Another new ink manufacturer has entered the arena – Monarca. I was recently sent a collection of these inks to review. Since the ink line is so new, it can be hard to find retailers who carry Monarca but you can currently find this ink at Dromgoole’s.
I’m starting with the first three inks: Cielo Cruel, Rey Jaguar, and Tierra Colorada.
According to their packaging, the colors chosen by Monarca were inspired by Mexico. The first ink today, Cielo Cruel, represents a cloudless day that will bring no rain – a “cruel sky”. Cielo Cruel is a rich, shading medium blue that leans toards the purple end of the color. It is in the same group of colors that include many blue-black inks but a few shades lighter.
The second ink today is Tierra Colorada, referencing the red soil of Northern Mexico. Every time I’ve written this out, I need to force myself not to spell out Colorado instead! Tierra Colorada is a bit lighter than Monteverde Canyon Rust and is a good shading ink. The reddish brown ink is subtly different from most office inks but would still be appropriate in a professional setting.
Monarca Rey Jaguar is the last ink I’ll be covering in this post. This is a special edition ink, named in reference to the King Jaguar, is a a run of only 600 bottles and Monarca states that a significant portion of the profits from Rey Jaguar will go to habitat restoration campaigns.
Rey Jaguar is a lovely shading golden brown ink with gold sparkle. It is a bit more saturated than Callifolio Yalumba and lighter than Diamine Golden Brown. The sparkle in the ink fell out of suspension a bit quicker than I expected, but didn’t need much aggitation to resuspend. The flow was a bit on the wet side – a pleasant change from sparkle inks that tend to run dry. My dip nib was the issue with the blob on my card below!
The sparkle in Rey Jaguar is bright when it catches the light. This swatch is shown on Tomoe River paper:
This swatch is on Cosmo Air Light paper.
Although I’ve only covered three inks today, I’ve included all nine Monarca inks, first on Tomoe River paper:
And again on Cosmo Air Light paper.:
In order to see the difference in color, shading, and texture between the two paper types, here is a photo of Monarca inks on both Cosmo Air Light paper (left) and Tomoe River paper (right).
There is a little surprise Monarca includes with each ink . Each bottle is packaged with it’s own wooden bottle holder/pen rest. A small bit of foam has been attached to the inside of the bottle holder so it keeps the bottle held securely – I was able to lift both the holder and bottle out of the box together. I appreciate this innovative detail that makes the packaging useful!
The cost of Monarca inks varies from $20 to $29 for 30mL (and a pen rest), bringing the ink to $0.67 to $1 per mL. While still not as expensive as some specialty inks, the price is on the higher end. However, the color and quality of the ink will not disappoint!
DISCLAIMER: The ink included in this review was provided free of charge for the purpose of review. Some items were purchased with funds from our amazing Patrons. You can help support this blog by joining our Patreon. Please see the About page for more details.