Barite

Barite or Baryte occurs in a number of colours, including colourless, white, yellow and blue, but its softness, perfect cleavage, brittleness and high density make it to be of little use as a gemstone, which is why it is cut for collectors only. Crystals vary a great deal and could be transparent to opaque, with a variety of habits from tabular to massive.

Barite is often present in lead and silver mines. It also occurs in limestones, and may be deposited by hot springs. Crystals up to 1m (40 inches) long have been discovered in Cumbria, Cornwall, and Derbyshire in England. Other good localities include Czechoslovakia, Romania, Germany, United States and Italy.

Barite Pictures

Baryte mineral Barite rough crystal

Barite Properties

Chemical Composition: 
Barium sulphate
Crystal System / Forms: 
Orthorhombic
Hardness: 
3
Specific Gravity: 
4.45
Lustre: 
Vitreous to pearly.
Refractive Index / Birefringence: 
1.63-1.65 / 0.012
Cuts & Uses: 
Step cut, mixed cut, polished.