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This is done by: (1) comparing the rates and extents of extraction of questioned and known dated inks in organic solvents by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) densitometry; (2) comparing changes in dye concentrations by TLC and TLC densitometry; and (3) comparing the volatile ink components by gas chro-matography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
In cases where known dated writings are not available for comparison with questioned inks, accelerated aging (heating the ink to induce aging of the ink) can sometimes be used to estimate the age of ink using any or all of the above described techniques.
Comparison of these chemical and physical properties of two or more inks can determine: (1) if the inks were made by the same manufacturer; (2) in some cases, whether the inks are products of the same production batch; and (3) the first production date of the specific ink formulation involved.
When dating tags are detected, it is possible to determine the actual year or years when the ink was manufactured.
Knowledge of the composition of inks is necessary to understand the reasons for the various methods used to analyze inks.
There are two types of fountain pen inks: (1) iron-gallotannate type and (2) aqueous solutions of synthetic dyes.Some of the synthetic dyes used fade and are soluble in water.The most modern inks of this type contain pigmented dyes, such as copper phthalocyanine (introduced in about 1953) which makes these inks much more permanent.The most popular fountain pen ink (developed in the 1950s) consists of an aqueous solution of synthetic dyes.