The sheer volume of excellent fountain pen inks on the market continues to astound me. I know I talk about this all the time, but I still remember a time less than ten years ago when there were only two brands (Noodler’s and Private Reserve) that had color options in the double digits. Even as more brands emerged in recent years, most companies focused on bright, highly saturated colors. Those have their place, but when it comes to choosing ink, my interest lies in the darker, more muted, and somewhat murky corners of the color palette. Korean ink maker 3 Oysters checks all of those boxes.
Since I’m a sucker for dark greens, and especially green-blacks, I picked up a bottle of Black Moss as I was leaving this year’s Baltimore Pen Show. A month later in Little Rock, during a visit to the Vanness store, I added samples of Gogung (a grayish brown), Red Wine (self-explanatory), and Chilli Red (a brighter red with hints of orange). The only color I did not care for was Mustard. The color is interesting, but it’s a bit light for everyday writing and doesn’t fit a need in my rotation.
All of the 3 Oysters inks I tested dried quickly and exhibited zero bleeding, feathering, or even show-through. These really are great inks! I used 3 Oysters on a variety of papers across several work days, and never had an issue. If I could anticipate any criticisms that someone might have with the 3 Oysters inks, it would be that some might find certain inks a bit undersaturated (i.e., washed-out), especially colors such as Chili Red and Mustard.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
I’ve enjoyed my time so far with the 3 Oysters “Delicious” inks, and the bottle of Black Moss will certainly see some use. Behavior-wise, they remind me of Pilot Iroshizuku, being slightly less saturated and having similar flow. The price point is $18 for 30ml, which on a price-per-ml basis sits on the expensive side, but I don’t have any information on the scale of production - it’s actually difficult to find much information on the company behind the ink. I assume it’s a relatively small operation, with import and shipping costs driving the price of the ink up even further. That said, the price is not per se unreasonable, and sits well below Sailor’s new price point of 20ml for $15.
You can currently purchase all 3Oysters inks from our sponsor Vanness Pens, which carries the entire line, including not only the “Delicious” inks featured here, but also the “Hun Min Jeong” and “I.Color.U” series, and a special edition “Marine Green” ink.
Disclaimer: This post contains links to paid sponsors and affiliates. Vanness Pens is a sponsor of this site and provided me with the ink featured in this review free of charge, for review purposes.