20 Rare Colors You’ve Never Heard Of

Rare Colors You’ve Never Heard Of

This article explores 20 rare colors you probably never heard of, also known as obscure or uncommon colors. These are the rarest colors in the world, including the rarest green color and the rarest color in the world. We delve into the science of how these colors are formed and their cultural significance. Learning about rare colors is interesting as it expands our understanding of the diverse and weird colors found in the world, and how they can be used in art and design. So, let’s dive into the world of the weirdest and rarest colors!

What are rare colors?

Rare Colors You’ve Never Heard Of

Rare colors are colors that are unusual or uncommon in nature, making them difficult to come by. These colors are often referred to as the rarest colors or rarest colors in the world, and they can be found in a variety of hues and shades. Some examples of rare colors include pink lakes, purple potatoes, and black flowers.

Rare colors are considered rare because they are not commonly found in nature or in the human-made world. Some rare colors are the result of specific environmental conditions, while others are the result of genetic mutations or rare mineral formations. These factors contribute to their scarcity, making them highly valued and sought after by artists, designers, and collectors. Overall, rare colors are fascinating because of their uniqueness and the story behind their creation.

20 Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of

YInMn Blue:

rare colors you probably never heard of,obscure colors- rarest colors in the world - YInMn Blue:  colors flower

YInMn Blue is a rare and unique color that was discovered by accident in 2009 by chemist Mas Subramanian and his team at Oregon State University. The color was named after the chemical elements that make it up – Yttrium, Indium, and Manganese.

YInMn Blue is an intense and vibrant shade of blue that is also highly durable and resistant to fading, making it ideal for use in a variety of applications. The color has gained attention in recent years for its unique properties and potential use in various industries, including art, fashion, and technology.

Due to its rarity and unique qualities, YInMn Blue is considered one of the rarest colors in the world, and has become a popular topic of discussion among color enthusiasts and scientists alike. Its discovery has sparked interest in the field of color chemistry and the potential for the development of new and unique colors through scientific research.

Overall, YInMn Blue is a rare and fascinating color that has captured the attention of many due to its uniqueness and potential applications.

Cochineal Red

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of Cochineal Red:  colors flower

Cochineal Red is a rare and vibrant red color that is derived from the Cochineal insect, which is native to South America and Mexico. The color is produced by crushing the dried bodies of the female Cochineal insect, which contains a bright red pigment known as carmine.

Cochineal Red has a rich history and was highly valued by the Aztecs and other indigenous people of South America, who used it to dye textiles and for ceremonial purposes. It was also highly prized by European colonizers, who imported large quantities of the pigment to use as a dye for fabrics and cosmetics.

Despite its rarity and unique properties, Cochineal Red is still used today in various industries, including food and cosmetics, where it is used as a natural colorant. However, the use of Cochineal Red has been controversial due to concerns about the treatment of Cochineal insects and potential allergic reactions to the pigment.

Overall, Cochineal Red is a rare and vibrant color with a rich history and unique properties that continue to make it a topic of interest among color enthusiasts and scientists alike.


Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - verdigris color

Verdigris is a rare and unique green-blue color that is produced through the natural process of copper corrosion. The color is created when copper is exposed to moisture, air, and acidic compounds over a long period of time, resulting in the formation of a greenish-blue patina known as verdigris.

Verdigris has a rich history and has been used as a pigment and decorative element in art and architecture for centuries. It was highly valued by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it as a pigment for painting and for decorative purposes on bronze statues and other metal objects.

In modern times, verdigris continues to be used in art and design, particularly in the creation of patina finishes on copper and other metals. Its unique color and texture make it a popular choice for adding an aged and rustic look to various decorative objects, including furniture, lighting fixtures, and sculptures.

Overall, verdigris is a rare and beautiful color with a rich history and unique properties that continue to make it a popular choice for artists, designers, and color enthusiasts alike.

Rosso Fiorentino

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - rosso fiorentino colore

Rosso Fiorentino is a rare color that is also known as Florentine red. It is a deep red color that was popularized during the Renaissance period and was named after its place of origin, Florence, Italy. The color is created by mixing red and yellow ochre pigments with a small amount of copper oxide.

 Rosso Fiorentino was used extensively in Italian Renaissance art, particularly in frescoes and oil paintings. The color is known for its rich and vibrant tones and has been associated with luxury and wealth. Today, the color is still used in fashion and interior design, particularly in fabrics and home decor.

Egyptian Blue

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Egyptian Blue flower

Egyptian Blue is a rare color that has a rich history dating back to ancient Egypt. It is a deep blue color that was created by combining copper, silica, and calcium. Egyptian Blue was used extensively in ancient Egyptian art, and it was believed to have magical properties. The color was so highly valued that it was often used to paint the jewelry and headdresses of pharaohs. 

