Monteverde hasn’t been around for long, but Monteverde ink is already known for being one of the smoothest and highest-quality ink you can buy for high-end fountain pens.
An Introduction to Monteverde
Monteverde was founded in 1999 in the United States, making it one of the youngest companies in the fountain pen space. While most well-known pen companies were established in the 1800s or early 1900s, a company with less than a quarter-century history might be easy to write off.
However, ignoring this company due to its young age would be a mistake – even with their short history Monteverde has become known for high-quality fountain pens and even higher-quality ink. Writing with a Monteverde fountain pen ink is a smooth experience and a ton of fun.
A key differentiator that puts Monteverde ahead of their older, more established competition, is their trademarked ink treatment formula, or ITF, technology. With ITF, inks have a better flow which gives them a sharper look on the page.
Improving ink flow has more benefits than just better looks, ITF technology allows the ink to lubricate the feeding system within the fountain pen. Better lubrication and flow extend the life of the fountain pen and help guard against clogs and hardening ink within the pen itself. Not only is hard ink difficult to clean, but it might also prematurely take your favorite fountain pen out of the rotation for good.
Lastly, ITF improves the dry time of the ink and allows for a longer cap-off period. Less interruption to your writing, and more life for your pen, win/win.
If you haven’t heard of Monteverde before, this guide will give you an introduction to some of their most popular fountain pen inks at a range of prices. By the end of our ink review, we think these quality Monteverde inks will become a regular feature of your fountain pen collection.
Best Monteverde Ink Review
The original, the founder, the first – this ink got the business rolling for Monteverde. Available in an eye-popping 42 color variations, Monteverde USA Ink is the first touch point for the brand. Coming in a 90ml bottle, this high-quality ink is the leading ink formula for Monteverde.
Writing with this ink produces smooth and crisp lines without over-saturating the page and creating blotches. The colors pop but aren’t too vibrant, so the ink is a great choice for both writers and artists, though professional artists may want to opt for one of the more expensive inks that creates a more vibrant coloring.
This ink is water-based so it takes a little longer to dry but it soaks into the page well and is non-erasable. We like how the Monteverde USA Ink lubricates the inner workings of the fountain pen and sharply reduces the chance of any clogging or molding that would ruin an expensive fountain pen.
The Monteverde USA Ink is a joy to write with, and at an extremely attractive price, it’s a great introduction for anyone newly into fountain pens or for anyone who wants to try out Monteverde ink for the first time.
This video shows the Monteverde California Teal and gives you a great idea of what to expect when writing with any ink from this collection.
The Monteverde Gemstone Collection is a step up in quality and produces some of the most bright and vibrant colors we’ve seen from the company. Taking their inspiration from natural geode formations, the Gemstone collection is a great emulation of the vibrant, sparkling colors found in precious gemstones. The gift set comes in ten colors and is the perfect addition to any aspiring artist’s toolbox.
Gemstone inks are also water-based and have the same fountain pen nib lubricating effects as the base-level ink. Using inks that can help lubricate the fountain pen nib and innards can help extend the life of your pen as it reduces damaging, clog-causing ink buildups. The quality of ink flow with the Gemstone Collection is unmatched by any of the other ink collections from Monteverde.
What we love most about the Gemstone Collection is the sheer brightness and vibrancy of the colors. While most fountain pen ink can run quite thin since they are water-based, the quality of the color and boldness of the lines is not affected.
Drying time can vary based on the paper you’re using, so if you’re using a less porous paper be careful to avoid smudging your writing or drawing. Overall, the quality of the Gemstone Collection ink is unmatched by any other Monteverde product and it’s our clear favorite of the bunch.
Writing and drawing with Gemstone inks are an absolute blast and since ten different colors come in the gift box, we think it’s well worth the higher price tag.
The Monteverde Noir Collection is a love letter to dark, moody, and expressive colors. Based on blue/black color combinations, the Noir Collection is for the writer who wants to make a statement.
Similar to the Gemstone Collection, these inks have great ink flow and keep your fountain pen healthy and clog-free. Like Monteverde’s other inks, these are water-based so they aren’t entirely water-resistant inks. That said, unless your letters or drawings get caught in heavy rain you shouldn’t have a problem.
However, if you’re sending a lot of letters, it might be best to look at the Monteverde Document Inks because you never know the kind of weather conditions your envelopes might be exposed to.
Each of the bottles in the Noir gift set is 30ml, which is a great trial size to find your favorite edgy, noir color(s) before committing to buying a larger bottle. We saw no visible feathering when writing with the Noir collection so these are appropriate inks for the majority of settings.
While we love the Gemstone Collection as a whole, the Rose Noir might be our favorite color from any of the Monteverde collections. Rose Noir is sublime – dark, yet still vibrant with hints of sheen. Rose Noir is a regal-looking purple fit for a king. Using Rose Noir with a high-quality, fine nibbed fountain pen is the pinnacle of penmanship, full stop.
