Chemical Composition and Formation Process

Cinnabar is a mercury sulfide mineral with the chemical formula HgS. It forms near volcanic activity and hot springs where mercury deposits react with sulfur. It often appears in vein deposits associated with recent volcanic activity.

Names and Alternative Names

The name comes from the Greek word “kinnabari,” used by Theophrastus to describe the mineral. Alternative names include “Dragon’s Blood” and “Vermilion,” referring to its vibrant red color. “Aethiop’s Mineral” is yet another name in reference to its use as a pigment.

Mythology and Legends

The “Stone of Immortality” hS UAW in alchemical practices to create elixirs. The blood of dragons had use in rituals to invoke their power and protection.
Taoist alchemists used cinnabar as a key ingredient in the search for immortality.
In Roman mythology, cinnabar associates with the god Mercury and saw use in pigments and medicines.
In Meso-American cultures, the mineral saw use in burial sites to honor the dead, believed to provide protection in the afterlife.

Electric Cosmology

Cinnabar crystals exhibit electrical conductivity, which means they can conduct electric current under certain conditions. The Seebeck coefficient, related to thermoelectric behavior, has also been studied in cinnabar crystals. It characterizes how a material generates an electric potential when subjected to a temperature gradient. Cinnabar shows magnetic susceptibility, indicating its response to an external magnetic field. This property is consistent with previously reported luminescence studies. (LINK)

Mining, Production and Use

Major sources of cinnabar include Spain, China, and the United States. Due to its mercury content, the mining and processing of cinnabar are highly regulated to prevent mercury poisoning. The mineral is processed to extract mercury, which is used in various industrial applications. For beads the material is mixed with resin, so it does not tolerate fire or excess heating.