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  1. ITV Report

Blue pigment discovered by accident inspires new crayon

Credit: Patrick Shuck/Crayola

Crayola is introducing a new blue coloured crayon inspired by the accidental discovery of a “new to the world” blue pigment.

Chemist Mas Subramanian and his team at Oregon State University conjured up the new shade of blue.

In 2009, Subramanian’s team were heating manganese oxide to explore its electronic property when a brilliant bright blue compound emerged from the furnace.

The "serendipitous discovery", although not quite the new, high-efficiency electronic material they were hoping for, was, nevertheless, a research breakthrough.

The vibrant pigment is YInMn Blue and contains the elements Yttrium, Indium, Manganese, and Oxygen.

Subramanian said: “It’s truly an honour that our YInMn Blue pigment has inspired one of the most beloved instruments for creativity – a Crayola crayon.

"We could not imagine a better partner than Crayola, a brand synonymous with colour and creativity, to help us share this discovery with the world.”

Smith Holland, CEO and President of Crayola said: “We are a company all about kids, creativity and colour, so we strive to keep our colour palette innovative and on-trend, which is why we’re excited to introduce a new blue crayon colour inspired by the YInMn pigment.

"The new blue crayon colour will help Crayola to continue to inspire kids and kids at heart, to create everything imaginable.”

The new colour will replace the dandelion colour crayon, which publicised its "retirement" in March.

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Crayola is also inviting North America to help name the new blue crayon.