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Encyclopedia > Cinnabar
Category Mineral
Chemical formula mercury(II) sulfide, HgS
Colour Brownish-red
Crystal habit Rhombohedral to tabular. Granular to massive
Crystal system Hexagonal
Cleavage Prismatic, perfect
Fracture Uneven to subconchoidal
Mohs Scale hardness 2-2.5
Luster Adamantine to dull
Refractive index Transparent to opaque
Pleochroism N/A
Streak Scarlet
Specific gravity 8 - 8.2 g/cm³
Fusibility  ?
Solubility 3.10-26 g per 100 mL water
Major varieties

Cinnabar, sometimes written cinnabarite, is a name applied to red mercury(II) sulfide (HgS), or native vermilion, the common ore of mercury. The name comes from the Greek - "kinnabari" - used by Theophrastus, and was probably applied to several distinct substances. Other sources say the word comes from the Persian zinjifrah, originally meaning "lost"[citation needed]. Image File history File links Cinnabar. ... Image File history File links Cinnabar. ... Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. ... A chemical formula (also called molecular formula) is a concise way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound. ... In mineralogy, shape and size give rise to descriptive terms applied to the typical appearance, or habit of crystals. ... Rose des Sables (Sand Rose), formed of gypsum crystals In mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms in a crystal. ... A regular hexagon A hexagon (also known as sexagon) is a polygon with six edges and six vertices. ... Cleavage, in mineralogy, is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along definite planes, creating smooth surfaces, of which there are several named types: Basal cleavage: cleavage parallel to the base of a crystal, or to the plane of the lateral axes. ... A fracture is the separation of a body into two, or more, pieces under the action of stress. ... Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer. ... The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a material is the factor by which the phase velocity of electromagnetic radiation is slowed in that material, relative to its velocity in a vacuum. ... Pleochroism is an optical phenomenon where due to double refraction of light by a colored gem or crystal, the light is divided into two paths which are polarized at a 90° angle to each other. ... Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. ... Relative density (also known as specific gravity) is a measure of the density of a material. ... Fusibility is the ease with which a material will melt. ... A substance is soluble in a fluid if it dissolves in that fluid. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 200. ... The term sulfide (sulphide in British) refers to several types of chemical compounds containing sulfur in its lowest oxidation number of -2. ... Vermilion, also spelled vermilion, when found naturally-occurring, is an opaque reddish orange pigment, used since antiquity, originally derived from the powdered mineral cinnabar. ... Iron ore (Banded iron formation) Manganese ore Lead ore Gold ore An ore is a volume of rock containing components or minerals in a mode of occurrence which renders it valuable for mining. ... Statue of Theophrastus Theophrastus, a native of Eressos in Lesbos born c. ... Persian is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ...




HgS adopts two structures, i.e. it is dimorphous.[1] The more stable form is cinnabar, which has a structure akin to that for HgO: each Hg center has two short Hg-S bonds (2.36 Å), and four longer Hg---S contacts (3.10, 3.10, 3.30, 3.30 Å). The black form of HgS has the zinc blende structure. Mecury(II) oxide has a formula of HgO and a formula weight of 216. ... Ã…, or Ã¥, is a letter, representing a vowel, in the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Walloon, Chamorro and Istro-Romanian language alphabets. ... Sphalerite sample Another sphalerite sample Sphalerite (ZnS) is a mineral that is the chief ore of zinc. ...



Cinnabar is generally found in a massive, granular or earthy form and is bright scarlet to brick-red in color. It occasionally occurs, however, in crystals with a metallic adamantine luster. The crystals belong to the rhombohedral (trigonal) system, and are generally of rhombohedral habit, sometimes twinned. The twinning in cinnabar is distinctive and forms a penetration twin that is ridged with six ridges surrounding the point of a pyramid. It could be thought of as two scalahedral crystals grown together with one crystal going the opposite way of the other crystal. The hardness of cinnabar is 2 - 2.5, and its specific gravity 8.998. Quartz crystal In chemistry and mineralogy, a crystal is a solid in which the constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are packed in a regularly ordered, repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. ... Adamantine is a mineral, often referred to as adamantine spar. ... In crystallography, the rhombohedral (or trigonal) crystal system is one of the 7 lattice point groups. ... Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. ... Relative density (also known as specific gravity) is a measure of the density of a material. ...

