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Cinnabar

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Formula:
HgS
System:TrigonalColour:Tint or shade of red
Lustre:AdamantineHardness:2 - 2½
Name:From Persian "zinjifrah"; original meaning lost (dragon's blood?).
Polymorph of:Hypercinnabar, Metacinnabar


Trimorphous with metacinnabar and hypercinnabar.

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Classification of Cinnabar

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:2/C.18-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:2.CD.15a

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
C : Metal Sulfides, M: S = 1: 1 (and similar)
D : With Sn, Pb, Hg, etc.
Dana 8th edition ID:2.8.14.1

2 : SULFIDES
8 : AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Hey's CIM Ref.:3.5.1

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
5 : Sulphides etc. of Hg and Tl
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Occurrences of Cinnabar

Geological Setting:Low temperature hydrothermal mineral

Physical Properties of Cinnabar

Lustre:Adamantine
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Tint or shade of red
Streak:Red-brown to scarlet
Hardness (Mohs):2 - 2½
Hardness (Vickers):VHN10=82 - 156 kg/mm2
Tenacity:Sectile
Cleavage:Perfect
Perfect {1010}
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):8.176 g/cm3
Density (calculated):8.20 g/cm3

Crystallography of Cinnabar

Crystal System:Trigonal
Class (H-M):3 2 - Trapezohedral
Space Group:P31 2 1
Cell Parameters:a = 4.145(2) Å, c = 9.496(2) Å
Ratio:a:c = 1 : 2.291
Unit Cell Volume:V 141.29 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:3
Morphology:Rhombohedral crystals, thick tabular, stout to slender prismatic.
Twinning:Simple contact twins Plane {0001}, axis [0001]
Crystal Atlas:
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Cinnabar no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cinnabar no.10 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cinnabar no.26 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cinnabar no.35 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cinnabar no.57 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.34 (9)
2.85 (10)
2.06 (5)
1.969 (5)
1.725 (5)
1.672 (6)
1.339 (5)

Optical Data of Cinnabar

Type:Uniaxial (+)
RI values: nω = 2.905 nε = 3.256
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.351

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High

Chemical Properties of Cinnabar

Formula:
HgS
Essential elements:Hg, S
All elements listed in formula:Hg, S
CAS Registry number:1344-48-5

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society

Relationship of Cinnabar to other Species

Common Associates:
MercuryRealgarPyriteMarcasiteStibnite
OpalChalcedonyBaryteDolomiteCalcite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
2.CD.05Herzenbergite
(Sn,Pb)SnS
 
2
2.CD.05Teallite
(Pb,Sn)SnS
 
2
2.CD.10Alabandite
Mn
2+
 
S
2.CD.10Altaite
PbTe
2.CD.10Clausthalite
PbSe
2.CD.10Galena
PbS
2.CD.10Niningerite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)S
2.CD.10Oldhamite
(Ca,Mg)S
2.CD.10Keilite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)S
2.CD.15bHypercinnabar
HgS
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
3.5.2Hypercinnabar
HgS
3.5.3Metacinnabar
HgS
3.5.4Imiterite
Ag
 
2
HgS
 
2
3.5.5Tiemannite
HgSe
3.5.6Balkanite
Cu
 
9
Ag
 
5
HgS
 
8
3.5.7Danielsite
(Cu,Ag)
 
14
HgS
 
8
3.5.8Coloradoite
HgTe
3.5.9Gortdrumite
(Cu,Fe)
 
6
Hg
 
2
S
 
5
3.5.10Polhemusite
(Zn,Hg)S
3.5.11Carlinite
Tl
 
2
S
3.5.12Crookesite
Cu
 
7
(Tl, Ag)Se
 
4
3.5.13Sabatierite
Cu
 
6
TlSe
 
4
3.5.14Picotpaulite
TlFe
 
2
S
 
3
3.5.15Raguinite
TlFeS
 
2
3.5.16Thalcusite
Tl
 
2
Cu
 
3
FeS
 
4
3.5.17Bukovite
Tl
 
2
(Cu,Fe)
 
4
Se
 
4
3.5.18Gallite
CuGaS
 
2
3.5.19Roquesite
CuInS
 
2
3.5.20Indite
FeIn
 
2
S
 
4

Other Names for Cinnabar

Synonyms:
Cinnabarite (of Dana)LlimpiMerkurblendeMinium (of Pliny)Vermeil
Other Languages:
Basque:Zinabrio
Bosnian (Latin Script):Cinabarit
Bulgarian:Цинобър
Catalan:Cinabri
Czech:Cinabarit
Danish:Cinnober
Dutch:Cinnaber
Estonian:Kinaver
Finnish:Sinooperi
French:Cinabre
Galician:Cinabrio
German:Zinnober
Cinnabarit
Zinnabarit
Greek:Αμμιον
κινναβαρις
Hebrew:צינובר
Hungarian:Cinnabarit
Italian:Cinabro
Japanese:辰砂
Latvian:Cinobrs
Lithuanian:Cinoberis
Norwegian (Bokmål):Sinober
Polish:Cynober
Portuguese:Cinábrio
Russian:Киноварь
Simplified Chinese:辰砂
Slovak:Cinabarit
Slovenian:Cinabarit
Spanish:Cinabrio
Traditional Chinese:辰砂
Turkish:Zincifre
Ukrainian:Кіновар
Vietnamese:Chu sa
Varieties:
Corallinerz

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:None.
Health Warning:Contains mercury - always wash hands after handling. Do not inhale dust and use caution when breaking. Do not lick or ingest. Do not heat in unventilated environment - emits toxic Hg fumes. Mercury sulfide is, however, relatively insoluble and toxicity of the pure material is low. But be aware that many samples of cinnabar, especially those which are 'massive' rather than crystalline, also contain traces of native mercury, and this is far more easily absorbed by the body.
External LinksSearch for toxicity information at the United States National Library of Medicine
Industrial Uses:Principal ore of mercury. Used as a cosmetic pigment in ancient times.

References for Cinnabar

Reference List:

- +
Schrauf, A. (1894), Aphorismen über Zinnobar: Zeitschr. Prak. Geol.: 10-18.

Bulletin de Mineralogie: 96: 218-219.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 251-255.

McCormack, J.K. (2000): The darkening of cinnabar in sunlight. Mineralium Deposita 35(8), 796-798.

Mindat.org articles about Cinnabar

Article entries:
Cinnabar at the Contact Mine, Sonoma County, CaliforniaKyle Beucke

Internet Links for Cinnabar

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
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  • Look for Cinnabar on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Cinnabar on Wikipedia
  • Look for Cinnabar on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Cinnabar details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • Buy fine minerals and gemstones from Pala International
  • Rare and Unusual minerals at Mineralogical Research Company
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  • Buy RARE Minerals from Rocks of Africa
  • Find Cinnabar on www.crystalclassics.co.uk
  • rare and unusual minerals mainly crystallized
  • Fine minerals from bisbeeborn.com
  • Mineral Classics - Worldwide Collector Quality Minerals and Gems
  • Cinnabar specimens for sale - minfind.com
  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
  • The Arkenstone - Fine Minerals
  • Fine Minerals from Weinrich Minerals, Inc.
  • Specimens:The following Cinnabar specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Cinnabar

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