Home > American Minerals IV – August 26 > MS1651 Mercury on Cinnabar

Mercury on Cinnabar - Sold

Mercury is a metallic element and a mineral species, exceptional among minerals due for its liquid nature (Nickel, 1995). The word mercury comes the Latin Mercurius, the mythological messenger of the gods for his mobility in liquid form. Cinnabar was also known to ancient civilizations, its name derived from Medieval Latin cinnabaris, via Greek kinnabari, originally from the Persian zinjifrah, apparently meaning dragon's blood. Mercury and its ore cinnabar were vitally important for processing of gold ores before the twentieth century.

Mercury here forms globules on crystalline cinnabar, which lines a vug 2.8 by 1.2 cm. The matrix consists of silicified carbonate rock, volcanic in origin, with chalcedony. From the personal collection of Charles Trantham (1936-2020). His collection label and his #4½ glassine envelope, which is what Trantham used for a collection card, both accompany the specimen. Trantham self-collected this specimen in 1996.