Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Cobalt: Its not really blue

cobalt in natural form

The free element, colbalt is not really blue. In its natural form, it’s a hard, lustrous, silvery metallic gray. Cobalt based blue pigments have been used since ancient times both for paints and in jewley making. Using it produces a very distinctive blue tint. Actually, this color may come from the mineral bismuth.

Miners used the name Kobold ore for mining minerals which gave the blue color because when smelted, they produced poisonous arsenic fumes. . Kobold is the German word for goblin. In 1735, a new mineral was found, the first since ancient times, and named Cobalt, from that old German root word.

Cobalt is a by product of copper and nickel mining, most of which comes from the Congo and Zambia. It gives that distinctive blue color to inks, paints, varnishes and glass.

According to wikiepedia: “Cobalt blue in impure form had long been used in Chinese porcelain, but was independently discovered as a pure alumina-based pigment by Louis Jacques Thénard, in 1802. Commercial production began in France in 1807. The first recorded use of cobalt blue as a color name in English was in 1777. The leading world manufacturer of cobalt blue in the 19th century was Blaafarveværket (“blue-color works,” in Dano-Norwegian) in Norway, led by Benjamin Wegner. Germany was also famous for production- especially the Blaufarbenwerke (“blue-color works,” in German) of Schneeburg. The dye is not to be confused with Prussian blue, which is an intensely-blue pigment based on iron and cyanide, that contains no cobalt.”

cobalt pigments

Wouldn’t you like to have some cobalt blue jewelry? Here are some pieces from JCUIN guild member’s shops.

Necklace from Fae Lyn Adornments

beautiful blue necklace


beautiful blue earrings

 Pieces from Twinkink’s shop
and this one

really pretty earrings

Here is a link to a collection I made called Something Blue.  
 It features JCUIN artists and blue pieces.  

May 28, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Cobalt blue is one of my favorite colors! This is a great post. Thanks for including my Blown Glass Cobalt Blue Swirl Earrings!


    Comment by Linda Landig | July 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Oh, those earrings were SUCH a happy blue, I could not leave them out.


      Comment by stregajewellry | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. I didn’t know the background of cobalt, that is very interesting. I have always loved colored glass, especially cobalt and red glass. Thanks for sharing the information and the great jewelry!


    Comment by Renee Sumner | July 21, 2011 | Reply

    • I didn’t know this about cobalt either but I stumbled upon the information as I was looking for articles for my gemclub newsletter. As editor, I end up writing every article and have to do some heavy duty searching to keep comng up with articles of interest. When I found this about cobalt, I was sure it was a little known fact.


      Comment by stregajewellry | July 21, 2011 | Reply

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