For the first time since Ancient Egypt – ANCIENT EGYPT, Y’ALL! – there’s a new pigment of blue in the color spectrum. It’s called YInMn (a combination of Yttrium, Indium, and Manganese) and apparently it’s perfect for commercial use, because it’s non-toxic and will never fade. The art world is also excited about the discovery, as YInMin Blue is more durable than ultramarine (made of ground lapis lazuli) and less toxic than Prussian Blue. YInMn might also be a better fit for restoration and conservation projects. Plus, it could be a low-energy solution for temperature control. According to ARTnet, a roof painted in YInMn blue could potentially help keep the building cooler.
“We already knew it had advantages of being more durable, safe and fairly easy to produce. Now it also appears to be a new candidate for energy efficiency,” said its inventor Oregon State University chemist Mas Subramanian. “The more we discover about the pigment, the more interesting it gets.”
Creating the color was a “happy accident” that occurred when Subramanian and his team were conducting experiments. One of them mixed black manganese oxide with “other chemicals,” heated it to 2,000 degrees Farenheit, and noticed the sample turned bright, bright blue.
Now, the “near-perfect” pigment has been perfected and will be sold as commercial coatings and plastics, and later this year, as paint for household use.
Here’s hoping one of those uses is eye shadow.