Vermilion is an opaque orang
Orange (colour)
The colour orange occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum at a wavelength of about 585–620 nm, and has a hue of 30° in HSV colour space. It is numerically halfway between red and yellow in a gamma-compressed RGB colour space, the expression of which is the RGB colour wheel. The...

ish red
Red is any of a number of similar colors evoked by light consisting predominantly of the longest wavelengths of light discernible by the human eye, in the wavelength range of roughly 630–740 nm. Longer wavelengths than this are called infrared , and cannot be seen by the naked eye...

A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

, similar to scarlet
Scarlet (color)
Scarlet is a bright red color with a hue that is somewhat toward the orange. It is redder than vermilion. It is a pure chroma on the color wheel one-fourth of the way between red and orange. Scarlet is sometimes used as the color of flame...

. As a naturally occurring mineral pigment, it is known as cinnabar
Cinnabar or cinnabarite , is the common ore of mercury.-Word origin:The name comes from κινναβαρι , a Greek word most likely applied by Theophrastus to several distinct substances...

, and was in use around the world before the Common Era began. Most naturally produced vermilion comes from cinnabar mined in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and vermilion is nowadays commonly called 'China red'. The name 'vermilion' is derived from the French vermeil (indicating any red dye), from Latin vermiculum, the ancient insect dye from Kermes vermilio
Kermes vermilio
Kermes vermilio is one of the species of Kermes used to make the dye also called kermes.....