Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cinnabar, the crude form of vermilion, the sulphide and chief ore of mercury (HgS). It is a cochineal-red mineral, generally massive, but sometimes crystallising in the Hexagonal system, with an adamantine lustre and a scarlet streak. Its hardness = 2.5 and its specific gravity 8. It is insoluble in nitric or hydrochloric acids, but soluble in aqua regia. Before the blowpipe it volatilises entirely on charcoal, but gives sulphurous fumes and a sublimate of mercury in the open tube. It occurs in limestone and slate, at Idria in Carniola, Almaden in Spain, China, Japan, Chili, Peru, Mexico, and California. It sometimes contains drops of pure quicksilver (q.v.).