The fact that cobalt’s bright and distinct color like a vivid sky or deep lake water is derived from a dull, greyish compound extracted from deep within mountains only scratches the surface of its intriguing story. Used as a popular colorant since the 1700’s, the Cobalt Institute estimates that humans have been using cobalt in some form for 2600 years. The name cobalt comes from Kobold, a sprite or goblin from German mythology. In medieval times, German miners believed that these spirits haunted the mines and poisoned the miners, and they claimed even to hear them knocking and working with in the shafts. Though a superstition, this story is based in reality, when cobalt is mixed with certain other elements, it is deadly. I…