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.
Colors
Red

Cinnabar Classification

Common Name

Cinnabar

Species

Plastic

Variety

Colors

red

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Low heft, mold marks and acrid smell if hot point test is used.

Comments

This man made material is not to be confused with the mineral cinnabar that is red in color and contains mercury. This material is a artificially colored plastic that has been mixed with carbonate material to add texture.

Cinnabar Optical Properties

Transparency

Translucent To Opaque

Refractive Index

1.46-1.7

Birefringence

Optic Character

NA

Optic Sign

NA

Polariscope Reaction

singly refractive, commonly with ADR (SR-ADR)

Fluorescence

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

Dispersion

Comments

Cinnabar Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

lacquer and carbonate material

Chemical Formula

Synthesis

Crystal System

Classification

Nature

Composite

Crystallinity

Comments

Cinnabar Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

Streak

Specific Gravity

Toughness

Inclusions

Items will show mold marks, bubbles or flow lines.

Luster

Dull

Stability

Fracture

Cleavage

Comments

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