Rare Barite specimen from Sardinia, Italy collection of The Metropolis Fami

Item Information

Dimensions (mm) 106.68 x 96.52 x 63.5mm
Weight (carats) 2267.96 carats
No Treatment

Rare Barite specimen from Sardinia, Italy collection of The Metropolis Family

William Metropolis is a former Assistant Curator for the Mineralogical Museum at Harvard University and currently curating the Arthur Montgomery Mineral Museum at Lafayette College.  He has done work at mineral museums throughout the country and is a well known mineral appraiser with over 40 years experience.

THE MINERAL BARITE

Barite is well-known for its great range of colors and varied crystal habits. It is easily identifiable by its heavy weight, since most similar minerals are much lighter.

Controversy exists regarding the spelling of Barite. This mineral has always been spelled “Barite” in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the spelling has traditionally been “Baryte.” The IMA originally referenced this mineral as “Barite,” but then changed its spelling to “Baryte” many years later. This has been a very controversial move, with many questioning the IMA’s logic behind this change. Most American mineral collectors and mineralogists still prefer the spelling Barite, and we reflect that spelling here in this guide as well.

Barite specimens from certain locations are brown from sand inclusions, and may occur in beautiful rosette aggregates that strikingly resemble a flower. These are known as Barite “Desert Roses.” The mineral Gypsum also contains similar Desert Roses, but Gypsum roses are much light in weight, and are more brittle and thin.

Barite often replaces other minerals, and may even replace organic materials such as wood, shells, and fossils. It sometimes forms tufacious mounds from deposition of hot, barium-rich springs. It is isomorphous and very similar in form with the mineral Celestine, and may partially replace it.

The name Barite is derived from the Greek word barys, which means heavy, alluding to the heft of this mineral.

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Auction ID 735830
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Starts 27th Feb 2018 7:55am PST

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