The Most Expensive Oil Paint Colors Revisited

So it seems while I was busy Michael Harding decided to take the ‘most expensive paints‘ crown away from Old Holland!

While I don’t really think that’s something to be proud of and feels like it’s not customer friendly… to each his own.

Old Holland had some of the most expensive oil paint before now… with Cerulean light blue costing $401 per 225ml tube and Cerulean blue costing $321 for a 225ml tube.

But with Michael Harding’s introduction of Genuine Chinese Vermilion and Lapis Lazuli in 225ml tubes, Old Holland is no longer the most expensive…

Michael Harding’s Lapis Lazuli and Chinese Vermilion both cost $406.25 per tube.

Which means… both paints cost $1800 per liter.

And I can tell you why that is right now.

Genuine Lapis Lazuli is a blue color made from a semi-precious stone that requires special processing and know how to make. That know how is necessary because if you simply grind up Lapis Lazuli you will get a grey blue powder rather than the desired pure, shocking, blue that you want. Supposedly only a handful of companies across the world know how to produce it.

Genuine Chinese Vermillion is a… you’ll love this… red color made with mercury! To be more precise, it’s made from the mineral cinnabar. Cinnabar is made up of mercury sulfide and has been used as a red pigment in paints and cosmetics since the times of the Roman Republic.

Even as far back as then people were aware of the health hazards associated with cinnabar and yet it’s such a beautiful red we just can’t stop using it.

I would like to be clear that as long as you take proper safety precautions such as not eating or drinking while painting and wearing gloves it is not a dangerous paint to use. It is only dangerous if you don’t put the effort in to do things right.

Anyways… Michael Harding has won for now!

I’m sure I’ll be back with some new sky high prices to talk about in the near future.

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