Meet The First Shade Of Blue Discovered In Over 200 Years

Color enthusiasts who have been grieving the retirement of Dandelion from Crayola’s boxes may need to get used to feeling a little blue. The crayon company announced that it will be replacing the warm yellow with a brilliant blue inspired by YInMn, the first blue pigment discovered in over two hundred years.

YInMn was stumbled on by Oregon State University professor Mas Subramanian in 2009, when his grad student mixed and heated yttrium, indium and manganese oxides in a lab furnace. Recognizing that the bright substance was something important, Subramanian quickly filed for a patent. Since then, YInMn has been licensed by the Shepherd Color Company, and the pigment is currently undergoing testing in order to get FDA approval.

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It’s no secret we’re fans of blue at House & Home, and Subramanian claims that the new shade has a number of benefits. Similar to ultramarine, this electric hue absorbs red and green, and reflects only blue wavelengths of light. It doesn’t fade, it’s easy to produce and it reflects heat — which is highly promising for future energy-efficient designs. Art restorers who are looking for longevity are also taking notice of the pigment.

For now, you can expect to see Crayola’s new blue in everyone’s favorite 24-count box of crayons by the end of the year. However, don’t expect to see “YInMn” printed on the packaging. Crayola plans to announce a more user-friendly name of their newest addition in September.

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Tanya Rohrmoser
1. Courtesy of Wikipedia 2. Courtesy of Crayola