YInMn blue, the first blue pigment to be discovered since 1802, is about to be immortalized as a Crayola crayon.
Back in 2009, University of Oregon chemistry professor Mas Subramanian stumbled across the brilliant blue mashup of yttrium, indium, and manganese by mistake, while trying to discover exotic materials for use in electronics. Now Crayola is holding an open competition to pick a proper name for the pigment (“YInMn” just doesn’t have the same ring as “red”) and selecting one new “winner” every week to be entered into a raffle for a $100 prize.
Even once the name is chosen, the crayon still won’t hit the shelves until it gets a nod of approval from the FDA. The pigment is currently undergoing tests by the Shepherd Color Company, which licensed the color from Subramanian.
Sadly, to make room for YInMn blue in the iconic 24-pack, Crayola recently announced the retirement of one of their classic colors, Dandelion. Dandelion was introduced in 1990, but will now be taken to a crayon farm upstate to live out the rest of its days. Subramanian suspects that the new blue crayon will be available for purchase by the end of the year.
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