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The mineralogy of Mercury

General Properties
Atomic Number:80
Standard atomic weight (Ar):200.59(2)
Electron configuration:[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2
6 grams pure mercury
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2
Atomic Radius:171 pm
Ionic Radius:119 pm (+1)
Van der Waals Radius:155 pm
1st Ionization energy:1007 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:1,2,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:liquid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:234 K
Boiling Point:630 K
Density:13.53 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Mercury
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
196Hg0.15%>2.5×1018yα ?192Pt
β+β+ ?196Pt
198Hg9.97%-α ?194Pt
199Hg16.87%-α ?195Pt
200Hg23.10%-α ?196Pt
201Hg13.18%-α ?197Pt
202Hg29.86%-α ?198Pt
204Hg6.87%-α ?200Pt
β-β- ?204Pb
Main ions of Mercury
NameIonExample minerals
Other Information
Year Discovered:before 2000 BCE
Discovered By:Ancient Chinese and Indians
Named For:
Mercury, the god of speed and messenger of the Gods
CPK color coding:#B8B8D0
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidesmercury sulphideHgS+2Cinnabar, Hypercinnabar, Metacinnabar
Selenidesmercury selenideHgSe+2Tiemannite
Telluridesmercury tellurideHgTe+2Coloradoite
Hydridesmercury dihydrideHgH2+2
Fluoridesmercury difluorideHgF2+2
dimercury difluorideHg2F2+1
Chloridesmercury dichlorideHgCl2+2
dimercury dichlorideHg2Cl2+1Calomel
Bromidesdimercury dibromideHg2Br2+1
Iodidesmercury diiodideHgI2+2Coccinite
dimercury diiodideHg2I2+1Moschelite
Oxidesmercury oxideHgO+2Montroydite
dimercury oxideHg2O+1
Mineral Diversity of Mercury
1. Elements 11 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 43 valid mineral species
3. Halides19 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 3 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 3 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 4 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates4 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 1 valid mineral species
Total:88 valid species containing essential Mercury
Geochemistry of Mercury
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Elemental Abundance for Mercury
Crust (CRC Handbook)8.5 x 10-8mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)2 x 10-8mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)8 x 10-8mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)3 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)1.5 x 10-10mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)3.4 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)3.40 x 10-7 (12%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Mercury in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Mercury and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Mercury and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Mercury.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Mercury% of Hg mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Sulfur134 minerals with Hg and S46.05%127.61% higher
Oxygen94 minerals with Hg and O32.30%58.32% lower
Chlorine74 minerals with Hg and Cl25.43%254.94% higher
Silver63 minerals with Hg and Ag21.65%551.22% higher
Copper54 minerals with Hg and Cu18.56%46.19% higher
Arsenic53 minerals with Hg and As18.21%53.83% higher
Antimony40 minerals with Hg and Sb13.75%188.51% higher
Hydrogen33 minerals with Hg and H11.34%79.02% lower
Bromine31 minerals with Hg and Br10.65%3,894.85% higher
Iodine26 minerals with Hg and I8.93%1,575.26% higher
Lead25 minerals with Hg and Pb8.59%13.08% lower
Thallium24 minerals with Hg and Tl8.25%544.33% higher
Selenium22 minerals with Hg and Se7.56%232.23% higher
Tellurium15 minerals with Hg and Te5.15%69.56% higher
Carbon14 minerals with Hg and C4.81%36.02% lower
Nitrogen12 minerals with Hg and N4.12%96.58% higher
Palladium12 minerals with Hg and Pd4.12%226.70% higher
Bismuth10 minerals with Hg and Bi3.44%16.68% lower
Chromium9 minerals with Hg and Cr3.09%79.35% higher
Zinc8 minerals with Hg and Zn2.75%45.55% lower
Iron6 minerals with Hg and Fe2.06%90.28% lower
Nickel6 minerals with Hg and Ni2.06%30.96% lower
Gold5 minerals with Hg and Au1.72%192.88% higher
Tin3 minerals with Hg and Sn1.03%40.22% lower
Aluminium3 minerals with Hg and Al1.03%94.70% lower
Molybdenum3 minerals with Hg and Mo1.03%14.72% lower
Vanadium3 minerals with Hg and V1.03%76.23% lower
Phosphorus3 minerals with Hg and P1.03%90.91% lower
Caesium3 minerals with Hg and Cs1.03%131.96% higher
Silicon3 minerals with Hg and Si1.03%96.23% lower
Magnesium3 minerals with Hg and Mg1.03%91.92% lower
Platinum3 minerals with Hg and Pt1.03%65.68% higher
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Hg Relative Frequency
Gold << Mercury >> Thallium

Most widespread minerals containing Mercury
This list of minerals containing Mercury is built from the locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Mercury mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Mercury mineral species
map should go here
2Clear Creek claim (Clear Creek Mine), Goat Mountain, New Idria Mining District, San Benito Co., California, USA22 Hg minerals
Chauvai (Chauvay) Sb-Hg Deposit, Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan20 Hg minerals
6Khaidarkan Sb-Hg deposit (Chaidarkan; Hajdarkan), Batken Region, Kyrgyzstan16 Hg minerals
7Arzak Hg occurrence (Arzakskoye), Uyuk Range, Pi-Khem District, Tuva, Russia15 Hg minerals
8Kadyrel' Hg occurrence, Oorash-Khem River Valley, Uyuk Range, Pi-Khem District, Tuva, Russia15 Hg minerals

Minor ores of Mercury
NameFormulaCrystal System

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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