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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 17 – Heavy Metal

 

This is a multi-part series of articles written to tell the tale of the history of color names for Crayola. 

You can visit earlier parts here: Part 1 - In the Beginning there was..., Part 2 - The Original Color Line Up, Part 3 - Other Color Names, Part 4 - The Gold Medal Changeover, Part 5 - Dwindling Down, Part 6 - Changes in the Roaring 20s, Part 7 - Crayola Color Wheel, Part 8 - New Assortments Equals New Color Changes, Part 9 - Crayola's Biggest Assortment Secret, Part 10 - War Time Changes, Part 11 - Enter the No. 48, Part 12 - The 50s, Part 13 - The Revolutionary No. 64, Part 14 - The Consistent Years, Part 15 - Specialty Crayons, Part 16 - Fun Alternative Color Names

 

Crayola Metallic (Canadian)Canada Takes the Lead

 

By 1987 Crayola had been global for some time.  They had taken over Cosmic Crayon Co. in Bedford England many decades ago and had turned that into their European headquarters.  In Canada they had taken over the Canada Crayon Co. and also converted that into their Canadian headquarters.  They had operations out of Mexico and Australia as well.  But up to this point none of the other international locations had done anything but use their core color line to redesign the American assortments or offer up their own assortments.  This changed for good in 1987 when Canada took a different approach on a couple of new specialty assortments they debuted.  In the USA when we launched the first Metallic assortment, the colors weren’t individually named and they came only in an 8 color box.  Canada debuted with 16 color boxes of both Metallic crayon colors and Gem Tones.

 

Metallic

 

Canada’s metallic colors included:  Aged Copper, Aztec Gold, Bluetonium, Brass, Bronze, Cadmium Red, Cast Iron, Cobalt Blue, Copper, Gold, Kryptonite, Rust, Silver, Steel Blue, Tarnished Gold and Titanium.

 

All of these specialty colors were metallic based.  They were an interesting mix of both new names and some old names.  Cobalt Blue had been used as a core color from 1903 to 1958 when they discontinued it to introduce some other colors.  These specialty colors weren’t the same true colors as their core named colors though, so colors like Cobalt Blue, Copper, Gold and Silver were all new true colors.  The other colors in the set were all unique names and colors at the time.

 

Because only Canada chose to produce these with individual names, some of the colors would become very difficult for collectors to obtain while others ultimately got reused for other USA specialty assortments.  The tough unique names were Aged Copper, Bluetonium, Bronze, Cadmium Red, Cast Iron, Kryptonite, Tarnished Gold and Titanium.

 

Metallic Canadian crayons

 

Crayola Gemtone (Canadian)Gemtone

 

At the same time, they also released a 16 color Gemtone assortment that included:  Amethyst, Aquamarine, Emerald, Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Onyx, Peridot, Pink Pearl, Rose Quartz, Ruby, Sapphire, Smoky Topaz, Tiger Eye, Turquoise and Zircon

 

Again, because these came from Canada and because they chose to name each crayon themselves, their set was different than the set in the USA.

 

The USA version included:  Amethyst, Citrine, Emerald, Jade, Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Moonstone, Onyx, Peridot, Pink Pearl, Rose Quartz, Ruby, Sapphire, Smokey Topaz, Tiger's Eye

 

The Canadian version used Aquamarine, Turquoise and Zircon.  None of these were in the USA version. 

The USA version used Citrine, Jade and Malchite.  None of these were in the Canadian version.

Oh, and to be technical, Canada used Tiger Eye while the USA used Tiger’s Eye.

 

Given that there were a lot more assortments sold in the USA than Canada that makes those three Canadian colors very hard to find for collectors.

 

The other interesting thing is that the USA version didn’t come out until 1993; a full six years after the Canadian version which does explain why they may have renamed several colors.

