When a new green pigment was developed in the early 19th century, it seemed like a marvelous discovery. Not only was it bright and intensely vibrant, it was also cheap to produce. Artists loved Emerald green, as did wallpaper manufacturers, who used it for all kinds of delightful designs. But it was too good to be true. The pigment had a tendency to release arsenic fumes – and let’s just say the results were often fatal. It’s also believed that Napoleon’s death in exile on St Helena was hastened this way. By the early 1900s, Emerald green had fallen from grace due to its deadly reputation.
Fortunately, synthetic pigments quickly replaced Emerald green, producing an equally vibrant hue but with none of the unwanted side effects. So today, you can use this jewel-like colour to gorgeous (and safe!) effect, perhaps in a living room, bedroom or bathroom, where its rich vibrancy will add a sense of luxury and elegance.