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cinnabar(sĭn`əbär), mineral, the sulfide of mercury, HgS. Deep red in color, it is used as a pigment (see vermilionvermilion,
vivid red pigment of durable quality. It is a chemical compound of mercury and sulfur and is known as red sulfide of mercury; it was formerly obtained by grinding pure cinnabar but is now commonly prepared synthetically.
..... Click the link for more information. ), but principally it is a source of the metal mercury. It is mined in Spain, Italy, and in the United States in California. The mercury is obtained from it by roasting, the sulfur combining with oxygen and passing off as sulfur dioxide.
a mineral of the sulfide group. Chemical composition, HgS; contains 86.2 percent Hg. Cinnabar crystallizes in the trigonal system, forming rhombohedral crystals and fine granular or powdery masses. Red in color, it sometimes exhibits bluish-gray iridescence. Cinnabar is transparent in thin pieces and has a bright adamantine luster. It has a hardness of 2–2.5 on the mineralogical scale and a density of 8,090–8,200 kg/m3. Cinnabar is the most abundant mineral of mercury and is formed in hydrothermal deposits near the surface together with quartz, calcite, barite, antimonite, pyrite, and marcasite, less often with realgar and native gold.
Cinnabar deposits in the USSR are located in the Ukraine (Nikitovka), in Kirghizia (Khaidarken, Chauvai), in the Altai Mountains (Aktash, Chagan-Uzun), and elsewhere. Abroad it is found in Spain (Almadén), Yugoslavia (Alvala), Italy (Idria), and the USA (New Almaden, Calif.). Natural cinnabar serves as a primary raw material in the production of mercury; it is also used in the manufacture of paints, chiefly pigments (watercolors and oils). The ancient Egyptians were the first to use cinnabar in artwork.
G. P. BARSANOV