Virtual Museum ID: 19-AME143

Specimen Summary

Cinnabar is a mercury sulphide mineral that had been used as a red pigment for thousands of years. Even though in this form it is relatively safe mercury by itself is extremely toxic. It has fallen out of common use as a pigment due to potential health effects. Other uses of mercury are now mostly confined to industrial processes such as in geoscience mercury can be used to test specific gravity of rocks.

Cinnabar forms in low temperature environments as the upper part of a hydrothermal system. It has a low hardness and red-brown colour. It is associated with some more common carbonate minerals such as calcite and dolomite, and varieties of quartz such as opal and chalcedony. It is also associated with barite, and some less common minerals such as realgar and stibnite.

This sample is from Bridge River, B.C. and its exact location is unknown. A mine that is known for having cinnabar samples in the area, Silverquick Mine, could possibly have been the source. This mine was a producer of mercury ore.

Specimen Data


The information listed below relates to the current holding location or collection that the sample is from, and whether the item is viewable at that location or is part of a private collection. Coordinates are given as guides, and we remind you that collecting specimens from these locations is not allowed. Caution is advised visiting such sites and Below BC assumes no responsibility for any injuries or trespassing charges that may occur as a result of the viewer entering these sites.

Collection Details

Original Collection:

Association for Mineral Exploration (AME)

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Location Information

Sample Origin:

Bridge River, B.C.

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10 (NAD 83)

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Primary Mineral Formula:

HgS, SiO2

Primary Category:

sulphide oxide

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Advanced Geological Information


The following section provides geological data relating to the specimen or the site it was collected from, when available. Information has been obtained from various sources including private and government datasets but may not be up to date. Any geological time periods or ages listed often relate to the primary geology of the area, and may not be the actual date of an event such as mineral formation.

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Additional Images