Friday, September 28, 2012

Mercury APEX Mineral

Mercury (Hg #80)(Greek: Hydrargyrum) is the next element on the periodic table for my APEX mineral collection.  

Wikipedia Mercury
Mercury Minerals - There are lots of Mercury 
minerals.  
Cinnabar (HgS) (Mercury Sulfide) with 86% Mercury is my APEX Mineral.  Pure Mercury is sometimes found in nature but since it is a liquid I exclude this for my APEX Mineral.
Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature.  Mercury behaves similarly to noble gas elements.  

Mercury is extremely rare in the Earth's crust.  However, because it does not blend with other elements in the crust. Mercury ores can be extraordinarily concentrated considering the element's abundance in ordinary rock. 

An amalgam is a substance formed by the reaction of Mercury with another metal.  All metals can form amalgams with Mercury (except for Iron).
Mercury has been known since ancient times.  It was used in ointments and cosmetics.  The first emperor of China was killed by drinking a mercury and powdered jade mixture intended to give him eternal life.
Mercury is primarily used for electrical applications.  Mercury switches are still common for moving parts.  Most Mercury usage is being reduced due to health and safety regulations.  
Mercury and most of its compounds are extremely toxic and must be handled with care.

I owned a quart of Mercury when young.  My entire hand would swish through the liquid and tiny drops would become encrusted in the cracks of my fingernails.  Bad.  The image above doesn't even come close to the insanity I performed.

I could never decide if this was worse than the 20+ Mercury amalgam fillings that I received in the 1960's and 1970's.  My last Mercury filling was replaced only a few years ago.

So far, I doooont seeem to have any sirrrous neurologcal problms.