This is a unique ink from Monteverde, originally intended as a one-time production which was test-released at the DC Supershow in 2019. It was an instant hit and is now part of the regularly produced lineup.
For the uninitiated, the DC Supershow is a gigantic fountain pen convention held each year in Washington, D.C. It’s a chance for big names in the industry to demo their products, both new and established, to the community.
The DC Supershow Teal is a unique shade of teal that sets it apart from any other teal option from Monteverde or its competitors. Available in a 30 ml bottle, the Supershow Teal is fun, bright, and vibrant. The complete opposite of the Noir Collection.
It’s a great addition to the Monteverde enthusiast’s ink collection, if for no other reason than to own a piece of company history. This ink is so special that it debuted in a crowded field and had the eye-catching beauty and staying power to become a permanent Monteverde resident.
Since this is a single ink bottle, it’s far cheaper than the prior two gift collections. It makes a great pickup with a few other single bottles to round out your collection.
Compared to the Supershow Teal, the Turtle Turquoise has a more medium color saturation and a well-controlled flow. The bottle design wins the award for most adorable, as do all nine other inks in the Jungle Ink Collection.
Monteverde took inspiration from the colors of nature for the Jungle Ink Collection. They sought to match each ink to the coloration of the real-life animals they represent. The result is a beautiful range of colors that produce beautiful shading on any paper.
The Jungle Ink Collection bottles are only available in the 30ml size so you can purchase one to try. If you’re interested in more than one bottle, it might be best to go for the Jungle Ink Collection gift set – this way you can save money and try the entire collection.
Turtle Turquoise stands out for its beautiful color and color depth. Like every other ink created by Monteverde, Turtle Turquoise has its patented ITF technology so the ink has unmatched ease of flow.
Writing with Turtle Turquoise is fun and somehow conveys a happy, bright feeling. Not as serious and intense as the Noir, or as radical and bold as the Gemstone, Turtle Turquoise is beautiful, fun, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Jungle Collection is a great choice for everyday writing and drawing.
Considerations Before Buying and FAQs
While all Monteverde inks are of superior quality due to the ITF technology, each collection has its own best uses.
Each of the inks covered here can be found at an affordable price with the Gemstone and Noir gift boxes being the most expensive. If you’re writing for business or official purposes, a serious artist or a real aficionado of inks, the higher price tag for the Gemstone and Noir collections is well worth it.
If you’re looking for more fun and casual experience you can probably stick with the Jungle Collection or the original inks.
Bottle Size and Availability
Monteverde sells their inks in three different sizes 30, 50, and 90ml. As noted above, the Jungle and Noir collections are only available in 30ml bottles. It can be a little frustrating if you find a specific color you like that you’re forced to order smaller sizes, but unless you’re heavily using your ink, the 30 ml bottles can last quite a while.
If you’re writing often and still exploring the range of colors of Monteverde inks, it’s probably best to try one of the gift sets to narrow down your favorites and then purchase the 90ml bottles of either Gemstone or regular ink collections.
Ink Compatibility With Different Pen Types
While Monteverde inks are beautiful, they’re not suitable for use with every type of luxury pen. If you’re using a fine nibbed fountain pen look no further than Monteverde.
If you prefer a more classical drip-style pen, the ITF technology in the ink will be a hindrance to your pen. The ink will be too watery and run right off your tip before you’re able to put pen to paper. Instead, stick to cartridge-fed fountain pens when considering any of these inks.
Answers provided apply to every ink covered in this guide unless specifically noted.
Are these inks water-resistant?
No, while they won’t run when exposed to a little water, these inks wouldn’t be the best choice for postage. On the off chance that your envelopes get wet, these are water-based inks and they don’t have the highest water resistance.
Where is the ink made?
Monteverde inks are made in Austria and then packaged in the United States at their headquarters in California.
Is the ink erasable?
No. While these inks are not marketed as “permanent,” they cannot be erased off the page. Do not rinse with water or attempt to erase them because it will ruin your paper and cause blotches.
Can the inks be mixed to create new colors?
As long as you stick to inks from the same manufacturer so that you know all the inks are of the same base, you can mix them to make new colors. You should mix them in a separate medium so that the original ink containers aren’t contaminated in case you don’t like how the mixture turns out.
The Monteverde Ink Difference
While far younger than their competition, Monteverde has proven themselves to be makers of high-quality ink. With their patented ITF technology their inks are resilient, have a smooth and continuous flow, and have beautiful, vibrant colors.
The flow characteristics of the ink provide a smooth and almost luxurious feel to write with, all while protecting your favorite fountain pen by continuously lubricating the ink-feeding mechanisms. The attractive prices of the ink and availability of gift sets let you easily try up to ten colors at a time.
From their bright and playful Jungle Ink Collection to the regal and serious tones of the Noir Collection, Monteverde has an ink color for everyone.