Olive & Reid Studio


Luxury calligraphy London

Introducing YInMn Blue


Try a new shade, YInMn Blue

Praise be to science for both its intentional, and, in this case, accidental discoveries. Scientists have discovered a way to bring the newly harnessed pigment, YInMn Blue, to your paint box, albeit at a pricey price.

A long way from being commercially available, the pigment comprises the metals Yttrium and Indium making it wondrously expensive. For US$1000/kg, you could procure your sample stash from Shepherd Color Company. They've teamed up with the scientists at Oregan State University, who made the discovery, to "bring the new blue pigment to the market place".

While the pigment hit my radar through a Tech Insider article in June 2016, it's been thriving since its discovery in 2009. A licensing agreement to bring it to market was reached in 2015, so we are getting ever closer (even if it will cost you a pretty penny).

While $1000/kg sounds a lot, calligrapher, Christina Janoszka, noted:

1$ for 1 gram probably isn't an impossible price for an illuminated manuscript where only touches of colour are used (i.e. $20 for 20 grams.)

Check out this lovely video of YInMn Blue

Besides being a sweet shade of blue, the pigment is versatile. In the press release from OSU in 2015, it was noted that:

"The vibrant blue is so durable, and its compounds are so stable – even in oil and water – that the color does not fade.

These characteristics make the new pigment versatile for a variety of commercial products. Used in paints, for example, they can help keep buildings cool by reflecting infrared light. Better yet...none of the pigment’s ingredients are toxic."

Image: Indian Pigments by Dan Brady is licensed under CC BY 2.0