"By the way, the Jinhao Plasma with a Monteverde stub nib is still be far my favorite writing instrument! Thanks for your help in the purchase. Thanks again for running such a great website, loaded with information for seasoned fountain pen aficionados, as well as us newbies!"
K. W., Alexandria, VA
"Hi Norman, I
have some free time and I wanted to tell you of a gratifying experience I
recently had. Even when I buy several pens at the same time usually they don't
stay unused for very long, since as you know we fountain pen aficionados like
to try out our pens as soon as they come into our hands. However, for some
reason or another, as I was finding a place for my latest acquisitions (a
Jinhao Blue Plasma and a Duke
Gold Rings) I noticed that my
Jinhao Black Tiger was
sitting inside its box utterly untried. So I proceeded to fill her with
Private Reserve DC Super Violet and
tested her out -- boy, what a surprise. As you know I own several very
expensive Japanese and European fountain pens (as well as some fantastic
vintage Parkers and Sheaffers, and some priceless Costa Rican pens hand made
with native precious woods), worth some 100 times or more what I paid for the
Black Tiger, but I can honestly say none of them writes better than this
Jinhao pen -- maybe a couple write AS well, but I find it hard to believe that
any pen could possibly write any better. This pen glides smooth as silk, with
absolutely perfect strokes, impeccably uniform lines in every which direction,
and with incredibly regular ink flow. Jinhao pens as a rule are very high
quality (I love all of mine), but this one is simply exceptional. I know nibs
of course vary in large or incredibly subtle ways (as everything else in the
universe) -- no two nibs are exactly alike, no matter the brand or make. But
even so, I am very surprised at the surpassing perfection of this nib. Just
wanted to let you know. Oh, and thank so much for very many pleasurable
moments with some of the finest (and most inexpensive) pens on the market
today. Mind you -- inexpensive, certainly not cheap. Warm regards,"
"Dear Norman: The Jinhao Plasma arrived one day
early and when I opened it both my wife and I were so impressed with the
beauty of it. After flushing the converter with a touch of swan soap in the
water, I filled it and was so pleased at how smoothly it writes...it is a joy
to own...It is writing splendidly."
"Hello your Nibs, the two pens I ordered probably
came in last week but as I was traveling, I could only pick them up yesterday.
Wow, indeed I am very happy with both of them. As you said, very different
from the Wing Sung, and different from each
other, but I find I already like them all. The Wing Sung is a stay-at-home
these days (my purse was getting so heavy with all the favorites I carried, I
made a radical change and removed about ten) but it's within easy reach. The
Rocket is staying in my purse though. What a
nice little piece of writing technology. I have something with small pens that
are still heavy enough to write well with.
"I ordered a Jinhao pen recently from you and it
was such a satisfying pen purchase after so many many years. I couldn't
believe that I could get such a good fountain pen without paying an arm and a
leg at some boutique pen store."
"I received my grey Jinhao Plasma and the black private reserve ink. It
seems like a very nice pen so far compared to my others--Lamy Vista and
AL-Star, and a Spalding Mini Pen. I'm happy with it. Thanks!"
"Norman, just to let you know that I
am very pleased with my Jinhao Plasma pen. It performs much better than most of
my much more expensive famous name pens."
"The Jinhao Plasma is particularly
enjoyable to write with; it has a very light feel, belying the relatively large
size of nib and pen, and further, it seems to write "fairly wet," which seems to
contribute to the light feeling. Enjoying thus far!"
"Norman, received the Jinhao Plasma
Gray pen today. Norm I am very impressed at the appearance of this pen.
Plus the box is a very nice collectors item. I will use the pen tomorrow at
work. First impressions are really off the scale for an inexpensive fountain
pen. Great job in finding this pen company. I really want that Plasma Blue
"I have been using the pen
constantly since yesterday, and the pen performs magnificently. The real test
was this morning when I got to the office, after not using the pen all night.
Instant startup. I love this pen.
"Hi Norman, I wanted you to know
that my pen arrived safely. It's a really nice pen for the price; the nib is
actually a true medium (bordering on broad, actually). Thanks, as always, for
your great service and great deals."
Although this beauty is given a model number by Jinhao, when I first saw one it immediately made me think of the plasma filaments discharged from a Tesla coil....hence my nickname for the pen. This is a full-sized pen as these things are currently adjudged, measuring 5-1/2" capped and 6-1/4" posted...with an oversized nib.
As the pen has a lacquer over brass construction, there's a very comforting heft to the Plasma, and it feels extremely well-balanced in the hand...with the cap posted...or not.
Although I've designated the pen as having three 'colors', that's a somewhat arbitrary distinction. It's only under bright, direct light -- such as in these photos -- that such a categorization can be comfortably made. In less than ideal light, it's often difficult to decide which group the pen should be included in, as the subtleties of color blend one to another. Without its brethren to compare it to, the gray for instance, makes one think that it could be either blue or black. It's only when all three are side-by-side that a more striking difference can be seen.
Bearing this subtle shading in mind -- coupled with the fact that no two pens are alike -- please mention your order of preference, color-wise, when purchasing the pen. I'll try to find one as close to your first choice as possible, but please understand that depending upon what stock is on hand, your pen may fall into your second or even third preference.
The gold-plated cap bands and clip offset the finish of the pen very nicely. The pen's profile is a classic cigar or torpedo shape, and the black dome or derby on each end provides a nice visual balance.
