THE MINERAL BARITE


Barite is a common mineral and makes very attractive specimens. It often is an accessory mineral to other minerals and can make a nice backdrop to brightly colored crystals. At times bladed or tabular crystals of Barite form a concentric pattern of increasingly larger crystals outward. This has the appearance of a flower and when colored red by iron stains, these formations are called "Desert Roses".

Because Barite is so common, it can be confused for other minerals. Celestite (SrSO4) has the same structure as barite and forms very similar crystals. The two are indistinguishable by ordinary methods, but a flame test can distinguish them. By scraping the dust of the crystals into a gas flame the color of the flame will confirm the identity of the crystal. If the flame is a pale green it is barite, but if the flame is red it is celestite. The flame test works because the elements barium (Ba) and strontium (Sr) react in the flame and produce those colors.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Color is variable but is commonly found colorless or white, also blue, green, yellow and red shades.
  • Luster is vitreous.
  • Transparency crystals are transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System is orthorhombic; 2/m 2/m 2/m
  • Crystal Habits include the bladed crystals that are dominated by two large pinacoid faces top and bottom and small prism faces forming a jutting angle on every side. There are many variations of these faces but the flattened blades and tabular crystals are the most common. If the pinacoid faces become diminished or are absent, the resulting prismatic crystal has a rhombic cross section. Also scaly, lamellar, and even fiberous.
  • Cleavage is perfect in one direction, less so in another direction.
  • Fracture is conchoidal.
  • Hardness is 3 - 3.5
  • Specific Gravity is approximately 4.5 (heavy for translucent minerals)
  • Streak is white.
  • Associated Minerals are numerous but significant associations have been with chalcopyrite, calcite, aragonite, sulfur, pyrite, quartz, vanadinite, cerussite and fluorite among many others.
  • Other Characteristics: green color in flame test (see above).
  • Notable Occurrences include Oklahoma, Connecticut and Colorado, USA; England and Germany.
  • Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, flame test and density.
This Site Awarded
Available BARITE specimens:
BARITE specimen BAR-41
$ 30.00 -20% = $ 24.00
Dims: 2.84x2.37x1.26in (7.20x6.01x3.20cm) .... Wt: 7.7oz (219g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
This specimen displays classic pale-gold blades of barite crystals, most of which show good to excellent clarity and luster.
no photo
BAR-41
$ 24.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-42
$ 30.00 -20% = $ 24.00
Dims: 2.03x1.25x1.46in (5.15x3.19x3.70cm) .... Wt: 3.46oz (98.0g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
This specimen shows several excellent blades of golden barite crystals, which have fine clarity and luster but noticeable damage and internal fractures.
no photo
BAR-42
$ 24.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-43
$ 30.00 -20% = $ 24.00
Dims: 2.38x1.52x1.13in (6.05x3.85x2.87cm) .... Wt: 3.43oz (97.0g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
I like this barite specimen. It has nice pale-gold blades of barite against a gray quartz backdrop. While none of the crystal are perfect, there are several very nice ones.
no photo
BAR-43
$ 24.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-44
$ 30.00 -20% = $ 24.00
Dims: 1.55x1.03x0.81in (3.93x2.61x2.06cm) .... Wt: 1.20oz (34.0g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
This cluster is nearly pure barite. The crystals are good, showing minor damage, and have a characteristic pale golden color, vitreous luster, and good transparency, marred by significant interal fractures. The largest crystal does show something I've not seen on barite before: looking at reflections off of the largest face reveals that it's not truly flat, rather a four-sided (but nearly perfectly flat) pyramid, which is not perfectly aligned with the points of the crystal. Interesting.
no photo
BAR-44
$ 24.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-45
$ 30.00 -20% = $ 24.00
Dims: 1.04x1.01x0.91in (2.64x2.56x2.30cm) .... Wt: 1.20oz (34.0g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
About half of the mass of this specimen is in the single largest crystal which does show damage to its tip, plus where it was removed from an adjoining crystal.
no photo
BAR-45
$ 24.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-46
$ 25.00 -20% = $ 20.00
Dims: 2.55x2.10x1.41in (6.49x5.33x3.58cm) .... Wt: 4.7oz (134g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
This is another good specimen of pale gold barite crystals. Many of the crystals show good transparency and luster, but many others have a rough surface texture that mars their clarity. Unfortunately the largest crystals show the most damage
no photo
BAR-46
$ 20.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-47
$ 40.00 -20% = $ 32.00
Dims: 2.14x1.20x0.97in (5.44x3.04x2.47cm) .... Wt: 2.30oz (65.0g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
A cluster of golden barite crystals are perched on what's left of a plate of some black mineral. The rhombic blades of barite are generally good with only minor damage, and there is a noticeable difference in the crystal quality from one side to the other.
no photo
BAR-47
$ 32.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-49
$ 40.00 -20% = $ 32.00
Dims: 2.25x1.61x0.84in (5.71x4.09x2.14cm) .... Wt: 4.0oz (112g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
I like this barite specimen. The largest crystal is actually stepped, almost like two identical crystals grew side by side in perfect alignment.
no photo
BAR-49
$ 32.00
no photo
BARITE specimen BAR-48
$ 25.00 -20% = $ 20.00
Dims: 2.31x1.39x0.92in (5.86x3.52x2.33cm) .... Wt: 2.61oz (73.9g) .... Loc: Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada, USA
This specimen is dominated by what's left of a single large barite crystal. It shows a gray phantom over a pale-gray golden crystal, and one side is partly coated with an acculumation of tiny black sparkly crystals (sand).
no photo
BAR-48
$ 20.00
no photo
see this List of ALL specimens including SOLD ones

 

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