 

For the purposes of our color history, at the end of 1987 we had the following changes:

 

Aged Copper was a new name and true color

Amethyst was a new and true color

Aquamarine was a name already in use but got another new true color for this specialty set

Gemtone Canadian crayonsAztec Gold was a new name and true color

Bluetonium was a new name and true color

Brass was a new name and true color

Bronze was a new name and true color

Cadmium Red was a new name and true color

Cast Iron was a new and true color

Cobalt Blue was a name previously used but had a new true color for this specialty set

Copper was a name already in use but got another new true color for this specialty set

Emerald was a new and true color

Gold was a name already in use but got another new true color for this specialty set

Jasper was a new and true color

Kryptonite was a new and true color

Lapis Lazuli was a new and true color

Moonstone was a new and true color

Onyx was a new and true color

Peridot was a new and true color

Pink Pearl was a new and true color

Rose Quartz was a new and true color

Ruby was a new and true color

Rust was a new and true color

Sapphire was a new and true color

Silver was a name already in use but got another new true color for this specialty set

Smoky Topaz was a new and true color

Steel Blue was a new and true color

Tarnished Gold was a new and true color

Tiger Eye was a new and true color

Titanium was a new and true color

Turquoise was a new and true color (Crayola had used Turquoise Blue but never without the blue reference)

Zircon was a new and true color

 

This increased our overall named color count from 156 to 183 and our true color count from 125 to 157.  Active named colors in use went from 79 to 107 while true colors went from 80 to 112; the reuse of the Copper, Gold and Silver names with other true colors created a situation where once again there were more true colors than named colors in use.

 

Let’s take a look at the color list at the end of 1987:

 

Named
Color #

True
Color #


Color Name

Year

Named

True Color

Year

End

Date


End Reason

All

UC

All

LC

Mix

UC/LC


Other Name Variations on Wrapper


Notes

1

1

Black

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Kitty Cat Black

1

125

Black

1903

1980

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

2

2

Blue

1903

1903

1935

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

True color renamed to Celestial Blue

2

66

Blue

1903

1935

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

2

70

Blue

1903

1949

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Same color as Birdie Blue

2

117

Blue

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

3

3

Brown

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Van Dyke Brown, Bunny Brown

4

4

Burnt Sienna

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bt. Sienna, Burnt-Sienna

 

4

118

Burnt Sienna

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

bt. sienna

Part of the Fabric specialty set

5

5

Burnt Umber

1903

1903

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

6

6

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Only found in No. 51 box

6

2

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

1944

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Reused color name for orig. 1903 Blue color; only found in No. 52 box

7

7

Charcoal Gray

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Charc Gray

 

8

8

Chrome Green, Dark

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr. Green DK, Ch. Green Dk.

Same color as Green, Dark, Dark Green, Pine Green

9

9

Chrome Green, Light

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

Chr Green L, CHR. GREEN L, Chr Green Lt.

Same color as Green, Light

10

10

Chrome Green, Medium

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr. Green M

Same color as Green, Medium; Medium Green

11

11

Chrome Yellow, Light

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow

12

12

Chrome Yellow, Medium

1903

1903

1935

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr Yellow Med.

Same color as Yellow, Medium; Medium Yellow; Goldenrod

13

13

Cobalt Blue

1903

1903

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Blue; only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon 1935-1943; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

13

126

Cobalt Blue

1903

1987

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set

14

14

Copper

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Unavailable between 1915 and 1958

14

127

Copper

1903

1987

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set

15

15

Dark Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

Yes

 

No

 

Same color as Prussian Blue, Midnight Blue

16

8

Dark Green

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Green Dark, Pine Green

16

71

Dark Green

1903

1949

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Forest Green 

17

16

English Vermillion

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Eng. Vermillion, Eng. Vermilion

 

18

17

Flesh Tint

1903

1903

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon starting 1935; Same color as Flesh, Pink Beige, Peach; Not available 1944 due to WWII

19

18

Gold

1903

1903

1953

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

 

1915-1943 only offered in Bulk; Not available 1944-1952 due to WWII

19

84

Gold

1903

1953

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

 

19

128

Gold

1903

1987

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set

20

19

Gold Ochre

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Golden Ochre, Maize

21

19

Golden Ochre

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Gold Ochre, Maize

22

20

Green

1903

1903

1930

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

22

61

Green

1903

1930

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Leap Frog Green

22

119

Green

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

23

8

Green, Dark

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Green, Dark; Dark Green; Pine Green

24

9

Green, Light

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Green, Light

25

10

Green, Medium

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

Yes

 

No

Green, Med.,

Same color as Chrome Green, Medium; Medium Green

26

21

Indian Red

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ind. Red

 

