There's a lot of terminology thrown around when talking about colorants such as pigments, dyes, inks, and more. While jargon for any particular subject can be useful for clarity, it can only accomplish if it's comprehensible.
In this article, we'll answer one of the various questions we receive regarding colorants, so that you're better able to make the right decisions for your artistic endeavors:
"What is the difference between metallic pigment and mica powder?"
What Is the Difference Between Metallic Pigment and Mica Powder?
The answer to this question is essential a matter of classification. Metallic in this case refers to an aesthetic trait; it doesn't mean that something is made of metal, but rather that something looks like metal. Mica powder refers to a powder primarily made from at least one of 37 particular minerals, categorized as mica.
Metallic Pigments: Any Pigment Whose Appearance Resembles Metal
Metallic pigments are pigments that look like metal (e.g., Vegas Dust by Pigmently). While these items may indeed be made of metal, it's resemblance that matters here, and not all metallic objects are made of metal.
In many cases, metallic pigment particles have been merely coated with a thin film of metal to confer a metallic appearance, with the core of the object being something else entirely.
A metallic pigment may have muted/neutral colors (e.g., Velvet Night Grey by Pigmently) like most metals and feature a sparkling shine suggestive of the natural reflectiveness of metals.
Materials with metallic properties are popular in art and design. For instance, many types of glitters are metallic, with a reflective shine that makes them sparkle vividly in direct light.
Mica Powder: A Powder Whose Base Consists of Mica Minerals
On the other hand, mica powder is a specific material. It's the finely-ground form of mica, which, in turn, is the name of a group of 37 different silicate minerals.
When a mica mineral is mined, cleaned, and ground into powder form, it becomes usable in a variety of different ways, including as a pigment.
Mica powders are non-soluble, making them useful in a variety of applications.
Many Mica Powders Are Metallic Pigments
Many mica powder pigments (most, in fact) are considered metallic pigments. They often have additives that enhance their metallic appearance even further.
The reason for this is the inherently reflective nature of most mica minerals. A clean mica mineral will have a lustrous shine. When it is ground into dust, the resulting particles retain that shine, resulting in an elegant shimmering effect when exposed to light.
Summary: What is the difference between metallic pigments and mica powder?
A metallic pigment is any pigment with a metallic appearance. It can contain actual metal or something that resembles it in its shine and tone.
A mica powder is a powder wherein the primary ingredient is ground mica. It has an inherent sheen, but may or more not have metallic aesthetic properties.
A powder/pigment can be both a metallic pigment and a mica powder. They are not mutually exclusive as these terms denote unrelated aspects.
In our Pigmently store, you'll find a wide range of brilliant metallic mica powder pigments, as well as many other shades, tones, and textures.
Pigmently: Your Trusted Source for Metallica Mica Powder Pigments
Having a trustworthy source of clean, high-quality mica powder pigments is essential to making sure the products you use are safe. That's why we at Pigmently put such high emphasis on quality assurance.
At Pigmently, each of our pigments is carefully produced to exacting standards, using only high-grade ingredients to ensure long-lasting, non-fading, vivid results.
Within our store, you'll find a wide array of potent mica powder pigments, as well as vibrant liquid dyes. And on our Pigmently Bundles Page, you can also view a diverse selection of curated colorant bundles, which are cost-effective ways to obtain a variety of different colorants at a lower price.
Bring your creations to life with premium Mica Powder Pigments by Pigmently!