Baryte (Barite)

Big Photo

South Africa
14.82 carats
© Rarestone.com

Baryte is named after Greek "barys" - heavy, in allusion to its high specific gravity.

Many large transparent crystals have been found. Easy cleavage, brittleness and heat sensitivity of the material make it a challenge to the facetier. Cut stones rarely exceed 10 carats.

Baryte Gemstones by Colour

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

Baryte Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Baryte 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:1.99 cts
Heaviest:14.82 cts
Average:8.98 cts
Total photos:5
Do you have a larger Baryte? Why not upload a photo?
1.99ct to 3.27ct3.27ct to 4.56ct4.56ct to 5.84ct5.84ct to 7.12ct7.12ct to 8.41ct8.41ct to 9.69ct9.69ct to 10.97ct10.97ct to 12.25ct12.25ct to 13.54ct13.54ct to 14.82ct
General Information
Other Names/Trade Names:
Chemical Formula
BaSO
 
4
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
More from other references
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Baryte
Mohs Hardness3 to 3.5
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Specific Gravity4.43 to 4.46
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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TenacityBrittle
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Cleavage QualityPerfect
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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FractureUneven
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Heat SensitivityVery high
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Baryte
Refractive Index1.634 to 1.648
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Optical CharacterBiaxial/+
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Birefringence0.010 to 0.018
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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PleochroismNil
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
DispersionWeak
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Colour
Colour (General)Colourless, white, yellowish, reddish, bluish, green, brown, gray, black
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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TransparencyTransparent,Translucent,Opaque
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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LustreVitreous
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)(LW): Inert to partly chalky cream, bluish, greenish (and phosphorescence)
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Crystallography of Baryte
Crystal SystemOrthorhombic
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
HabitBladed, tabular
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Geological Environment
Where found:Barite is the most common barium mineral and occurs in low-temperature hydrothermal veins and in residual deposits from weathered barium-bearing limestones.
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Further Information
Mineral information:Baryte information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Namibia
 
  • ǁKaras Region
    • Oranjemund
      • Rosh Pinah
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 388
Peru
 
  • Huánuco
    • Huamalíes Province
      • Miraflores
Russia
 
  • Kabardino-Balkaria
USA
 
  • Colorado
    • Weld Co.
      • Stoneham
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 388
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