Wet-ink signatures are generally produced on documents of importance: rental agreements, contracts, financial documents, wills, real estate documents at the time they are signed. Copies are frequently made of these important documents and produced for examination. Being able to distinguish between an original “wet ink” signature and a copied signature involves some expertise. However, there are clear differences to help you recognize their distinguishing features.
Ballpoint inks consist of a paste-like substance of high viscosity (i.e. thickness: syrup has a higher viscosity than water). The thick ink of ballpoint pens contrasts to the fluid ink used in rollerball and porous tip pens. Features to distinguish ballpoint pen include: gooping (a small dot-like deposit of ink at point of redirection); skipping of the writing line (small gaps); and striations (very fine burr striations may occur to individualize the pen).
Fiber or felt tips pens deliver an aqueous (water soluble) ink that produces a broad, solid, ribbon like stroke. The colors can be intense and produce a heavy yet quick drying writing line.
Gel pens first came on the market in 1984 with a water-based ink similar to roller ball pens. The writing line is generally smooth and doesn’t require a lot of pressure. The ink lines of gel pens are usually very dark with a stable, vivid color. Under a microscope, there may be some diffusion of ink on the paper.
Can you recognize these Writing Inks?
ballpoint pen signature
Ballpoint pen Porous-tip Gel
The arrows on the ballpoint pen ink show “gooping” and striations visible under magnification. The porous tip shows a broad, solid stroke whereas the gel pen provides a smooth writing line with intense color. If ever in doubt between a wet-ink signature versus a copy – please call or send an email for assistance. I’m happy to help: (312) 343-9902 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org