Volkonskoite Pigment

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Volkonskoite is a chromium-bearing mineral found in clay-bearing sandstones. We get our deep forest green pigment from mineral sources near the village of Efimiata in the Perm Basin, Russia. Learn more.

Volkonskoite is a chromium-bearing mineral that is part of the smectite group, a clay mineral found in sandstones, conglomerates, and red beds, commonly filling voids from the decomposition of organic material. The largest deposit of volkonskoite is found in Mt. Efimiatsk and elsewhere in the Okhansk region, Middle Kama River area, Perm Basin, Ural Mountains, Russia. We get our pigment from mineral sources near the village of Efimiata in the Perm Basin. Its masstone varies from olive green to bright emerald green. Ours is a deep forest green edging towards an olive green. Usually, the mineral is free from impurities and is ready for use as a pigment without much preparation.

Pigment Names
Common Names (mineral):English: volkonskoite
French: volkonskoïte
German: Volkonskoit
Italian: volkonskoite
Spanish: volkonskoita
Synonyms:English: Wolchonskoite
Common NamePrimary MineralSource
VolkonskoiteVolkonskoiteEfimiata, Perm Basin, Russia


Pigment Information
Pigment Classification:Natural Inorganic
Colour Index:Not Listed
Chemical Name:Hydrated Calcium Chromium Magnesium Iron Silicate Hydroxide
Chemical Formula:Ca0,3(Cr+3,Mg,Fe+3)2(Si,Al)4O10(OH)2*4H2O
CAS No.:1318-00-9
Series No.:7
ASTM Lightfastness
Acrylic:Not Listed
Oil:Not Listed
Watercolor:Not Listed
Physical Properties
Particle Size (mean):12 microns
Density:2.11–2.36 g/cm3
Refractive Index:1.551–1.569
Oil Absorption:32 grams oil / 100 grams pigment
Health and SafetyThere are no acute or known chronic health hazards associated with the anticipated use of this product (most chemicals are not fully tested for chronic toxicity). Always 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, and inhalation of spraying mists, sanding dusts 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

There is little known about the use of this pigment in ancient art. There is some evidence of a green chromium oxide pigment in some European works from the Renaissance. Pablo Picasso especially liked this pigment, which he imported from the former Soviet Union.

The pigment was named for Prince A. Volkonskoi, Minister of the Imperial Court, Russia, in the 19th century.


We obtain our deep forest green pigment from mineral sources near the village of Efimiata in the Perm Basin, Russia.

Permanence and Compatibility

Volkonskoite is considered to be a permanent pigment. It is unaffected by exposure to light. There are no known incompatibilities with other pigments and paint binders.

Oil Absorption and Grinding

No data has been published on the oil absorption properties of volkonskoite. A unique characteristic of the mineral volkonskoite is its high adhesive property, which complicates pulverizing it for use as a pigment. One method to eliminate this difficulty is to add a small amount of quartz to volkonskoite while grinding or mulling the mineral. The addition of quartz does not detract from its qualities as one of best green pigments to use in glazes.


Volkonskoite is not considered toxic but care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment so as not to inhale the dust.

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

More Information
BrandRublev Colours
VendorRublev Colours
Processing TimeUsually ships the next business day.
Pigment TypeInorganic, Historical, Natural

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