Cinnabar & Quartz

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 Information

Store: Association for Mineral Exploration (AME)


Accession #: AME-143

Primary Mineral: Cinnabar & Quartz

Secondary Mineral:

Site Locality:

Location: Bridge River, B.C.

Special Features: n/a

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