It forms white plates, melting at 132°, readily soluble in water, and subliming without decomposition.
Soc. chim., 1879, 32, p. 14) on subliming ordinary sulphur.
It may be obtained direct from pure and bright coloured portions of the native ore cinnabar, or, artificially, by subliming a mixture of mercury and sulphur.
A sublimate may be formed of: sulphur - reddish-brown drops, cooling to a yellow to brown solid, from sulphides or mixtures; iodine - violet vapour, black sublimate, from iodides, iodic acid, or mixtures; mercury and its compounds - metallic mercury forms minute globules, mercuric sulphide is black and becomes red on rubbing, mercuric chloride fuses before subliming, mercurous chloride does not fuse, mercuric iodide gives a yellow sublimate; arsenic and its compounds - metallic arsenic gives a grey mirror, arsenious oxide forms white shining crystals, arsenic sulphides give reddish-yellow sublimates which turn yellow on cooling; antimony oxide fuses and gives a yellow acicular sublimate; lead chloride forms a white sublimate after long and intense heating.
He does not tell us how it was prepared, but he describes the method of subliming it, which can leave no doubt that it was real sal ammoniac. In the Opera mineralia of Isaac Hollandus the elder, there is likewise a description of the mode of subliming sal ammoniac. Basil Valentine, in his Currus triumphalis antimonii, describes some of the peculiar properties of sal ammoniac in, if possible, a still less equivocal manner.