Are there chemical elements or compounds that have a yellowish white (cream) color in their natural state?


4 Answers 4

  1. Aluminium(III) chloride - often described as white but samples is sometimes contaminated with iron(III) chloride giving it a light yellow color
  2. Antimony(V) oxide - pale yellow solid
  3. Bismuth(III) oxide - light yellow solid
  4. Rhodium(III) oxide - lemon yellow
  5. Cerium(IV) oxide - pale yellow-white compound
  6. Dysprosium(III) nitrate - white to pale yellow
  7. Holmium(III) oxide- Color depends on lighting condition. In daylight, it is tannish light yellow; Under trichromatic light, it is fiery orange red (Thanks @EdV)
  8. Samarium(III) oxide - light yellow
  9. Silver(I) iodide - samples can have a range of color(white to pale yellow to yellow) due to impurity and photosensitization
  10. Selenium(IV) chloride - white to faint yellow volatile solid
  11. Gold(III) chloride - pale yellow to yellow
  12. Potassium Telluride - pale yellow
  13. Thallium(III) bromide - pale yellow
  14. Some vanadate salts are light yellow

Bromium nitrate is pale yellow but not confirmed. Silver(I) bromide and lead(II) bromide are light yellow and white cream colored respectively.

Above data source: http://lanthanumkchemistry.over-blog.com/article-the-colors-of-chemicals-complexes-104821449.html

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (+1) Excellent list! I have numbers 5, 8 and 11 and can confirm that the color of holmium (III) oxide depends on the illumination, as per here. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ @EdV Thank you. I am editing that information onto the answer. I was hoping for someone to confirm the list as I compiled the data from a single source. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ In addition to the various inorganic compounds listed above, there are countless organic compounds (and mixtures/emulsions/suspensions/etc. of organic compounds) that satisfy this criterion. Also, sulfur contamination of something that's normally white will give you something yellow. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 18:04

Calcium hypochlorite is an example of such a yellowish white compound.

Another example would be Silver Bromide

  • $\begingroup$ I am unable to comment and so this is the only way I can answer a question $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 9:15
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    $\begingroup$ Could the downvoter please explain the reason for downvoting? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 10:17
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    $\begingroup$ The only reason I can think is that your link to Ca(OCl)2 takes you to AgBr $\endgroup$
    – Ian Bush
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that. @IanBush I had both links marked in the answer but had a mix up in alloting them. I fixed the issue. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ Article you link says calcium hypochlorite is white/gray. Also such questions are supposed to be closed as too broad, not answered. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 17:55

The reaction of any acid on a thiosulfate solution makes a precipitate of sulfur $\ce{S_8}$ which is pale yellow, nearly white.


Undyed ("natural") nylon is yellowish-white:

enter image description here

Source of picture: aiplastics.com


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