Cobalt violet

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Cobalt violet (deep)


A general name for several violet color cobalt pigments. First developed in 1859, cobalt violet was the primary permanent violet pigment available. Cobalt violets range from deep to pale shades with either a pink or blue hue. The first cobalt violets used were composed of Cobalt arsenate. This highly toxic compound is now rarely used. Instead most current cobalt violets are nontoxic and are made from either Cobalt phosphate, or Cobalt ammonium phosphate. Cobalt violets are used in paints, glass, glazes and enamels.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cobalt arsenate (light); cobalt phosphate (deep); Kobaltviolett (Deut.); violeta de cobalto (Esp.); violet de cobalt (Fr.); violetto di cobalto (It.); violeta de cobalto (Port.)


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Hazards and Safety

Skin contact may cause allergies, especially on elbows, neck and ankles. Chronic inhalation may cause asthma. Ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhea and the sensation of hotness.

Additional Information

° Pigments Through the Ages: Cobalt violet ° Corbeil, Marie-Claude, Jean-Pierre Charland, Elizabeth Moffatt. 'The characterization of cobalt violet pigments' Studies in Conservation vol.47 (2002), pp.237-249.


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