In addition to its use in ancient Egypt, Egyptian Blue was also used in Roman art and during the Renaissance. It has a unique quality in that it can appear blue or green depending on the lighting conditions. Today, Egyptian Blue is rarely used in art, but it is still considered a rare and valuable color.

Han Purple:

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - han purple color

Han Purple is a rare color that originated in ancient China. It is a deep and rich purple hue that was first created during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). The color was discovered by accident during the creation of ceramic pottery. It is believed that the rare hue was created by combining indigo dye and barium copper silicate, which were heated to high temperatures.

Han Purple is considered a rare color due to the complexity of the manufacturing process and the fact that it was only produced for a short period during ancient times. The color was used in a variety of artistic and decorative applications, such as on ceramics, sculptures, and textiles. The significance of the color has also been attributed to its use in ancient Chinese astronomy, where it was believed to represent the direction north. Han Purple has also been linked to various spiritual and religious beliefs in ancient Chinese culture.

Scheele's Green

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Scheele's Green

Scheele’s Green is a rare and toxic green pigment that was discovered in 1775 by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. It is made from copper arsenite and was used extensively in the 19th century as a pigment for wallpaper, fabrics, and even artificial flowers. It was also used as a coloring agent in sweets, cakes, and other food items, which led to numerous cases of arsenic poisoning.

Despite its toxicity, Scheele’s Green was popular due to its bright and vivid green color, which was unmatched by any other pigment at the time. However, it fell out of use in the late 19th century when its health risks became widely known, and safer alternatives were developed. Today, it is mainly used in forensic investigations as a reagent to detect the presence of bloodstains, due to its ability to turn red in contact with hemoglobin.

Tyrian Purple:

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Tyrian Purple:

Tyrian Purple is a rare color that is also known as “royal purple” or “imperial purple”. It is made from the secretion of the murex sea snail, which is found in the eastern Mediterranean. The color is named after the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre, where it was first produced.

Tyrian Purple was highly prized in ancient times because it was difficult to produce and was therefore reserved for royalty and the wealthy. The process of extracting the color was labor-intensive and expensive, requiring thousands of snails to produce a small amount of dye.

In art and design, Tyrian Purple has been used as a symbol of wealth and power. It was used to dye the robes of Roman emperors and was also used in the clothing of Byzantine royalty. Today, the color is still used in some religious garments, such as the robes of Catholic cardinals.

The rarity and difficulty in producing Tyrian Purple has made it a symbol of luxury and exclusivity. Its historical significance and cultural associations have also contributed to its value in art and design.

Mummy Brown:

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of -  mummy brown colour

Mummy Brown is a color that was made by grinding actual mummies, particularly Egyptian mummies, into a fine powder and mixing it with oil or water to create a paint or pigment. This practice was prevalent in the 16th and 17th centuries among European artists, who believed that the remains of the dead had magical properties. 

The color was particularly popular among the Pre-Raphaelite painters, who used it extensively in their works. However, the use of mummy brown fell out of favor in the 19th century as the public became more aware of the practice, and it is now considered a rare and unusual color.


Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of -  ultraviolet color

While ultraviolet light itself is not a rare color, as it is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, there are some applications of ultraviolet that can create rare and unusual visual effects. For example, certain fluorescent pigments can emit vibrant colors in response to ultraviolet light, which can create unique and unexpected visual experiences. Additionally, some artists and designers use ultraviolet light to create hidden or secret messages or images that are only visible under UV light, adding an element of mystery and surprise to their work.


Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of -  gamboge color

Gamboge is a rare yellow-orange color derived from the resin of trees found in Southeast Asia. It has been used in art and design for centuries and is known for its vibrant and intense hue. The name “gamboge” comes from the Latin word “gambogium,” which is derived from the Cambodian word for the resin. In art, it has been used as a pigment in watercolors and oil paintings, and in design, it has been used in fabrics and wallpapers. Its rarity and unique color make it a sought-after material in the art and design industries.

Falu Red:

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of -  falu red colour

Falu Red is actually a color that has become quite common in Sweden, but may still be considered rare or obscure in other parts of the world. It is a deep red color that originated from the Falun copper mine in Sweden, where it was produced by mixing the mine’s waste material with water and flour. The resulting pigment was used as a traditional paint for buildings and has become associated with Swedish cultural heritage. 

Falu Red has been used extensively in Swedish architecture since the 16th century and is still commonly used today in both traditional and modern architecture. It has gained popularity due to its durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. In recent years, it has also been used in contemporary design, including furniture and home decor.


Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of -  razzmatazz colour flower

While Razzmatazz may be a bright and unusual color, it is not considered a rare or obscure color. It is actually a popular color used in art and design, often described as a vibrant shade of pink or magenta.

Sahara desert sand

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of -  Sahara desert sand flower

While Sahara Desert Sand may be a unique and interesting color, it is not necessarily considered one of the rarest colors in the world. There are many colors that are much rarer and more obscure, such as Scheele’s Green or Han Purple, which have a much more limited historical use and are not commonly found in modern art or design.


Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of -  Amaranth  flower

Amaranth is actually a shade of red, which is not particularly rare. However, there are certain shades of amaranth that may be more rare or obscure than others. It’s also worth noting that rarity of colors can be subjective and depend on various factors such as cultural significance, availability of pigments, and current trends.

Baker-Miller Pink colors

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Baker-Miller Pink colour flower

Baker-Miller Pink, also known as Schauss pink, is a color that is purported to have calming effects on people who see it. It was first discovered by researchers Alexander Schauss and John Ott in the 1970s, and was subsequently used in correctional facilities and other settings to help reduce aggression and violent behavior. While it is not necessarily rare in the sense of being difficult to find or produce, it is a unique color that is not commonly used in everyday life.

Mt. Pinatubo Ash colors

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Mt. Pinatubo Ash colors flower

Mt. Pinatubo Ash color refers to the ash that was produced during the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, a volcano located in the Philippines. While the ash itself may not be a color, it did have a significant impact on the atmosphere, causing colorful sunsets and sunrises in the years following the eruption. However, it is not typically considered a rare color in and of itself.

Banana colors

Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Banana colors flower

While the color “banana” may not necessarily be considered one of the rarest colors in the world, it is certainly not a commonly recognized or used color. In terms of its rarity, it may depend on the context in which it is being used. For example, in the world of fashion or design, it may be less common or seen as a unique color choice. However, in other contexts or cultures, it may be more commonly used and therefore not considered rare.


Rare Colors You've Never Heard Of - Burlywood  colors flower

Actually, Burlywood is not considered a rare color, but it does have an interesting origin. The name “burlywood” was first used in the 1980s as a description for a light brown color that resembles the natural wood color of the African Bubinga tree. The name was coined by computer graphics designers who needed a name for this color for use in their software programs. While it may not be rare, it does have an interesting backstory!

Each of these rare colors has its own unique story and cultural significance. For example, Tyrian Purple was once considered a symbol of royalty due to its expense and rarity, while Scheele’s Green was used in wallpaper and clothing in the 19th century despite its toxic nature. Mt. Pinatubo Ash represents the destructive power of natural disasters, while Jade Green embodies the luxury and glamour of the Art Deco era.

Rare colors in art and design

Rare colors play an important role in the world of art and design. They are often used to add uniqueness and distinction to a piece, and can convey various emotions and messages.

For example, in painting, the use of rare colors such as gamboge, minium, and razzmatazz can create a striking effect and draw attention to certain aspects of the artwork. The use of these rare colors can also demonstrate the artist’s skill and creativity in utilizing unconventional shades.

In graphic design, the use of rare colors can help to make a brand or product stand out from competitors. For instance, the use of a rare shade like australien or baker-miller pink in a logo or packaging design can create a memorable and distinctive visual identity.

In fashion design, rare colors can add value to a piece and make it more desirable. For instance, a dress in a rare color like jade green or amaranth may be more sought after than one in a more common color like black or white.

Overall, the use of rare colors in art and design can help to create a sense of uniqueness, creativity, and exclusivity, and can add value to a piece or product. They can also be used to convey various emotions and messages, and can help to create a distinctive visual identity.


Throughout this discussion, we have explored 20 rare colors, including Gamboge, Falu Red, Minium, Razzmatazz, Jade Green, Sahara Desert Sand, Baker-Miller Pink, Mt. Pinatubo Ash, Eburnean, Banan, Burlywood, Australien, Amaranth, Aero, Glaucous, Wenge, Smaragdine, Sarcoline, Coquelicot, and Fulvous. These colors vary greatly in their origins, rarity, and usage, but they all share the characteristic of being uncommon and intriguing.

Rare colors play a significant role in various fields, including art and design. In these fields, rare colors can be used to evoke emotion, convey meaning, and create unique visual experiences. They can add value to artwork and design by making them stand out and be memorable.

In conclusion, learning about rare colors is valuable because it allows us to expand our knowledge of color and its uses in various fields. It also provides us with a new perspective on how colors can be used creatively and uniquely. Moreover, rare colors can inspire us to be more innovative in our own work and appreciate the beauty and diversity of the world around us.


  1. “The Rarest Colors in the World and How to See Them” by Tom BoredPanda, https://www.boredpanda.com/rare-colors-world/
  2. “The 20 Rare Colors You Probably Haven’t Heard Of” by Jennifer Lachs, https://jennifersquires.ca/blog/rare-colors/
  3. “The Importance of Color in Design” by Smashing Magazine, https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/the-importance-of-color-in-design/
  4. “The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding” by Neil Patel, https://neilpatel.com/blog/psychology-of-color/
  5. “The Color of Art Pigment Database” by ArtisSpectrum, http://www.artiscreation.com/Color_index_names.html

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