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Alternate Color Scheme for Elements
#1
Just finished gathering references for alternate colors for the elements - the list is viewable here. I'll go through it later and suggest colors for each in RGB format.

I ran into a similar problem as Marvin - the pure elements are mostly silver metals, the salts are mostly white powders and the ores are mostly gray rocks, but with enough exceptions to add a bit of variety. Some of the ores have cool shapes too.
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#2
Thanks for doing this! When I try to open the doc up it says I need to ask for permission, and I clicked on the button to do so. I think you need to go into sharing settings for that doc and make it public so anyone can view it without asking for permission.
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#3
Done - first post has been updated with a working link.
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#4
Still working through the list, but here's my first set of recommendations in (r,g,b) format. From these I'd recommend using the ore colours for aluminum, antimony and copper. I recommend salt colours for chromium and cobalt.

Aluminum
Metal: Base: (128,128,128) Specular: (224,224,224)
Ore: Base: (165,42,42)  Specular: (255,128,0)
Salt: Base: (224,224,224) Specular: (255,255,255)

Antimony
Metal: Base: (96,96,96) Specular: (224,224,224)
Ore: Base: (96,96,96) Specular: (160,160, 160)
Salt: Base: (224,224,224) Specular: (255,255,255)

Chromium
Metal: Base: (128,128,128) Specular: (224,224,224)
Ore: Base: (96,96,96) Specular: (192,192,192)
Salt: Base: (102,0,255) Specular: (204,153,255)

Cobalt
Metal: Base: (126,131,126) Specular: (224,230,224)
Ore: Base: (178,73,46) Specular: (199,139,117)
Salt: Base: (51,153,255) Specular: (153,204,255)

Copper
Metal: Base: (255,128,0) Specular: (255,204,153)
Ore: Base: (0,102,51) Specular: (0,153,76)
Salt: Base: (0,204,102) Specular: (0,255,128)
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#5
I'll be updating all of the colors when the rest of them are done. Looking forward to it!
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#6
Here's the completed list,  with my personal recommendations marked by asterisks. Sorry for taking so long.

It may also be possible to differentiate ores by giving them unique shapes (like the long rods of stibnite, magnetite's octahedrons, etc.) Hope this helps!

Gold
*Metal: Base: (168,102,11) Specular: (249,249,221)
Ore: Base: (111,101,74) Specular: (245,244,231)


Iron
Metal: Base: (151,150,146) Specular: (205,205,204)
*Ore: Base: (117,117,117) Specular: (235,235,235)
Salt: Base: (68,18,7) Specular: (126,24,9)


Lead:
Metal: Base: (137,137,139) Specular: (199,199,199)
*Ore: Base: (95,95,93) Specular: (248,241,235)
Salt: Base: (168,31,0) Specular: (206,59,0)


Magnesium
Metal: Base: (131,129,116) Specular: (232,234,231)
*Ore: Base: (189,163,116) Specular: (239,233,210)
Salt: Base: (123,118,122) Specular: (216,216,216)


Mercury
Metal: Base: (97,97,85) Specular: (253,248,247)
*Ore: Base: (141,59,61) Specular: (205,202,216)
Salt: Base: (146,146,142) Specular: (177,176,174)


Molybdenum
Metal: Base: (97,95,94) Specular: (238,237,237,)
*Ore: Base: (215,105,47) Specular: (231,192,178)
Salt: Base: (218,117,4) Specular: (255,236,167)


Nickel
Metal: Base: (179,176,167) Specular: (254,255,250)
Ore: Base: (94,84,49) Specular: (252,247,217)
*Salt: Base: (81,213,156) Specular: (202,243,237)



Platinum
Metal: Base: (163,164,158) Specular: (227,232,228)
*Ore: Base: (156,160,161) Specular: (232,232,232)
Salt: Base: (205,81,38) Specular: (242,147,56)



Plutonium
*Metal: Base: (161,144,144) Specular: (227,207,206)
Salt: Base: (78,80,30) Specular: (125,130,64)



Promethium
Metal: Base: (81,80,78) Specular: (254,253,249)
*Ore: Base: (94,105,111) Specular: (206,210,213)
Salt: Base: (230,232,179) Specular: (232,233,194)



Rodnium (numbers based on rhodium)
Metal: Base: (144,130,119) Specular: (248,246,244)
Ore: Same as platinum/nickel
*Salt: Base: (51,37,40) Specular: (96,80,83)



Silver
Metal: Base: (143,139,136) Specular: (238,246,247)
*Ore: Base: (78,94,94) Specular: (249,249,250)
Salt: Base: (222,222,232) Specular: (219,219,230)



Tin
Metal: Base: (73,75,58) Specular: (253,253,238)
*Ore: Base: (72,81,90) Specular: (238,241,248)
Salt: Base: (250,254,253) Specular: (250,254,253)



Titanium
Metal: Base: (177,169,158) Specular: (255,254,253)
*Ore: Base: (50,49,48) Specular: (194,103,34)
Salt: Base: (137,122,116) Specular: (246,249,245)



Tungsten
Metal: Base: (169,167,154) Specular: (215,212,203)
*Ore: Base: (80,87,97) Specular: (236,235,235)
Salt: Base: (213,210,138) Specular: (234,238,178)



Zinc
Metal: Base: (160,160,162) Specular: (247,248,243)
*Ore: Base: (92,92,94) Specular: (250,250,248)
Salt: Base: (188,184,173) Specular: (251,252,247)
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