vermilion

vermilion, vivid red pigment of durable quality. It is a chemical compound of mercury and sulfur and is known as red sulfide of mercury it was formerly obtained by grinding pure cinnabar but is now commonly prepared synthetically. Vermilion is a good pigment for protecting iron and steel and is therefore used in paints. It is commonly adulterated because of its high cost. Certain other materials are sometimes called vermilion among them is imitation vermilion, prepared from a combination of red lead or basic lead chromate and certain other chemicals.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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