Cinnabar

Big Photo

China
8.54 carats
© Rarestone.com

Cinnabar is named after Greek "kinnabaris", the ancient name for the mineral; possibly from Arabic "zinjafr" or Persian "zinjifrah", dragon's blood, probably alluding to its colour.

Cinnabar usually occurs as masses or crusts. Well-formed crystals are very rare. The material has cochineal-red colour with adamantine to metallic lustre.

Clear cinnabar crystals are faceted into spectacular stones. Massive material is used for cabochons.

Cinnabar Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 

Cinnabar Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Cinnabar gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:8.54 cts
Heaviest:40.45 cts
Average:29.81 cts
Total photos:3
Do you have a larger Cinnabar? Why not upload a photo?
8.54ct to 11.73ct11.73ct to 14.92ct14.92ct to 18.11ct18.11ct to 21.30ct21.30ct to 24.50ct24.50ct to 27.69ct27.69ct to 30.88ct30.88ct to 34.07ct34.07ct to 37.26ct37.26ct to 40.45ct
General Information
Chemical Formula
HgS
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
More from other references
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Cinnabar
Mohs Hardness2 to 2.5
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Specific Gravity8.0 to 8.2
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Cleavage QualityPerfect
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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FractureUneven,Splintery
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Heat SensitivityHigh sensitivity
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Cinnabar
Refractive Index2.905 to 3.25
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Optical CharacterUniaxial/+
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Birefringence0.351
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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PleochroismNil
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
DispersionNil
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Colour
Colour (General)Red, pale-blue
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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TransparencyTranslucent,Opaque
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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LustreAdamantine,Metallic
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Crystallography of Cinnabar
Crystal SystemTrigonal
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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HabitRhombohedral crystals. Masses and encrustations are more common
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Occurs in low-temperature ore deposits and is also found in veins and around hot springs
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Further Information
Mineral information:Cinnabar information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
China
 
  • Hunan Province
    • Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture
      • Fenghuang Co.
        • Chatian Hg-Zn ore field
          • Chatian ore district
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 400
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