Cinnabar resembles quartz in its symmetry and certain of its optical characteristics. Like quartz, it exhibits birefringence. It has the highest refractive power of any mineral. Its mean index for sodium light is 3.02, whereas the index for diamond—a substance of remarkable refraction— is 2.42 and that for GaAs is 3.93. See List of indices of refraction. Quartz is amongst one of the most common minerals in the Earths continental crust. ... A calcite crystal laid upon a paper with some letters showing the double refraction Birefringence, or double refraction, is the decomposition of a ray of light into two rays (the ordinary ray and the extraordinary ray) when it passes through certain types of material, such as calcite crystals, depending on... The straw seems to be broken, due to refraction of light as it emerges into the air. ... Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. ... The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a material is the factor by which the phase velocity of electromagnetic radiation is slowed in that material, relative to its velocity in a vacuum. ... General Name, Symbol, Number sodium, Na, 11 Chemical series alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1, 3, s Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 22. ... Many materials have a well-characterized refractive index, but these indices depend strongly upon the wavelength of light. ...



Generally cinnabar occurs as a vein-filling mineral associated with recent volcanic activity and alkaline hot springs. Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. ... This article is about volcanoes in geology. ... Green Dragon Spring at Norris Geyser A hot spring is a place where warm or hot groundwater issues from the ground on a regular basis for at least a predictable part of the year, and is significantly above the ambient ground temperature (which is usually around 55~57 F or...

Cinnabar is found in all localities that yield mercury, notably Almaden (Spain), New Almaden (California), Idrija (Slovenia), New Idria (California), Landsberg, near Obermoschel in the Palatinate, Ripa, at the foot of the Apuan Alps (Tuscany), the mountain Avala (Serbia), Huancavelica (Peru), Terlingua (Texas), and the province of Guizhou in China, where fine crystals have been obtained. This article is about the town in Spain. ... The New Almaden Quicksilver Mine, the oldest and most productive quicksilver mine in the United States, was discovered by Mexicanos. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Area: 293. ... New Idria in 1910 New Idria was a previously mining-oriented, now ghost town in coastal range of California, outside of Hollister, California up in the Diablo Range mountains. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Alsenz-Obermoschel is a Verbandsgemeinde (collective municipality) in the Donnersbergkreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. ... A palatinate is a territory administered by a count palatine, originally the direct representative of the sovereign, but later the hereditary ruler of the territory subject to the crowns overlordship. ... The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIP or RIPA) is a United Kingdom law covering the interception of communications. ... The Apennine Mountains (Greek: Απεννινος; Latin: Appenninus--in both cases used in the singular; Italian: Appennini) is a mountain range stretching 1000 km from the north to the south of Italy along its east coast, traversing the entire peninsula, and forming, as it were, the backbone of the country. ... Tuscany (Italian Toscana) is a region in central Italy, bordering on Latium to the south, Umbria and Marche to the east, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria to the north, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. ... Insert non-formatted text hereMedia:Example. ... Terlingua, Texas is a small village in southwestern Brewster County located near the Rio Grande. ... Official language(s) See: Languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 268,581 sq mi (695,622 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... (Simplified Chinese: 贵州; Traditional Chinese: è²´å·ž; pinyin: Gùizhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuei-chou; also spelled Kweichow) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. ...

Cinnabar is still being deposited at the present day from the hot waters of Sulphur Bank, in California, and Steamboat Springs, Nevada. Steamboat Springs is a city located in Routt County, Colorado. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

Cinnabar crystals on Dolomite from China.
Cinnabar crystals on Dolomite from China.

Image File history File links Cinnabar_on_dolomite. ... Image File history File links Cinnabar_on_dolomite. ...

