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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
a scarlet pigment composed of mercuric sulphide, HgS. It may be obtained direct from pure and bright coloured portions of the native ore cinnabar, or, artificially, by subliming a mixture of mercury and sulphur. The product is ground and levigated; and when dry it is ready for use. It is also prepared by digesting precipitated mercuric sulphide with an alkaline sulphide fox some hours; it is said that Chinese vermilion owes its superiority to being made in this way. In addition to its brilliance, vermilion is a pigment of great intensity and durability, remaining unaffected by acid fumes. Being costly, it is much subject to adulteration; but the fraudulent additions may easily be detected by volatilization, which in the case of pure vermilion leaves no residue. See Pigments and Mercury.
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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Vermilion'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/bri/v/vermilion.html. 1910.