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Home » Minerals » Cinnabar


Mineral Properties and Uses

What is Cinnabar?

Cinnabar is a mercury sulfide mineral and the most important ore of mercury. It is most often found near recent volcanic activity. It forms at low temperatures in veins and other pore spaces.

Uses of Cinnabar?

Cinnabar is the primary ore of mercury. Mercury is used instruments, electrical controls and as a fungicide. It was once used to recover gold from stream sediments and crushed ore, however, other methods are now used instead.

Physical Properties of Cinnabar

Chemical Classification sulfide
Color scarlet red to brownish red
Streak scarlet
Luster adamantine
Diaphaneity transparent to translucent
Cleavage perfect, prismatic
Mohs Hardness 2 to 2.5
Specific Gravity 8 to 8.2
Diagnostic Properties specific gravity, color, streak, cleavage
Chemical Composition mercury sulfide, HgS
Crystal System hexagonal

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