Mining and extraction of mercury

Cinnabar was mined by the Roman Empire both as a pigment and for its mercury content, and it has been the main ore of mercury throughout the centuries. Some mines used by the Romans remain active today. The Roman Empire was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by an autocratic form of government. ...

To produce liquid (quicksilver) mercury, crushed cinnabar ore is roasted in rotary furnaces. Pure mercury separates from sulfur in this process and easily evaporates. A condensing column is used to collect the liquid mercury, which is most often shipped in iron flasks.

Because of the high toxicity of mercury, both the mining of cinnabar and refining for mercury are hazardous and historic causes of mercury poisoning. In particular, the Romans used convict labor in their mines as a form of death sentence. The Spanish also used shorter term convict labor at the Almaden mines, with a 24% overall fatality rate in one 30 year period. Mercury poisoning, also known as mercuralism, is the phenomenon of toxication by contact with mercury. ... This article is about the town in Spain. ...

Abandoned mercury mine processing sites often contain very hazardous waste piles of roasted cinnabar calcines. Water runoff from such sites is a recognized source of ecological damage.


Medicinal use

Although cinnabar is known to be highly toxic,[citation needed] it is nevertheless used (as is arsenic), in powdered form mixed with water, in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Although cinnabar is not used in Western medicine, TCM practitioners sometimes prescribe it as part of a medicinal mixture, often on the basis of the concept of "using poison to cure poison." Used internally, cinnabar is believed to clear away "heat" and tranquilize the mind. It is also used as a tonic to reduce the incidence of heart palpitations, restlessness, and insomnia, and to treat sore throats and cold sores that occur in the mouth and tongue. In addition, cinnabar is applied externally to treat certain skin disorders and infections.[1] The skull and crossbones is a common symbol for toxicity. ... General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15, 4, p Appearance metallic gray Atomic mass 74. ... Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. ...


Other forms of cinnabar

  • Hepatic cinnabar is an impure variety from Idrija in Carniola, in which the cinnabar is mixed with bituminous and earthy matter.
  • Metacinnabarite is a black-colored form of HgS, which crystallizes in the cubic form.
  • Synthetic cinnabar is produced by treatment of Hg(II) salts with hydrogen sulfide to precipitate black, synthetic metacinnabarite, which is then heated in water. This conversion is promoted by the presence of sodium sulfide.[2]

Carniola English and Latin; (Slovenian Kranjska, German Krain) is a name for a region in Slovenia. ... Bitumen Bitumen is a category of organic liquids that are highly viscous, black, sticky and wholly soluble in carbon disulfide. ... Flash point -82. ... Sodium sulfide, or Na2S, is a water soluble chemical compound. ...


  1. ^ Wells, A.F. (1984). Structural Inorganic Chemistry, Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-855370-6.
  2. ^ Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. "Inorganic Chemistry" Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. ISBN 0-12-352651-5.

External links

  • MSDS for cinnabar
  • Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program - Mercury
  • Link page to external chemical sources.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Cinnabar Networks | Secure IT Solutions (416 words)
Bell Canada’s knowledge of security, networking and advanced technologies is second to none in North America and working as part of Bell Security Solutions’ team, Cinnabar will be able to tackle larger and more complex assignments than ever before.
Cinnabar is also willing to come to your site and give these tutorials over the course of a full day or two half days.
Cinnabar was provided with an opportunity to comment on the
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Cinnabar was not included originally because the jewelry and decorative items marketed as cinnabar (with and without enclosing quotations marks) that I had examined consist of red lacquer.
With extended "artistic" efforts, for the most part for self adornment, massive cinnabar became a favored medium because of its fairly widespread availability and the ease with which, for example, pendants and beads could be fashioned from it.
Two tidbits for possible conversation use by those showing their cinnabar lacquer pieces: 1.A set of four postage stamps issued in 1993 by the People's Republic of China features cinnabar lacquerware: A bowl, a duck, a round tray and a box with lid are shown.
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