ARNOLD FISHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ARNOLD FISHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A specimen of the mineral cinnabar mined in Spain. 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 occurs rarely as rhombohedral, tabular crystals, as here. Normally it is found in scarlet microcrystalline or earthy masses. Once it was used as the mineral pigment vermilion.
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