A cluster of blocky habit Cinnabar crystals are perched on contrasting Dolomite. The main cluster looks like a single crystal but on close exam it is not, these are inter-grown and aligned much like a twin structure reaching 1.5 CM. Remarkably this is also perfectly damage free under good magnification . Flawless is rare in large Cinnabar as these are quite fragile. Sharp, glassy luster and excellent translucency, the Cinnabar glows a brilliant red if given any backlighting. At one time Chinese Cinnabars were rare classics, the world's best crystals, treasured, nearly priceless and only seen in major museums. That changed around 1990 and good specimens were for a while plentiful. Recently the main mines in Hunan Province have been shut down, these are already getting scarce.
A long (2.7 CM) terminated twin Cinnabar on a crystallized Dolomite vug. A strong piece with esthetic structure, the back has been sawn to aid collecting this piece, the saw marks are not visible on display. With strong light the crystal is quite translucent and glows a deep cherry red. The termination shows the complex re-entrant angles (drill bit type) of twinning. There is a crack near the base of the crystal that looks like an old repair, checking with Acetone did not reveal any problem but we have priced this as if it was repaired (a previous price of 1100.00 was a very good value if not repaired). The better Chinese Cinnabar crystals are well known as the worlds best and were eagerly sought for more than 150 years. For a while in the past two decades these were more available but now the old mines are closed. We will hope that the future produces more.
Cinnabar on Dolomite
Chatian Mine, Fenghuang
7.2x4x6 CM (small cabinet/ large miniature)
A sawn matrix block shows an open vug with several forms of cinnabar crystals, some are gemmy and very sharp reaching 1 cm. Some damage to crystals at the edge of the pocket but not excessive. This relatively dense coverage (there are about 10 crystals here) is not common and the best crystals here are very good indeed.