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Cobalt blue
About these coordinates About these coordinates
— Color coordinates —
Hex triplet #0047AB
RGBB (r, g, b) (0, 71, 171)
HSV (h, s, v) (215°, 100%, 67%)
Source [Unsourced]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Cobalt blue is a cool, slightly desaturated blue color, historically made using cobalt salts. The world leading manufacturer of cobalt blue in the 19th century was Blaafarveværket in Norway, led by Benjamin Wegner. Germany was also famous for production- especially the Blaufarbenwerke of Schneeburg. The pigment is extraordinarily stable.

Chemically it is a cobalt(II) oxide-aluminium oxide, or cobalt(II) aluminate, CoAl2O4. The compound is made by sintering the stoichiometric mixture of finely ground CoO and Al2O3 at 1200°C. It was discovered by Louis Jacques Thénard in 1802. [1] Commercial production began in France in 1807. The first recorded use of cobalt blue as a color name in English was in 1777.[2]


Cobalt blue in human culture


  • John Varley suggested cobalt blue as a good substitution for ultramarine blue for painting skies.
  • Maxfield Parrish, famous partly for the intensity of his skyscapes, used cobalt blue, and cobalt blue is sometimes called Parrish blue as a result.
  • Cobalt blue was the primary blue pigment used in Chinese blue and white porcelain for centuries, beginning in the late 8th or early 9th century[3].


  • Because of its chemical stability in the presence of alkali, cobalt blue is used as a pigment in blue concrete.


  • The blue seen on many glassware pieces is cobalt blue, and it is used widely by artists in many other fields.
  • Cobalt glass almost perfectly filters out the bright yellow emission of ionized sodium, common in most flames (as even the most trace amount of it is very overpowering.


  • "Cobalt Blue" is used as a filter used in ophthalmoscopes, and is used to illuminate the cornea of the eye following application of fluorescein dye which is used to detect corneal ulcers and scratches.



Cobalt blue is toxic when inhaled or ingested. Potters who fail to take adequate precautions when using cobalt blue may succumb to cobalt poisoning.

See also


  1. ^ Gehlen, A.F. (1803). "Ueber die Bereitung einer blauen Farbe aus Kobalt, die eben so schön ist wie Ultramarin. Vom Bürger Thenard". Neues allgemeines Journal der Chemie, Band 2 (H. Frölich.).   (German translation from L. J. Thénard; Journal des Mines; Brumaire 12 1802; p 128-136
  2. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 91; Color Sample of Cobalt Blue: Page 131 Plate 34 Color Sample L7
  3. ^ "Chinese visual arts » Stylistic and historical development, 1206–1912 » Yüan dynasty (1206–1368) » Ceramics." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Accessed 14 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Wizards unveil new look for '08 season," Kansas City Wizards Media Relations, January 20, 2008.

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Simple English

This box shows the colour cobalt blue.

Cobalt blue is a cool blue colour. People used to make it using cobalt salts. Cobalt blue is used widely by artists. Many pieces of glassware have this colour.

ColoursList of colours
Cyan Magenta Black Grey Silver White
Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet
Gold Olive Purple Navy Brown Pink


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