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The Mineralogy of Mercury

General Properties
Symbol:Hg
Atomic Number:80
Standard atomic weight (Ar):200.59(2)
Electron configuration:[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2
Photos
<
6 grams pure mercury
>
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2
Atomic Radius:171 pm
Ionic Radius:119 pm (+1)
Van der Waals Radius:155 pm
1st Ionization energy:1007 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:1,2,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:liquid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:234 K
Boiling Point:630 K
Density:13.53 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Mercury
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
194Hgsynthetic444yε194Au
195Hgsynthetic9.9hε195Au
196Hg0.15%>2.5x1018yα ?192Pt
β+β+ ?196Pt
197Hgsynthetic64.14hε197Au
198Hg9.97%-α ?194Pt
199Hg16.87%-α ?195Pt
200Hg23.10%-α ?196Pt
201Hg13.18%-α ?197Pt
202Hg29.86%-α ?198Pt
203Hgsynthetic46.612dβ−203Tl
204Hg6.87%-α ?200Pt
β-β- ?204Pb
Main ions of Mercury
NameIonExample minerals
mercury(I)Hg+Calomel
mercury(II)Hg2+Cinnabar
Other Information
Year Discovered:before 2000 BCE
Discovered By:Ancient Chinese and Indians
Named For:
Mercury, the god of speed and messenger of the Gods
CPK color coding:#B8B8D0
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidesmercury sulphideHgS+2Cinnabar, Hypercinnabar, Metacinnabar
Selenidesmercury selenideHgSe+2Tiemannite
Telluridesmercury tellurideHgTe+2Coloradoite
Hydridesmercury dihydrideHgH2+2
Fluoridesmercury difluorideHgF2+2
dimercury difluorideHg2F2+1
Chloridesmercury dichlorideHgCl2+2
dimercury dichlorideHg2Cl2+1Calomel
Bromidesdimercury dibromideHg2Br2+1
Iodidesmercury diiodideHgI2+2Coccinite
dimercury diiodideHg2I2+1Moschelite
Oxidesmercury oxideHgO+2Montroydite
dimercury oxideHg2O+1
Mineral Diversity of Mercury
1. Elements 12 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 41 valid mineral species
3. Halides19 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 3 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 3 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 4 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates4 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 1 valid mineral species
Total:87 valid species containing essential Mercury
Geochemistry of Mercury
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Elemental Abundance for Mercury
Crust (CRC Handbook)8.5 x 10-8mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)2 x 10-8mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)8 x 10-8mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)3 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)1.5 x 10-10mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)3.4 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)3.40 x 10-7 (12%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Mercury in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Mercury and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Mercury and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Mercury.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Mercury% of Hg mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Sulfur44 minerals with Hg and S47.31%141.73% higher
Oxygen30 minerals with Hg and O32.26%57.84% lower
Chlorine24 minerals with Hg and Cl25.81%241.97% higher
Silver21 minerals with Hg and Ag22.58%578.68% higher
Arsenic17 minerals with Hg and As18.28%60.17% higher
Copper16 minerals with Hg and Cu17.20%37.12% higher
Antimony16 minerals with Hg and Sb17.20%250.60% higher
Bromine11 minerals with Hg and Br11.83%3,643.20% higher
Hydrogen11 minerals with Hg and H11.83%78.05% lower
Thallium8 minerals with Hg and Tl8.60%658.68% higher
Iodine8 minerals with Hg and I8.60%1,751.18% higher
Lead7 minerals with Hg and Pb7.53%21.52% lower
Selenium6 minerals with Hg and Se6.45%175.47% higher
Tellurium5 minerals with Hg and Te5.38%76.37% higher
Carbon4 minerals with Hg and C4.30%42.01% lower
Nitrogen4 minerals with Hg and N4.30%124.66% higher
Zinc4 minerals with Hg and Zn4.30%19.65% lower
Palladium4 minerals with Hg and Pd4.30%221.39% higher
Chromium3 minerals with Hg and Cr3.23%95.00% higher
Iron2 minerals with Hg and Fe2.15%90.59% lower
Nickel2 minerals with Hg and Ni2.15%33.89% lower
Bismuth2 minerals with Hg and Bi2.15%47.41% lower
Tin1 mineral with Hg and Sn1.08%41.57% lower
Aluminium1 mineral with Hg and Al1.08%94.59% lower
Molybdenum1 mineral with Hg and Mo1.08%6.69% lower
Vanadium1 mineral with Hg and V1.08%74.06% lower
Phosphorus1 mineral with Hg and P1.08%90.28% lower
Caesium1 mineral with Hg and Cs1.08%141.04% higher
Gold1 mineral with Hg and Au1.08%92.83% higher
Silicon1 mineral with Hg and Si1.08%96.13% lower
Magnesium1 mineral with Hg and Mg1.08%92.20% lower
Platinum1 mineral with Hg and Pt1.08%25.76% higher
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
 
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Hg Relative Frequency
Gold << Mercury >> Thallium


Most widespread minerals containing Mercury
This list of minerals containing Mercury is built from the mindat.org locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Mercury mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
CinnabarHgSTrigonal2480
MercuryHgTrigonal382
MetacinnabarHgSIsometric231
ColoradoiteHgTeIsometric148
Calomel(Hg2)2+Cl2Tetragonal81
TiemanniteHgSe79
Eglestonite(Hg2+2)3OCl3(OH)Isometric33
MontroyditeHgOOrthorhombic31
Terlinguaite(Hg2+2)Hg2+2Cl2O2Monoclinic25
MoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3Isometric22
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Mercury mineral species
map should go here
1Clear Creek claim (Clear Creek Mine), Picacho Peak, New Idria District, Diablo Range, San Benito Co., California, USA22 Hg minerals
Chauvai (Chauvay) Sb-Hg Deposit, Alai Range (Alay Range), Osh Oblast, Kyrgyzstan20 Hg minerals
3Khaidarkan Sb-Hg deposit (Chaidarkan; Hajdarkan), Fergana Valley, Alai Range (Alay Range), Osh Oblast, Kyrgyzstan16 Hg minerals
4Arzak Hg occurrence (Arzakskoye), Uyuk Range, Pii-Khem District, Tuva Republic, Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia15 Hg minerals
5Kadyrel' Hg occurrence, Oorash-Khem River Valley, Uyuk Range, Pii-Khem District, Tuva Republic, Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia15 Hg minerals
6Mariposa Mine (California Mountain Mine), Terlingua District, Brewster Co., Texas, USA15 Hg minerals
7McDermitt Mine [including older Cordero mine complex], Opalite District, Humboldt Co., Nevada, USA12 Hg minerals
8Landsberg (Moschellandsberg), Obermoschel, Alsenz-Obermoschel, Palatinate, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany11 Hg minerals


Minor ores of Mercury
NameFormulaCrystal System
Calomel(Hg2)2+Cl2Tetragonal
Photos


Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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