Yellow Ochre, or limonite (for its lemon-yellow colour), is a naturally occurring iron ore, which was used as a pigment in Neolithic cave paintings, particularly in Africa, dating to approximately 25000 BCE. Limonite has been mined for the production of iron for at least 4500 years, and more recently was discovered to be an indicator of gold seams.

Prospectors in Lumpkin County, Georgia, dug through limonite to expose quartz veins holding gold deposits at the beginning of the Georgia gold rush, in 1828.

In Ancient Egypt, yellow ochre was used to represent gold, or the eternal, in tomb paintings. While men were portrayed with brown faces, women’s faces in Ancient Egyptian art were always painted with yellow ochre.


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