Looking for a gorgeous dark blue ink? You might just fall in love with Diamine's Majestic Blue. This is the darkest blue ink I've tested so far and I got a sample because I heard good things about its color and shading.
A bottle typically costs $12.50 for 80ml (or 2.7oz) and the price per milliliter is $0.16 which is in line with other inexpensive inks such as Noodler's.
Majestic Blue is dark, saturated and flows very well in my Lamy AL-Star. I used two nibs for this review, the 1.1mm italic with photocopier paper and the EF with Rhodia 80g.
There doesn't seem to be any feathering but there's a little bit of bleedthrough on photocopier paper. Rhodia 80g paper is much more resistant and the ink doesn't show through at all.
Drying times are also good, usually below 10 seconds.
One negative aspect of this ink that I have noticed is that it tends to smear easily, even after drying. This is probably due to its concentrated nature and the fact that it doesn't get absorbed by the paper really well.
Like other Diamine inks, Majestic Blue dries up in a thick gel-like paste on the nib, especially if it doesn't get used for a long time. I went away on vacation for three weeks and when I got back, the remaining ink in my Lamy was hard to get started.
Moving on to the best feature of Diamine Majestic Blue, I'll give it to you straight: it has gorgeous shading. Most shading inks usually show nuances of the same color, darker or lighter. Majestic Blue, instead, has some very interesting red highlights. These, unfortunately, don't really show up a lot in normal writing, unless maybe you are using a broad or italic nib. Even then, you'd have to use a magnifying glass to see it or tilt it into the light and peer at it. For art though, I'm sure this ink will excel.
The other weakness (if it matters to you) of Diamine Majestic Blue is its lack of water resistance. Like most Diamine inks, it is completely non-resistant, as you can see from the sample. If you intend to use it, keep it well away from water and other sources of moisture.
In conclusion, Diamine Majestic Blue is a beautiful blue ink with crimson-red shading and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a dark blue. The only caveat is its lack of water resistance so if you really need this feature, you will have to look elsewhere.
Here are the two writing samples on photocopier paper and Rhodia 80g.