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Cinnabar Mineral | A-Z About this Mineral You Need to Know

limz Published On Fri Apr 03 2020   Modified On Fri Apr 03 2020
Cinnabar Mineral | A-Z About this Mineral You Need to Know

Cinnabar is a toxic mercury sulfide mineral that is highly prized for its mercury content and color. It exhibits a trigonal crystal system and is the most important ore of mercury. Hypercinnabar and Metacinnabar are the two polymorphs of Cinnabar.

Cinnabar symbolizes love, wealth, wisdom, vitality, dignity, passion, power, excitement, intense emotion, and sensitivity.

Let us learn more about Cinnabar.


Cinnabar is a naturally occurring form of the mercury mineral that resembles Quartz in its symmetry. It can be transparent, translucent, and opaque and is typically found in large mineral chunks. 

Cinnabar can assist you in balancing and awakening the root, sacral, and third-eye chakras. It helps to heighten one's creativity, connect us to our internal intuitions, release fear and resentment, enhance your foresight, and improve relationships.

Origin and History

Cinnabar Mineral Specimen.
Cinnabar Mineral Specimen.
Image Source: Dakota Matrix Minerals

The word "Cinnabar" is likely to be derived from the ancient Greek word "Kinnabari". This name was used by Theophrastus, a Peripatetic philosopher, as a bright scarlet to a brick-red form of mercury(II) sulfide (HgS). These minerals have been mined and used throughout the world as a precious resource since at least the 10th millennium B.C.

Formation Process

Cinnabar commonly occurs as a vein-filling that is associated with recent volcanic activities and alkaline hot springs. Most of the time, these minerals form in rocks surrounding geologically recent volcanic activity. It also forms near hot springs and fumaroles. It can be found in association with other minerals like Opal, Quartz, Chalcedony, Calcite, Pyrite, Barite, and Dolomite.


The chemical formula of Cinnabar is HgS (Mercury(II) sulfide). It has a hardness of 2-2.5 on the Mohs scale.


Corallinerz is the curved lamellar variety of hepatic (impure) Cinnabar.

Colors Available

Red Cinnabar Crystal.
Red Cinnabar Crystal.
Image Source: Pinterest
  • Tint or shade of red
  • Cochineal red
  • Brownish red

Mines Available

  • Korb Mine, Eisen, Nonnweiler, Sankt Wendel, Saarland, Germany
  • Tongren Mine, Bijiang District, Tongren, Guizhou, China
  • Spring Creek Cinnabar Mine, New South Wales, Australia
  • Martis Mine, Carinthia, Austria

Cost Per Carat

The value of Cinnabar can vary anywhere from $10-$70 according to its color and quality.


  • Cinnabar is used as the only important ore of mercury.
  • It is also used as a pigment, collector's gem, and ornamental carving material.

Spiritual Properties

  • Cinnabar helps to stimulate psychic transformation, manifest spiritual energies, attract abundance in wealth, and release unwanted energies.
  • It can assist in treating viral infections, support treatment of blood disorders, improve the overall physical strength, and boost the immune system.
  • It also helps to develop intuition, release the fear and resentment, enhance personal relationships, and enhance your creativity.


Natural Red Cinnabar Pendant.
Natural Red Cinnabar Pendant.
Image Source: AliExpress
  • The use of Cinnabar in jewelry and as a pigment has almost been stopped due to its toxicity.
  • It has an adamantine to dull luster and a scarlet streak.
  • It has a slightly sectile tenacity and an uneven to subconchoidal fracture.
  • It has perfect cleavage on {1010} and a specific gravity of 8.176.

Jewelry Stores Near You

  • David Yurman, Vancouver, Canada
  • Astley Clarke, London, UK
  • Yun Boutique, New York, USA

Online Stores

  • The Bead Shop, Manchester, England
  • Heaven & Earth, Washington County, Vermont, United States

Visit Stoneharu for more information about stones and gems.