Mars Red (Yellow Shade) Pigment

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Rublev Colours Mars Red pigments are intense maroon to russet colors that makes cool to warm redddish tints. Learn more about Mars Red.

Rublev Colours Mars Red pigments are intense maroon to russet colors that make cool to warm reddish tints. Mars colors are permanent pigments with good tinting strength in all mediums. Mars red is a high-tinting iron oxide pigment. The very fine particle size of the pigment gives this an intense color.

Pigment Names
Common Names (pigment):English: Mars red
French: Mars rouge
German: Mars rot
Italian: Marte rosso
Spanish: Marte rojo
Common NamePrimary MineralSource
Mars redSynthetic red iron oxideUS


Pigment Information
Pigment Classification:Synthetic Inorganic
Colour Index:Pigment Red 101 (77491)
Chemical Name:Iron(III) Oxide
Chemical Formula:Fe2O3
CAS No.:1309-37-1
Series No.:2
ASTM Lightfastness
Physical Properties
Type:Mars Red (Yellow Shade)Mars Red (Blue Shade)Mars Crimson (Most Bluish Shade)
Particle Size (mean):1.1 microns1.1 microns1.1 microns
Particle Shape:SphericalSphericalSpherical
Density:5.0 g/cm35.0 g/cm35.0 g/cm3
Refractive Index:n=2.42n=2.42n=2.42
Heat Stability:504°C504°C750°C
Iron Content (Fe2O3) Min.96%96%96%
Oil Absorption:28 grams oil / 100 grams pigment25–30 grams oil / 100 grams pigment25–30 grams oil / 100 grams pigment
Health and SafetyNo acute or known chronic health hazards are associated with this product’s anticipated use (most chemicals are not thoroughly tested for chronic toxicity). Protect yourself against potentially unknown chronic hazards of this and other chemical products by keeping them out of your body. Do this by avoiding ingestion, excessive skin contact, inhaling spraying mists, and sanding dust and vapors from heating. Conforms to ASTM D-4236.


For a detailed explanation of the terms in the table above, please visit Composition and Permanence.

Origin and History

Mars red is one of the Mars pigments developed during the eighteenth century and manufactured by the aqueous precipitation of iron salts. Mars yellow is the first pigment produced by this process, which is then further roasted to produce the other Mars colors—orange, brown, red, and violet. Unlike other earlier synthetic iron oxides and oxide hydroxides, the Mars colors were pure and very fine-grained while retaining high tinting strength. For more information and the history of Mars colors, please read Mars Is Closer Than We Think.


The first Mars pigments were manufactured by precipitating iron(II) sulfate (also called ‘gree‘ vitriol’ or ’mart‘al vitriol’) mi’ed with alum with an alkali, such as lime, caustic soda, potash, etc. The residue was then washed carefully to remove any remaining salts. Other salts of iron (iron chloride, iron nitrate, or iron acetate) were also used to manufacture the pigment. The precipitation of iron salts and alkali produced a yellow-brown pigment. Mars yellow was the starting material for other Mars colors.

Permanence and Compatibility

Like all iron oxide pigments, Mas red is lightfast in all mediums and shows excellent weatherability.

Oil Absorption and Grinding

Mars red absorbs a moderate amount of oil, about 25 to 30 grams of linseed oil per 100 grams of pigment, to make a paste.


Mars red is not considered toxic; however, care should be taken when handling the dry powder pigment to avoid inhaling the dust. This pigment is FDA-approved (Section 178.3297). All toxicological studies showed no signs of toxicity to humans or the environment. It is for use in polymeric food-contact articles regulated under the Code of Federal Regulations, 21 CFR Part 178.3297 “Colo“ants for Polymers” 4.1”13.


Since Mars red is inert and practically insoluble in water, it does not pose a hazard to the environment. The pigment can be removed mechanically from effluents. No dissolved heavy metals are released into the seepage water on controlled dumpsites.

For more information on handling pigments safely, please visit How to Safely Handle Art Materials and Pigments.

More Information
BrandRublev Colours
VendorNatural Pigments
Processing TimeUsually ships the next business day.
Pigment TypeInorganic, Synthetic
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Mars Red (Yellow Shade) Pigment
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