Witherite

Witherite is named after William Withering, English physician and naturalist who originally described the mineral.

Crystals are always twinned. Facetable pieces are usually small, gem rough rarely exceeds 5 grams. The translucent material is cut into cabochons.

Witherite dust is toxic, it is dangerous to inhale it.

Witherite Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 

Witherite Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Witherite gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:1.43 cts
Heaviest:2.74 cts
Average:2.08 cts
Total photos:2
Do you have a larger Witherite? Why not upload a photo?
1.43ct to 1.56ct1.56ct to 1.69ct1.69ct to 1.82ct1.82ct to 1.95ct1.95ct to 2.09ct2.09ct to 2.22ct2.22ct to 2.35ct2.35ct to 2.48ct2.48ct to 2.61ct2.61ct to 2.74ct
General Information
Chemical Formula
BaCO
 
3
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Witherite
Mohs Hardness3 to 3.5
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Specific Gravity4.27 to 4.35
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Cleavage QualityDistinct
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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FractureUneven
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Witherite
Refractive Index1.529 to 1.680
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Optical CharacterBiaxial/-
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Birefringence0.148
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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PleochroismNil
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
DispersionLow
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Colour
Colour (General)Yellowish-white to colourless
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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TransparencyTransparent,Translucent,Opaque
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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LustreVitreous,Waxy
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Fluorescent and phosphorescent under UV
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Fluorescence (Short Wave UV)May show a green or yellow fluorescence with phosphorescence
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Fluorescence (X-RAY)Fluorescent and phosphorescent under X-rays
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Crystallography of Witherite
Crystal SystemOrthorhombic
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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HabitBotryoidal to spherical fibrous or granular masses
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Witherite occurs in hydrothermal veins as a low-temperature mineral
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Further Information
Mineral information:Witherite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
USA
 
  • Illinois
    • Hardin Co.
      • Rosiclare District
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p.467
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