In which I photograph ink
David Blunkett has had a cheque 'washed' and the amounts/payee replaced with new details. The original story was in the Telegraph. This nicely illustrates the advantages of using a 'bulletproof' ink, such as 'Noodlers'. I ran my own tests on this ink here. I use three different noodlers at the moment, Walnut (not bulletproof), Legal Lapis and Black.
The Black and Legal Lapis are both pretty permanent once on paper. Indeed, there is a reward to anyone who can remove Noodlers Black without damaging the paper (i.e. to show that it's susceptible to the type of fraud used against Blunkett)
Just to make it crystal clear, Identity Cards would not have prevented this theft! Using a non washable ink would have done!
I recently bought some Noodlers Ink. I got Noodlers Black and Walnut from the UK, and I ordered some Legal Lapis from the USA. I decided to test the waterfastness of the inks for myself, using Parker gel ink for comparison.
This is my 'before' image:
All looking good. Now for the 'after' image. I ran the envelope under water for some time, and then allowed the envelope to dry:
As you can see, the walnut has lost some colour, but is passable. Black and Legal Lapis are untouched (despite being water based inks, and so fountain pen safe. The Parker Gel ink has all but vanished.
I recently bought some Noodler's Black and Walnut inks from noodlers.co.uk. I've had good results with both (though my pens do get an airlock from time to time, easy to clear, but annoying to have to). Noodlers Black is 'bulletproof', i.e. once on the paper then it stays on. Yet it is fountain pen safe. There is even a challenge on the US site to the first person who can reliably remove it. There is also an eternal blue due to be released.
There are other 'Bulletproof' inks, such as Eternal Brown and Legal Lapis, both of these are only available through one supplier.
That said, Walnut was pretty good when I tried to remove it with an ink eraser (which simply makes Quink and the like vanish).
I've now placed an order for Legal Lapis, this is not available in the UK and so it's not cheap, but if it is as nice as the others, I am looking forward to getting it.
These inks (and the accompanying fountain pens) are not cheap initially, but over time they fair well compared to the cost of disposables (assuming that one doesn't acquire disposables through the office...!)
There is also something almost sensual about using a fountain pen which is not replicated with your throwaway biro.
Noodler's Ink, the Ink of the extreme testing, is now available in the UK. The nice thing about Noodlers is that it is a water-resistant ink which is fountain pen safe. Only the black (for now) is billed as fraudproof - and once dry on paper is there (as far as I know) until the paper is destroyed.
An excuse to go out and buy a nice fountain pen!