Cinnabar is a mercury sulfide mineral, which contains 86.2% mercury and is the main mineral raw material for mercury refining; Crystal can be used as an important material of laser technology and traditional Chinese medicine.
It was used as an important raw material for alchemy in ancient China. In the past, it was named for the best quality produced in Chenzhou (now Yuanling, Hunan and other places).
Cinnabar crystal belongs to the trilateral system, which is homogeneous and polymorph with black cinnabar of equiaxed system. It is often rhombohedral or short cylindrical; Double crystals are common. Complete cleavage with parallel cylinders. The aggregate is granular, massive or membranous. Mohs hardness 2.5, specific gravity 8.10. The color is often red, and the crystal surface is striped red and translucent. Pure cinnabar is diamond luster and vermilion; With impurities, the light is dim and maroon. It is a typical low-temperature hydrothermal mineral, which is related to modern volcanism.
Cinnabar is also called cinnabar and dansha. China is one of the countries that produce the most cinnabar in the world. The main producing areas are eastern Guizhou and Western Hunan, which are famous for their good quality and large quantity. Most of the ore produced was transported to Chenxi in Western Hunan and then sold all over the country. Chenxi became the main distribution center of cinnabar at that time, and the name "cinnabar" came from it.
The largest cinnabar crystal in the world is "cinnabar king", which was discovered in Wanshan mercury mining area in eastern Guizhou in 1980. It is 10.8cm long, 4.4cm wide, 4.2cm high and 237g net weight. It is now collected in Beijing Geological Museum, China.