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Mercury

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Mercurius
Formula:
Hg
System:
Trigonal
Colour:
Tin white
Lustre:
Metallic
Name:
After the Roman messenger of the gods, Mercurius.
Mercury is officially classed as a mineral species for historical reasons, and also because it is distinctive in its chemical and physical properties. However, because it occurs as a liquid, it does not satisfy the normal criteria to be a valid mineral. It crystallizes at -40 degrees celsius, at which point is forms rhombohedral crystals. It is usually found as small isolated drops associated with cinnabar, but it can also be found as large liquid masses in rock cavities. Mercury is often found, along with cinnabar and other Hg minerals, as a precipitate from hot springs and in volcanic regions. Because of its rarity, it is not often used as an ore of mercury.

Classification of Mercury

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
1.AD.05

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
A : Metals and Intermetallic Alloys
D : Mercury-amalgam family
Dana 7th ed.:
1.1.10.1
1.1.7.1

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
1 : Metals, other than the Platinum Group
1.12

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)
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Occurrences of Mercury

Geological Setting:
In low temperature hydrothermal deposits associated with hot springs.

Physical Properties of Mercury

Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Colour:
Tin white
Streak:
Could not be powdered
Hardness Data:
Could not be measured
Fracture:
None observed
Density:
13.596 g/cm3 (Measured)    
Comment:
For liquid

Crystallography of Mercury

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:
R3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 3.463Å, c = 6.706Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 1.936
Unit Cell Volume:
V 69.65 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
3
Morphology:
liquid globules or spheres
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
no data(

Chemical Properties of Mercury

Formula:
Hg
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
Usually pure with a little gold or silver
Empirical Formula:
Hg
Common Impurities:
Au,Ag

Relationship of Mercury to other Species

1.AD.10BelendorffiteCu7Hg6
1.AD.10KolymiteCu7Hg6
1.AD.15cEugeniteAg11Hg2
1.AD.15bLuanheiteAg3Hg
1.AD.15dMoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3
1.AD.15aParaschachneriteAg3Hg2
1.AD.15aSchachneriteAg1.1Hg0.9
1.AD.20aWeishanite(Au,Ag)3Hg2
1.AD.20bGoldamalgam (of Chen et al.)(Au,Ag)Hg
1.AD.25PotaritePdHg
1.AD.30LeadamalgamPb0.7Hg0.3
1.1CopperCu
1.2SilverAg
1.5GoldAu
1.6AuricuprideCu3Au
1.7Tetra-auricuprideAuCu
1.8ZincZn
1.9CadmiumCd
1.10DanbaiteCuZn2
1.11ZhanghengiteCuZn
1.13KolymiteCu7Hg6
1.14MoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3
1.15EugeniteAg11Hg2
1.16SchachneriteAg1.1Hg0.9
1.17ParaschachneriteAg3Hg2
1.18LuanheiteAg3Hg
1.19Weishanite(Au,Ag)3Hg2
1.20IndiumIn
1.21AluminiumAl
1.22Khatyrkite(Cu,Zn)Al2
1.23Cupalite(Cu,Zn)Al
1.24DiamondC
1.25GraphiteC
1.26ChaoiteC
1.27LonsdaleiteC
1.28SiliconSi
1.29TinSn
1.30LeadPb
1.31AnyuiiteAu(Pb,Sb)2
1.31NovodnepriteAuPb3
1.32LeadamalgamPb0.7Hg0.3
1.33ArsenicAs
1.34ArsenolampriteAs
1.35PaxiteCuAs2
1.36KoutekiteCu5As2
1.37DomeykiteCu3As
1.38Algodonite(Cu1-xAsx)
1.39NovákiteCu20AgAs10
1.40KutinaiteAg6Cu14As7
1.41AntimonySb
1.42StibarsenAsSb
1.43ParadocrasiteSb3As
1.44HorsforditeCu, Sb
1.45CuprostibiteCu2(Sb,Tl)
1.46Allargentum(Ag1-xSbx)
1.47AurostibiteAuSb2
1.48DyscrasiteAg3Sb
1.49BismuthBi
1.50MaldoniteAu2Bi
1.51SulphurS8
1.52RosickýiteS
1.53SeleniumSe
1.54TelluriumTe
1.55ChromiumCr
1.56RheniumRe
1.57IronFe
1.58ChromferideFe3Cr1-x (x=0.6)
1.59FerchromideCr3Fe1-x
1.60WairauiteCoFe
1.61NickelNi
1.62Kamacite(Fe,Ni)
1.63Taenite(Fe,Ni)
1.64TetrataeniteFeNi
1.65AwaruiteNi3Fe
1.66Palladium(Pd,Pt)
1.67PotaritePdHg
1.68PaolovitePd2Sn
1.69Stannopalladinite(Pd,Cu)3Sn2
1.70CabriitePd2CuSn
1.71Taimyrite-I(Pd,Cu,Pt)3Sn
1.72Atokite(Pd,Pt)3Sn
1.73Rustenburgite(Pt,Pd)3Sn
1.74Zvyagintsevite(Pd,Pt,Au)3(Pb,Sn)
1.75PlumbopalladinitePd3Pb2
1.76Osmium(Os,Ir,Ru)
1.77Iridium(Ir,Os,Ru)
1.82PlatinumPt
1.83HongshiitePtCu
1.84NiggliitePtSn
1.85IsoferroplatinumPt3Fe
1.86TetraferroplatinumPtFe
1.87TulameenitePt2CuFe
1.88FerronickelplatinumPt2FeNi
1.89Rhodium(Rh,Pt)

Other Names for Mercury

Name in Other Languages:
Basque:Merkurio
Breton:Merc'her
Catalan:Mercuri
Cornish:Mergher
Croatian:Merkur
Czech:Merkur
Danish:Merkur
Dutch:Mercurius
Dutch Low Saxon:Merkurius
French:Mercure
Galician:Mercurio
Haitian:Mèki
Icelandic:Merkúríus
Italian:Mercurio
Japanese:自然水銀
Korean:머큐리
Kurdish (Latin Script):Tîr
Latin:Mercurius
Latvian:Merkurs
Lithuanian:Merkurijus
Low Saxon:Merkur
Luxembourgish:Merkur
Maltese:Merkurju
Norwegian (Bokmål):Mercur
Kvikksølv
Novial:Merkurie
Occitan:Mercuri
Polish:Merkury
Portuguese:Mercúrio
Ripuarian:Merrkuur
Romanian:Mercur
Russian:Ртуть
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Меркур
Sicilian:Mercuriu
Simplified Chinese:自然汞
Slovak:Merkúr
Slovenian:Merkur
Spanish:Mercurio
Traditional Chinese:自然汞
Venetian:Mercùrio
Vietnamese:Thủy Tinh

Other Information

Special Storage/
Display Requirements:
Mercury should be coated with a plastic material or placed in a sealed container since the mercury will vaporize over time.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Mercury

Reference List:
Murphy (1931) Journal of the Institute of Metals, London, Proceedings: 46: 507.

Stenbeck (1933) Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie, Hamburg, Leipzig: 214: 16.

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.: 103.

Acta Crystallographica (1957).

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (1990) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume I. Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 588pp.: 323.

Internet Links for Mercury

Localities for Mercury

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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