OBJECTIVE To develop a new quality control method for cinnabar, in order to ensure the safety application of cinnabar. METHOD Three inorganic mercury compounds (HgS, HgO, and HgCl2) and cinnabar samples were analyzed by laser Raman spectroscopy. The cinnabar samples were identified by comparing the Raman band in the Raman spectrum with pure HgS. RESULT Different Raman bands were observed among three inorganic mercury compounds. The Raman spectroscopic results indicated that cinnabar samples showed the same Raman band as pure HgS, consisting with the HgS contents by XRF analysis. CONCLUSION The Raman spectroscopic method is simple, rapid, and reliable. It can be applied as an alternative quality control method for cinnabar.