What is Cinnabar?
Cinnabar, also known as Chinese Lacquer, is a famous Chinese handicraft. Traditionally, cinnabar items were created by painting multiple layers of lacquer onto an item, letting the item dry between each coat, and then carving the resulting layers of lacquer into beautiful patterns. Cinnabar gets its name from the toxic red mineral cinnabar (mercury sulfide) that was once used to give the distinctive red color to the lacquer used in the process. Today, cinnabar jewelry is formed from a dyed red resin that contains no harmful cinnabar mineral. However, the look is largely the same. In fact, not all cinnabar is even red! Pure red cinnabar items are very popular, as are items which have both red and black cinnabar. However, the less common all black cinnabar is also available and is quite stunning.
Cinnabar bangle bracelets are a well known use of this material, but cinnabar is not limited to bracelets alone. Hand-strung and hand knotted cinnabar bead necklaces are lovely and add an exotic flair. Cinnabar beads can also be used in earrings, either alone or set off by metallic or black lava stone beads. Finally, as red and black are a classic combination, red cinnabar and black lava stone make particularly striking necklaces.
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