Updated: Nov 25, 2021
A NEW SHADE OF BLUE EMERGED INTO PUBLIC SINCE THE LAST DISCOVERY 200 YEARS AGO.
In 2017, a new shade of blue was introduced commercially into the public remarking it as the new blue since the invention of cobalt colour in 1802. This new chemically-made pigment is known as YInMn Blue and it symbolises trustworthiness, loyalty, and security. Its name comes after its components; Yttrium, Indium, and Manganese. This year, 2021, marks YInMn Blue to finally be available in the market for artistic use.
Citing from Artnet’s article titled “The First Blue Pigment Discovered in 200 Years Is Finally Commercially Available. Here’s Why It Already Has a Loyal Following” published in 2021, this inorganic pigment was coincidentally identified by the team of chemists from Oregon State University (OSU) led by Mas Subramanian in 2009. Subramanian and his team founded the pigment while they were experimenting with rare earth elements to developing materials for semiconductors used in electronics.
What is actually YInMn Blue?
Dating back from the ancient times, blues were considered as toxic, faded easily, and considered unstable. According to Subramanian’s statement released by OSU, “Ever since the early Egyptians developed some of the first blue pigments, the pigment industry has been struggling to address problems with safety, toxicity and durability.” YInMn Blue on the other hand creates an alternative solution. For example, before the synthesized version of various blue pigments such as ultramarine, prussian, navy, and cobalt were founded, ultramarine blue was considered expensive because it was made from grinded lapis lazuli and others were made from pernicious ingredients. YInMn Blue or 'mas blue', as the OSU preferred to call this newly blue colour, offers high UV absorbance, stability, high reflectivity in infrared, is non-toxic, and considered as a major breakthrough since the discovery of cobalt blue 200 years ago.