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Mineralpedia Details for Cinnabar

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Cinnabar

Cinnabar

Named for the Medieval Latin word cinnabaris, which can be traced to the Persian word zinjifrah, which is believed to mean “dragon’s blood,” in allusion to the mineral’s common color. Formed from low-temperature hydrothermal solutions in veins, and in sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic host rocks. The most common ore of mercury world-wide, so only a few localities for exceptionally abundant or well-crystallized material can be mentioned. In the USA, in California, notably at New Almaden, Santa Clara Co. and New Idria, San Benito Co.; in Texas, at Terlingua, Brewster Co.; in Nevada, at the Cahill mine, Poverty Peak district, Humboldt Co., and near Lovelock, Pershing Co. At Charcas, San Luis Potos´ı, Mexico. In Spain, from Almad´en, Ciudad Real Province, and Mieres, Asturias. At Hydercahn, in the Fergana basin, Kazakhstan. From Tongrin, Wanshanchang, and elsewhere in Guizhou Province, and in exceptional twinned crystals from the Tsar Tien mine, Hunan Province, China. As fine crystals at Mount Avala, near Belgrade, Serbia. From Idrija (Idria), Slovenia.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/cinnabar.pdf

Formula
HgS 
Crystal System
Trigonal 
Crystal Habit
Druse, Disseminated, Massive 
Cleavage
Perfect, None, None 
Luster
Adamantine 
Color
lead gray, brown, brown pink, vermilion, gray 
Streak
bright red 
Class
Trigonal - Trapezohedral 
Fracture
Brittle - Sectile 
Hardness
2-2.5 
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Cinnabar from Cahill mine, Humboldt Co., Nevada, United States

Cinnabar
            from Cahill mine, Humboldt Co., Nevada, United States

Bright to dark red crystalline Cinnabar.

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Cinnabar from Culver-Baer mine, Sonoma Co., California, United States

Cinnabar
            from Culver-Baer mine, Sonoma Co., California, United States

Slender prismatic Cinnabar crystals to 5mm with micro, acicular Cinnabar crystals to 1mm.

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Cinnabar from Aetna mine, Napa Co., California, United States

Cinnabar
            from Aetna mine, Napa Co., California, United States

Bladed, bright red Cinnabar crystals, 0.5cm.

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Cinnabar from Wanshan mine, Tongren Pref., Guizhou province, China

Cinnabar
            from Wanshan mine, Tongren Pref., Guizhou province, China

Deep cherry-red Cinnabar crystals to 6mm set on white Dolomite rhombs. Nice!

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Cinnabar from El Entredicho mine, Almadén dist., Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Cinnabar
            from El Entredicho mine, Almadén dist., Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Large gemmy crystal to 7mm.

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Cinnabar from Nikitovka deposit, Gorlovka, Donets'k Oblast' , Ukraine

Cinnabar
            from Nikitovka deposit, Gorlovka, Donets'k Oblast' , Ukraine

A 7mm twinned(?) deep red crystal.

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Cinnabar from Pinchi Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Cinnabar
            from Pinchi Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Finely dissemenated crystal grains of Cinnabar throughout Calcite matrix.

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Cinnabar from Almaden mine, Ciudad Real, Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Cinnabar
            from Almaden mine, Ciudad Real, Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Deep crystals of Cinnabar to 5mm from this old European locality.

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Cinnabar from Fenghuang Co., Hunan prov., China

Cinnabar
            from Fenghuang Co., Hunan prov., China

Cherry red prismatic crystals to 1cm. Nice piece with good peachy crystals on Dolomite.

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Cinnabar from Yunchangping mine, Dadongla Hg-Zn ore field, Tongren, Guizhou, China

Cinnabar
            from Yunchangping mine, Dadongla Hg-Zn ore field, Tongren, Guizhou, China

A 9mm cherry red, translucent Cinnabar crystals on white Dolomite.

Click thumbnail images for larger view.

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