The clip is quite attractive, as it incorporates a chromed center surrounded by gold plate. The upper portion displays three small 'buttons', whose significance escapes me -- if there for other than decorative purposes -- and a lower 'tear drop', slightly separated by the gold. It's a nice little detail.
Removing the slip cap -- which securely reattaches with a satisfying snap -- reveals the oversized nib (larger than that on a Pelikan M800 for instance, but not quite as large as that one a Montblanc 149), as well as the cleverly-designed section, with grooved finger pads for a secure grip. The nib is a two-toned, 18K gold-plated steel nib. I personally find these nibs a joy to use, and rate them as western mediums. This is the same underlying pen model as the Ivory, Desert Sands, Snakeskin, Starry Night and White Spatter.
As the photos show, the nib is engraved with Jinhao in script, as well as 18K GP. I've been writing with one of these pretty extensively for some time now, and unlike the majority of Chinese nibs, I judge this to fall in the range of a true western medium. That's still a rarity, but can also be found on the Silver Chain, Evening Stripes and Dragon's Offspring series of pens.
Jinhao, like Duke, is making a real attempt to design pens and nibs that appeal to western users, as well as their home market. Consequently, these nibs are not as stiff as the typical Chinese nib designed for domestic use (where a fine, stiff nib is preferred for writing their more intricate characters). The one I've been using is very smooth. It even has a hint of flex to it!
I find the Plasma's section to be a well thought out piece of ergonomic design. It incorporates three ribbed indents, that at least on my hand, fit perfectly where I rest my thumb, index and middle fingers when writing. This provides for an exceptionally secure feel when laying down ink to paper, and is a design that I wish more sections employed.
Unscrewing the section from the barrel, one finds the included piston converter for bottled ink. The converter includes a little agitator to help prevent adherence of the ink to the plastic walls of the cylinder, but it's still recommended to run a dilute solution of dishwashing soap (two or three drops to a small bowl of water) through a new pen a few times, followed by water only. Step one is effective at removing manufacturing oils that can tend to make the ink less than enthusiastic in heading from the converter/filler to the nib, and step two removes the traces of the detergent you've used...which tends to have the opposite, diuretic effect.
The pen will also fit international-style ink cartridges, such as those from Private Reserve, and the pen is presented in an attractive gift box.
* The Monteverde nibs are available in B, M, F or the new stub sizes. I've found that Monteverde nibs run about a size smaller than typical western nibs. Hence, I'd classify the B nib as a typical medium, the M as a fine and the F as an x-fine. The stub is a 1.1 mm medium. Please specify the nib size you'd like, by letter or 'stub' only, to avoid confusion when ordering. They may also be ordered separately, for $24.00 each.
IMPORTANT SERVICE NOTE: Every nib that ships from His Nibs is closely examined under high magnification and tuned or adjusted if needed. About 85% of modern nibs need some adjustment out-of-the-box from the manufacturer for an optimal writing experience. Most commonly, the tines of the nib are misaligned -- which would cause scratchiness at the minimum; the slit between the tines is partially or fully closed -- which would starve the nib of ink and at best cause skipping; or the slit between the tines is too wide -- which will either again cause skipping, or conversely, flooding. There are other factors -- such as separation of the nib from the feed -- that are inspected and repaired before any pen leaves the Palace.
The only 100% guarantee of course comes when the pen is actually filled with ink and written with for the first time, but our pre-shipping inspections and tunings have eliminated 99.99999 (my finger is getting tired) of the frustrations that a customer experiences when first using a new fountain pen. Although this can be time-consuming on occasion, it affords our customers a much more pleasant experience when receiving a fountain pen from His Nibs -- and saves us the frustration of dealing with returns!
Ordering Procedures & Returns
International customers, please note, we will not falsify shipping documents
Please send your order and shipping address (along with any questions) to:
We will email you back with your order total (PA residents please add 6% sales tax)
Credit cards, for the quickest fulfillment of your order, are accepted through PayPal, a secure site allowing you to use your credit card without us even seeing the information. If you'd like to make use of this credit card service, please let us know when you email your order and address, and we'll email you the appropriate Request for Payment, and instructions for the simple payment procedure (you don't need to join PayPal to use it).
If you would like us process your credit card directly instead, then please email us:
1. Card # (dividing this number in two, between two emails, will
If you'd rather pay by money order or check, kindly make payable to:
ship via insured Priority Mail
Warranties and returns
If an item proves to be defective, in most cases the manufacturer's warranty will apply. However, please email us first so that we can determine the easiest way to resolve the problem to your satisfaction. In the case of fountain pens -- which are a bit more individualistic than other writing instruments -- what may at first appear to be a defect (hard starting or poor flow for example), can in almost all cases be resolved with a few simple 'tweaks' to the nib, which we'll be happy to guide you through or perhaps suggest returning to us for adjustment.
Should you wish to return a non-defective item within 3 days of receipt because it doesn't suit you for some reason, again please email us and we'll arrange an exchange, credit or refund (minus any shipping/insurance charges), if the item is returned in an 'as new' condition. If you've dipped a fountain pen to try its writing characteristics, kindly clean off any ink residue prior to shipping -- to save us both a nasty surprise .
We want you to be happy with your purchase from HisNibs.com and hope to have you join the ranks of our many long-term, repeat customers!
Revised: July 6th, 2015