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Metacinnabar on Quartz

The Mineral metacinnabar




Metacinnabar is an uncommon polymorph of the mineral Cinnabar, forming in a different crystal system. In addition to its crystal forms, Metacinnabar also visually differs from Cinnabar, having a metallic luster, gray color, and lack of transparency.
Chemical Formula HgS
Composition Mercury sulfide
Color Metallic gray
Streak Gray to black
Hardness 3
Crystal System Isometric
3D Crystal Atlas
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Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
In small and usually distorted equant crystals in the form of complex tetrahedral and pyritohedral forms. Crystals are sometimes rounded and usually striated. Also platy, in small crystal clusters, in rounded balls, and encrusting.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 7.7 - 8.1
Luster Metallic
Cleavage None
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle to slightly sectile
In Group Sulfides; Simple Sulfides
Striking Features Crystal habits, color, and mode of occurence.
Environment In volcanic, mercury-rich deposits usually associated with hot springs, and in epithermal veins.
Rock Type Igneous
Popularity (1-4) 4
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 2


Metacinnabar ON EBAY
OTHER NAMES
Metacinnabarite

VARIETIES
 -  Selenium-rich variety of Metacinnabar, with selenium partially replacing the sulfur. Described from San Onofre, Plateros, Zacatecas, Mexico.
POLYMORPHS
Cinnabar, Hypercinnabar


USES
As a minor ore of mercury in mercury deposits.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
Metacinnabar is uncommon and there are sporadic occurrences in many of the important mercury deposits. The most significant locality of this mineral is Mount Diablo in the Diablo Range, Contra Costa Co., California.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Cinnabar, Dolomite, Quartz

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Sphalerite - Lower specific gravity, brown streak.


metacinnabar PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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