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This article is a compilation of color etchants that have been developed for a limited number of metals and alloys. It describes the optical methods for producing color, such as polarized light and differential interference contrast, with illustrations. The article discusses film formation and interference techniques such as anodizing, chemical etching, and tint etching. It provides a description of reagents that deposit sulfide films and molybdate films. The article concludes with a discussion on the thermal and vapor deposition methods to produce color.

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