27

11

Lemon Yellow

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow.  Only found in No. 51 box

27

38

Lemon Yellow

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Color name reused starting 1958, Same color as second Light Yellow

28

14

Light Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Cobalt Blue.   Made exclusively for E.C. Charlton Stores

28

85

Light Blue

1903

1958

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

 

 

Only available for a small part of 1958

28

120

Light Blue

1903

1976

1980

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

29

11

Light Yellow

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

Yellow Lt.; Lt. Yellow

Same color as Lemon Yellow, second Yellow, Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII;

29

38

Light Yellow

1903

1903

1958

Used as other Name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Yellow (true color 38) that it inherited in 1949, second Lemon Yellow

30

22

Madder Lake

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

31

23

Magenta

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Permanent Magenta; Not available 1944 due to WWII

32

10

Medium Green

1903

1903

1939

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Med. Green

Same color as Green, Medium; Chrome Green, Medium; 1935-1939 only avail in long crayon size in No. 99

33

12

Medium Yellow

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Med. Yellow

Same color as Yellow, Medium; Chrome Yellow, Medium, Goldenrod, Golden Rod; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

34

24

Olive Green

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

 

35

25

Orange

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Jack “O” Lantern Orange

35

121

Orange

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

36

26

Permanent Geranium Lake

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

37

23

Permanent Magenta

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Magenta

38

27

Pink

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Rose Pink

49

15

Prussian Blue

1903

1903

1958

Used as other Name

Yes

 

Yes

Prus. Blue

Same color as Dark Blue, Midnight Blue

40

28

Purple

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Violet

41

29

Raw Sienna

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

41

86

Raw Sienna

1903

1958

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Name revived 48 years after discontinuing it but with a new true color

42

30

Raw Umber

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

43

31

Red

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Candy Apple Red

43

122

Red

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

44

27

Rose Pink

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Pink, Carnation Pink

45

32

Silver

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

1915-1943 offered only as bulk; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

45

129

Silver

1903

1987

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Part of the Canadian Metallic specialty set

46

33

Ultramarine Blue

1903

1903

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

ULT. BLUE; Ult. Blue

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; not available 1949-1957

47

3

Van Dyke Brown

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Brown.  Only found in No. 51 box

48

34

Venetian Red

1903

1903

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Ven. Red

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon from 1935-1937 Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

49

35

Venetian Red, Dark

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

50

36

Venetian Red, Light

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

51

28

Violet

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Violet (Purple) 

Same color as Purple, Bunch of Grapes Purple; 1949-1957 used another true color but reverted back in 1958

51

123

Violet

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

51

72

Violet

1903

1949

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

 

 Same color as second Blue Violet

52

37

White

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

 

53

38

Yellow

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow (second one)

53

48

Yellow

1903

1926

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Same color as Maximum Yellow, Sunshine Yellow

53

124

Yellow

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

54

12

Yellow Medium

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Yellow, Medium; Medium Yellow

55

9

Light Green

1910

1910

1949

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

Lt. Green

Same color as Chrome Green, Light; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

55

73

Light Green

1910

1949

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Sea Green

56

39

Maximum Black

1926

1926

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

57

40

Maximum Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

58

41

Maximum Blue Green

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Maximum Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Blue Green; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

59

42

Maximum Green

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

60

43

Maximum Green Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maximum Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

61

44

Maximum Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

62

45

Maximum Purple Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maximum Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

63

46

Maximum Red

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

64

47

Maximum Red Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maxmimum Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

65

48

Maximum Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Gamboge Yellow, Yellow (second one); Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

66

49

Maximum Yellow Red

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Yellow Orange; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

67

50

Middle Blue

1926

1926

1949

Used as other Name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Light Turquoise Blue, same color as Aquamarine

68

51

Middle Blue Green

1926

1926

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

Middle Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII, same color as second Blue Green

69

52

Middle Grey

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Neutral Gray, Gray; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

70

53

Middle Green

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

71

54

Middle Green Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

72

55

Middle Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

73

56

Middle Purple Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

74

57

Middle Red

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

75

58

Middle Red Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

76

59

Middle Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

77

60

Middle Yellow Red

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Medium Orange

78

40

Blue Green

1930

1930

1958

Switched true colors

Yes