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Mercury

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Formula:
Hg
System:TrigonalColour: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

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:1/A.02-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID: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 edition ID:1.1.10.1
Dana 8th edition ID:1.1.7.1

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
1 : Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Hey's CIM Ref.: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

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

Crystallography of Mercury

Crystal System:Trigonal
Class (H-M):3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:R3m {R3 2/m}
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:
d-spacingIntensity
no data(

Chemical Properties of Mercury

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

Relationship of Mercury to other Species

Common Associates:
TerlinguaiteMetacinnabarEglestoniteCinnabarCalomel
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
1.AD.10Belendorffite
Cu
 
7
Hg
 
6
1.AD.10Kolymite
Cu
 
7
Hg
 
6
1.AD.15cEugenite
Ag
 
11
Hg
 
2
1.AD.15bLuanheite
Ag
 
3
Hg
1.AD.15dMoschellandsbergite
Ag
 
2
Hg
 
3
1.AD.15aParaschachnerite
Ag
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.AD.15aSchachnerite
Ag
 
1.1
Hg
 
0.9
1.AD.20aWeishanite
(Au,Ag)
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.AD.20bGoldamalgam (of Chen et al.)
(Au,Ag)Hg
1.AD.25Potarite
PdHg
1.AD.30Leadamalgam
Pb
 
0.7
Hg
 
0.3
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
1.1Copper
Cu
1.2Silver
Ag
1.5Gold
Au
1.6Auricupride
Cu
 
3
Au
1.7Tetra-auricupride
AuCu
1.8Zinc
Zn
1.9Cadmium
Cd
1.10Danbaite
CuZn
 
2
1.11Zhanghengite
CuZn
1.13Kolymite
Cu
 
7
Hg
 
6
1.14Moschellandsbergite
Ag
 
2
Hg
 
3
1.15Eugenite
Ag
 
11
Hg
 
2
1.16Schachnerite
Ag
 
1.1
Hg
 
0.9
1.17Paraschachnerite
Ag
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.18Luanheite
Ag
 
3
Hg
1.19Weishanite
(Au,Ag)
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.20Indium
In
1.21Aluminium
Al
1.22Khatyrkite
(Cu,Zn)Al
 
2
1.23Cupalite
(Cu,Zn)Al
1.24Diamond
C
1.25Graphite
C
1.26Chaoite
C
1.27Lonsdaleite
C
1.28Silicon
Si
1.29Tin
Sn
1.30Lead
Pb
1.31Anyuiite
Au(Pb,Sb)
 
2
1.31Novodneprite
AuPb
 
3
1.32Leadamalgam
Pb
 
0.7
Hg
 
0.3
1.33Arsenic
As
1.34Arsenolamprite
As
1.35Paxite
CuAs
 
2
1.36Koutekite
Cu
 
5
As
 
2
1.37Domeykite
Cu
 
3
As
1.38Algodonite
(Cu
 
1-x
As
 
x
)
1.39Novakite
Cu
 
20
AgAs
 
10
1.40Kutinaite
Ag
 
6
Cu
 
14
As
 
7
1.41Antimony
Sb
1.42Stibarsen
AsSb
1.43Paradocrasite
Sb
 
3
As
1.44Horsfordite
Cu, Sb
1.45Cuprostibite
Cu
 
2
(Sb,Tl)
1.46Allargentum
(Ag
 
1-x
Sb
 
x
)
1.47Aurostibite
AuSb
 
2
1.48Dyscrasite
Ag
 
3
Sb
1.49Bismuth
Bi
1.50Maldonite
Au
 
2
Bi
1.51Sulphur
S
 
8
1.52Rosickýite
S
1.53Selenium
Se
1.54Tellurium
Te
1.55Chromium
Cr
1.56Rhenium
Re
1.57Iron
Fe
1.58Chromferide
Fe
 
3
Cr
 
1-x
(x=0.6)
1.59Ferchromide
Cr
 
3
Fe
 
1-x
1.60Wairauite
CoFe
1.61Nickel
Ni
1.62Kamacite
(Fe,Ni)
1.63Taenite
(Fe,Ni)
1.64Tetrataenite
FeNi
1.65Awaruite
Ni
 
3
Fe
1.66Palladium
(Pd,Pt)
1.67Potarite
PdHg
1.68Paolovite
Pd
 
2
Sn
1.69Stannopalladinite
(Pd,Cu)
 
3
Sn
 
2
1.70Cabriite
Pd
 
2
CuSn
1.71Taimyrite-I
(Pd,Cu,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.72Atokite
(Pd,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.73Rustenburgite
(Pt,Pd)
 
3
Sn
1.74Zvyagintsevite
(Pd,Pt,Au)
 
3
(Pb,Sn)
1.75Plumbopalladinite
Pd
 
3
Pb
 
2
1.76Osmium
(Os,Ir,Ru)
1.77Iridium
(Ir,Os,Ru)
1.82Platinum
Pt
1.83Hongshiite
PtCu
1.84Niggliite
PtSn
1.85Isoferroplatinum
Pt
 
3
Fe
1.86Tetraferroplatinum
PtFe
1.87Tulameenite
Pt
 
2
CuFe
1.88Ferronickelplatinum
Pt
 
2
FeNi
1.89Rhodium
(Rh,Pt)

Other Names for Mercury

Synonyms:
Mercurio NativoNative MercuryQuecksilberQuicksilver
Other Languages:
Basque:Merkurio
Breton:Merc'her
Bulgarian:Меркурий
Catalan:Mercuri
Cornish:Mergher
Croatian:Merkur
Czech:Merkur
Danish:Merkur
Dutch:Mercurius
Dutch Low Saxon:Merkurius
French:Mercure
Galician:Mercurio
Georgian:მერკური
German:Merkur
Gediegen Quecksilber
Haitian:Mèki
Hebrew:מרקורי
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
Ukrainian:Меркурій
Venetian:Mercùrio
Vietnamese:Thủy Tinh

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:none
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 Warning:Contains mercury - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust of associated rock or matrix when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest. Vaporizes with toxic vapours, do not inhale vapours and store under cover.

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

Search Engines:
  • Look for Mercury on Google
  • Look for Mercury images on Google
  • External Links:
  • Look for Mercury on Webmineral
  • Look for Mercury on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Mercury on Wikipedia
  • Look for Mercury on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Mercury details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • Top quality minerals from Kristalle of California
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  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
  • Buy minerals from YourMineralCollection
  • rare and unusual minerals mainly crystallized
  • Buy rare minerals from Excalibur Minerals
  • Find Mercury on www.crystalclassics.co.uk
  • Fine and rare minerals from mintreasure.com
  • Buy RARE Minerals from Rocks of Africa
  • Lapis Mineral Magazin
  • Rare and Unusual minerals at Mineralogical Research Company
  • Mineral Classics - Worldwide Collector Quality Minerals and Gems
  • Localities for Mercury

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