Barite

Barite (UK: Baryte)

Chemical formula: BaSO4

Hardness: 3- 3 1/2
Sulfate family
Crystal System: Orthorhombic

Color: Colorless, white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, brown, green, gray, and black. It may also be found multicolored and/or banded.

Streak: white

Crystals are tabular, prismatic, and as grainy, platy, and coxcomb aggregates. Individual crystals are often twinned and can be quite large. May also be bladed, massive, nodular, fibrous, stalactitic, and as perfect rosettes. Crystals may show phantom growths.

Specific Gravity: 4.3- 5.0

The name “barite” comes from Greek barús meaning “heavy”. Also known as barytine, heavy spar, tiff, and blanc fixe.

Barite is used to make drilling mud which is used in oil wells to help keep them from blowing out due to the higher density of the mineral. It is also used in the medical field when doing X-ray scans of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. In paint pigments, it is used in white paint.

The barite below was found in the Martin-Marietta Ruby mine in Macon, Georgia. This material was located above the granite found there, in the decomposed matrix. Most was found at the surface or barely under it.

Barite

Martin-Marietta Ruby Mine, Macon, Georgia

 

Barite

Martin-Marietta Ruby Mine, Macon, Georgia

Macon, Georgia 31210