A PHOTO

Cinnabar

Cinnabar (pronounced /ˈsɪnəbɑr/) or cinnabarite ( /sɪnəˈbɑrt/) (red mercury(II) sulfide (HgS), native vermilion), is the common ore of mercury.

Cinnabar resembles quartz in its symmetry and certain of its optical characteristics. Like quartz, it exhibits birefringence. It has the highest refractive power of any mineral.

Despite its toxicity, cinnabar has historically been used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called zhūshā (朱砂) and was highly valued in Chinese Alchemy where it was eponymous with the word dān (), which referred to alchemy, cinnabar and the elixir of immortality. Cinnabar and mercury were used in Indian traditions of Alchemy (medicinal, spiritual and ritual) known in Sanskrit as Rasayana and was a particularly important discipline and knowledge of the Natha.

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