A specimen of the mineral cinnabar

A specimen of the mineral cinnabar

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Credit: J.C. REVY, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A specimen of the mineral cinnabar (mercury sulphide). Cinnabar is the most important ore of mercury. Although it does not alter on contact with air, when heated above a certain temperature it deposits drops of mercury. Cinnabar usually occurs in scarlet microcrystalline or earthy masses, as seen here, but occasionally rhombohedral, tabular crystals are found. It was once used as the mineral pigment vermilion.

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Keywords: cinnabar, earth science, geology, mercury ore, mercury sulphide, mineral, mineral cinnabar, pigment, pigment of, vermilion

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