of options for me. And the price really can’t be beat.  Milliliter for milliliter, they offer some of the best values for the price.

I really do like PR Ebony Purple.  I use it often, many times in my letters to my very elderly grandmother.  It allows me to write with the colors I love, but is still easy enough for her to read.

  • AdmiralPayne

    I got all excited about this article, because I read Ebony Blue instead. This ink looks nice as well, but I fell a little bit in love with Ebony Blue, since I got it in the ink drop. I had to order a bottle, no matter the cost (which in Germany is quite high due too 23$ shipping). The red sheen that comes through, when the ink is saturated. It’s so beautiful.
    Anyway, keep up the good work 🙂

  • TJ Zidaroff

    I’ve really liked the PR inks I’ve used. Ok, the 3 I’ve used…American Blue (this is a GREAT blue), velvet black, and Avocado. Now I have another to get. Thanks Matt for your great review. My wallet says “damn” but I say thanks.

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