I bought a Jinhao 9009 Fine Nib Claret and Golden Fountain Pen, and had it delivered to my mailbox for six dollars and eighty cents.
It’s a pretty pen. The deep burgundy looks good, and although there’s a little more gold accenting than I would prefer, it’s reasonably tasteful. The clip is crazy strong. As in deform your pocket, guaranteed not to fall out during bungee jumping strong. I like that. If you don’t, it’s easy enough to pry it away from the cap a little.
It’s a metal pen with good heft, but not overly heavy. I would call it average size in diameter, neither pencil thin, nor extra fat. It’s comfortable in the hand, and can easily be used posted or not.
It was somewhat difficult to get the ink flowing. Usually, all that is necessary is to insert a cartridge (or the converter) turn it over and start writing. Maybe lightly scribble for a few seconds. Not with this pen. Creating a little pressure with the converter and attempting to use a napkin to wick the ink down didn’t work. I ended up applying enough pressure via the converter to create a large puddle of ink that was threatening to fall from the underside of the feed area. Then I used the napkin to pull the ink down to the tip. Once this was successful, I twisted the converter mechanism to pull the ink back inside.
It writes well. It’s smooth, and feeds consistently. It is somewhat sensitive to angle, though. All fountain pens are this way to some degree, but this one seems worse than average. As long as you hold it correctly, it performs as expected. For less than seven dollars, you simply can’t go wrong.
It’s inked with Franklin-Christoph Midnight Emerald ink, which is pretty awesome stuff in its own right. It goes on almost black, with just the slightest hint of green. It dries quickly, into a dark emerald green, exactly as one would expect from the name. I highly recommend it, or any other color from them. Their prices are reasonable, and the quality is excellent. I also have their Emerald 357, Black Magic, and Red 187.