Cinnabar | Gemopedia

Named from Arabic and Persian words for dragon's blood, cinnabar comes in a remarkable brick-red color and has been used as a pigment in China as far back as prehistoric times. Gem crystals are rare collector's pieces, but opaque material is often cut into cabochons. Natural cinnabar is a major mercury ore and not used in jewelry making, but a resin product that closely resembles it is used in jewelry and called cinnabar. The red color is so fresh and vibrant that, in China, many call it China Red.
Alternate
Names
Dragon's Blood
Colors
Red
, Pale Blue

Cinnabar Classification

Common Name

Cinnabar

Species

Cinnabar

Variety

Colors

red, pale blue

Alternate Names

dragon's blood

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

OTL RI, SG

Comments

There is a man made plastic product that is red and called cinnabar and contains no mercury.Material has a high sensitivity to heat. This stone contains mercury and special care needs to be used. Always wash your hands after handling.

Cinnabar Optical Properties

Transparency

Translucent To Opaque

Refractive Index

Over the Limit 2.905-3.256

Birefringence

0.351

Optic Character

uniaxial

Optic Sign

positive

Polariscope Reaction

doubly refractive (DR) or AGG depending on transparency

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

Dispersion

Strength: none

Comments

Cinnabar Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

mercury sulfide

Chemical Formula

HgS

Synthesis

Crystal System

Trigonal

Classification

Sulfide

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline To Aggregate

Comments

Cinnabar Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

2-2.5

Streak

cinnabar red

Specific Gravity

8-8.02

Toughness

Inclusions

Luster

Adamantine To Metallic

Stability

Poor

Fracture

Uneven To Splintery

Cleavage

Perfect

Comments

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