Review: KWZ Old Gold

Say the phrase “Old Gold” and what comes to my mind are pirates and conquistadores in their majestic, full-rigged ships. I have no idea why, since I’m pretty sure they were after new gold – bright, eye-searing, freshly-minted bars and coins in overflowing treasure chests. (As you can see, my vision of history has a Hollywood production value.)

I think this is because KWZ Old Gold has a unique color that captivates the imagination. I see it on the page, and I think, “hmmm, what do I see today?” An Incan mask? A tarnished C-3PO? Wild Bactrian camels in the Gobi desert? The Voyager record? Belgian waffles with maple syrup? Clearly, a Rorschach test in this ink would be fun.

Aside from having an unusual color, Old Gold exhibits some interesting shading. Strokes on the page range from the color of wheat to dark bronze. It doesn’t sheen, but frankly, this ink doesn’t need any sheen to stand out. I also haven’t noticed any feathering nor bleeding in the pens and paper that I’ve used this in. For comparison, here’s a swab of KWZ Old Gold with other brown inks.

The writing sample below shows off the ink’s color and shading. This was written on cream-colored Tomoe River 52 gsm paper with a Pelikan Graphos 10mm T nib.

I'm also happy to report that this ink plays well with my pens. In the handwritten review, I used a double broad and an extra-fine pen. It flowed well in both and I didn't experience any hard starts. I’ve also had no issues with cleaning the ink from my pens, and it washes off from my hands quite easily. I haven't tried this on clear, piston-filling pens though, so I couldn't comment on whether it stains barrels or not.

One thing to note is that the ink has a smell reminiscent of vanilla, which is also found in KWZ Honey. I like it, but I can see how it might bother others.

In short, KWZ Old Gold is a remarkable ink. Its extraordinary color, notable shading, and its good manners (read: "well-behaved" ink) make it a joy to write with. It definitely stands out in my collection. After all, not a lot of inks inspire flights of fancy as I write.

….and speaking of flights of fancy, the drawing below features a marvel of science, technology, and a good dose of imagination that will (hopefully) be launched in 2020 – the James Webb Space Telescope. This drawing was done completely with KWZ Old Gold and was brushed with a bit of water, which gave it a yellowish hue. The telescope’s primary mirrors are actually covered in a layer of gold, making this ink a fitting choice for this drawing. June 2018 update: The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launch has been postponed to March 2021.