When it comes to mica-based colorants, a lot of terms are thrown around concern for their meaning. In many cases, people use terms interchangeably, or suggest that terms which actually represent the same things are entirely different from one another.
In this article, we'll be covering a commonly asked question about mica-based colorants: "What is the difference between mica powder and mica pigment?" Then we'll discuss where you can acquire top-quality mica pigments at an economical price.
But first, let's cover the basics of what mica minerals and mica-based colorants are for those who aren't familiar, so that our answer to this question will make sense to mica newcomers.
What are mica minerals and mica-based colorants?
Categorically, mica is a group of 37 different silicate minerals. These minerals exist in a variety of different colors, but are distinguished by their perfect mineral cleavage and a shared reflective sheen.
Because of these traits, mica is valued as a core material for making vibrant, sparkling powder pigments. After mica is mined, cleaned, and ground into a fine powder, it can be used as a colorant for aesthetic and functional purposes.
In powder form, these mica powders retain their reflective properties. As a result, they tend to impart an elegant shimmering effect to any medium they're combined with.
Moreover, because mica is non-soluble, they remain colorfast—with their hue neither fading nor morphing. This makes them exceptional for use in projects where exposure to things like direct sunlight, which often dulls the color of ordinary pigments over time but is unable to wear down the beautiful tones of pure mica powder.
Mica powder pigments can also be mixed with other ground minerals or synthetic additives, to generate brighter, more intense colors, or simply to achieve otherwise inaccessible tones.
In our store, you'll find a wide variety of mica powder pigments, some of which are purely mica, and others of which are a combination of mica and colorful additives.
What Is the Difference Between Mica Powder and Mica Pigment?
Essentially, they're the same thing—there isn't really a difference.
Traditionally, a pigment is a dry substance used as a colorant to imbue a medium with color. Most pigments are made of powdered materials that have been ground up. In other words, a powder colorant is a pigment, but not all pigments are powdered.
These days, the term "pigment" is often used in a less precise manner to refer to any substance designed to impart color to a medium (e.g., fabric, paint, epoxy resin, etc.)
Mica powder is a pigment that has been crushed into a fine dust. Because mica is a non-soluble mineral, becoming a fine powder is necessary to make it viable as a pigment, therefore the terms "mica powder" and "mica pigment" end up referring to the same thing.
If They're Both the Same, Why the Different Names?
Most likely it's because it's human nature to oversimplify things by softening the meaning of words through casual, imprecise use. Often, when a term is repeatedly used in a loose or ambiguous way to convey something slightly different from its original intent, the newer, less specific meaning gradually becomes the default.
Thus, in the case of mica powders and mica pigments, both names refer to the same type of product. In the end, what this entails is that if you search using one term (e.g., mica powder) but see a store using the other (e.g., mica powder), you can have peace of mind knowing that it will likely serve the exact same purpose, as long as the color and quality of the product meets your standards.
Where Can I Get High-Quality Mica Powder/Mica Pigments?
You can get top-tier mica powder pigments directly in our Pigmently store.
Each of our pigments is carefully produced to exacting standards, using only high-grade ingredients to ensure a long-lasting, non-fading, vivid result.
In 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!