Feeling Blue -YInMn Blue - The First New Blue Pigment in 200 years


YInMn blue, the first new blue pigment in 200 years (all images courtesy of Oregon State University) 


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Every Monday and Friday we take you behind the scenes to the people places and things that inspire us. 

Since we are a brand all about colour this week we introduce you to "THE NEW BLUE."

Crayola's New Blue Crayon 

Cerulean, azure, navy, royal … Much has been written about the color blue, the first human-made pigment. “Because blue contracts, retreats, it is the color of transcendence, leading us away in pursuit of the infinite,” wrote William Gass in his book On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry. Wassily Kandinsky once mused: “The power of profound meaning is found in blue, and first in its physical movements of retreat from the spectator, of turning in upon its own center […] Blue is the typical heavenly color.”


The Man in Blue

And now, for the first time in two centuries, a new chemically-made pigment of the celebrated color is available for artists — YInMn Blue. It’s named after its components — Yttrium, Indium, and Manganese — and its luminous, vivid pigment never fades, even if mixed with oil and water.

Like all good discoveries, the new inorganic pigment was identified by coincidence. A team of chemists at Oregon State University (OSU), led by Mas Subramanian, was experimenting with rare earth elements while developing materials for use in electronics in 2009 when the pigment was accidentally created.

Blue Colour Pigment 

The vibrant pigment caught attention long before the EPA’s official approval last year. In 2016, Shepherd Color Company acquired the license to sell the pigment commercially for exterior applications. A year later, YInMn Blue inspired a new shade of Crayola crayon called Bluetiful. The pigment has also been popular on Etsy, although the quality and authenticity of these offerings are not guaranteed.

Now, the authenticated pigment is available for sale in paint retailers like Golden in the US. A dry powder version has not yet been approved for public consumption.

 Thomas Fuchs Navy / Light Blue Melamine Dishware 

Blue pigments, which date back 6,000 years, have been traditionally toxic and prone to fading. That’s no longer the case with YInMn, which reflects heat and absorbs UV radiation, making it cooler and more durable than pigments like cobalt blue.

Enjoy your weekend and pick up a set of our Melamine Dishware by tapping on this LINK. 

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