The color purple has long been associated with the wealthiest and most important people in society. Before the modern chemistry industry was able to simply create purple, the ‘Royal purple’ color was found in a few different species of shellfish, but it would take up to 10,000 individual shellfish to produce one gram of dye. So with how expensive purple clothing was to make, it was reserved for the wealthiest and most important individuals. This is true in vastly different and independent cultures from the ancient Mediterranean to China to Peru.
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