Mineral Information and Data:

BaSO4 [CNMNC approved formula]

Named in 1640, from the Greek βάρος, weight, for Barite; and βάρυς, heavy, for Barytes, due to its unusual heaviness for a non-metallic mineral. The name Baryte was formally defined by IMA(1971).

IMA status : Approved Species 1971 ()
(8th edition) :  
  (28) Anhydrous Acid and Sulfates
  (28.03) (A++) XO4
  (28.03.01) Barite Group
(10th edition) :
  (07) Sulfates (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
  (07.A) Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without Additional Anions, without H2O
  (07.AD) With only large cations
Crystal system: Orthorhombic System
Point group (H-M): mmm (or 2/m 2/m 2/m) — dipyramidal
Unit cell: a = 7.156 Ǻ, b = 8.881 Ǻ, c = 5.454 Ǻ
Crystal Habit: Crystals thin to thick tabular; short to long prismatic equant; aggregates, stalactitic, columnar, fibrous earthy
Color: Colorless, white to greyish, yellowish to brown, bluish
Diaphaneity: Transparent to translucent
Luster: Vitreous to resinous
Hardness (Mohs): 3 to 3.5
Measured Density: 4.50 g/cm3
Cleavage: 3; {001} perfect, {210} distinct, {010} imperfect
Tenacity: Brittle
Fracture: Uneven
Streak: White
Polymorphism and Series: Forms a series with celestine.
Geologic Setting: Gangue mineral in low-temperature hydrothermal veins; in residual deposits from weathered barite-bearing limestones; an accessory mineral in igneous rocks; in carbonatites; a primary component of submarine volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits and sea-floor chimneys.
Mineral Association: Fluorite, calcite, dolomite, rhodochrosite, gypsum, sphalerite, galena, stibnite
Ore deposits: The chief source of barium.
Synonyms/varieties: Barite, barytine, barytite, hokutolite (Pb-rich var.)
Luminescent Properties: May be thermoluminescent.
May fluoresce and phosphoresce cream to spectral colors under UV.
Other Properties: Gemstone Rare. BioMineral.
Comments: Name Baryte is formally defined:
IMA(1971) International Mineralogical Association: Commission on new minerals and mineral names, Mineralogical Magazine 38, 102-105


Barite on dolomite
Origin: Frizington, Cumberland, England
Sample size: 25 x 16 cm plate
Photo: Dan Weinrich


(zoom-in of above)


Origin: France Stone Co. Custar quarry, 4 miles NW of Custar, Wood Co., Ohio, U .S.A.
Sample size: 5.5 x 4.5 x 3.5 cm matrix
Photo: Dan Weinrich


(zoom-in of above)