Published on February 10, 2021

YInMn-Blue-new-paint-domino Pin It
Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

Way back in the halcyon days of 2009, while we were all just poking one another on Facebook and practicing the dance from Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” video, scientists at Oregon State University were hard at work. Their result: the first new blue in 200 years.

YInMn Blue is the deepest, bluest blue that ever blued, but what’s more important is it’s incredibly rare. The last time a shade of blue was discovered was when French chemist Louis Jacques Thénard created the hue dubbed cobalt in 1802. 

For the decade following the discovery, the pigment was tested for industrial and eventually commercial use. In 2017 Crayola made it into Bluetiful, a crayon character whose interests are coding and DIY projects. Finally, for its official consumer debut this year, YInMn Blue paint can be purchased in a 1.35-ounce bottle for $179.40 at a Maine art store. Golden, the manufacturer, is only selling to customers who submit a private form.

To put the price in perspective, it takes two gallons to properly coat an average-size 800-square-foot space. You need 190 tubes of this paint to cover it, which would run about $34,000. Is it a striking color? Yes. Will a similar mainstream shade look just as vibrant against your sofa for $160? Of course. Here are a few hues we’d recommend sampling.

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