Barite Museum, Section 2:
Monumental Barites

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Niobec Mine, St. Honore, Quebec, Canada

This is a most remarkable specimen from an old mine in Quebec. First, it is a perfect "chisel point" - I mean, this looks like a chisel in every way. There are minor calcites on part of it. Areas of the faces are preferentially coated with tiny pyrites. In person it has a pinkish, pearlescent surface, very charming. Second, it is a "floater." There are no points of contact. Third, it is completely undamaged. Fourth, IT IS HUGE! 16 X 7.5 X 5.5 cm. The second photo shows the actual size nicely.

I've not seen anything like it anywhere. The man I bought it from was casual about it, he said it had been laying around his basement for years and he finally decided to sell it off.

I tried to capture the sort of pearlescent luster, I hope it shows. The surface also has hundreds of tiny pyrites in certain regions.


Mont'e Mesu, Villamassargia, Sardinia

The main crytal of this spectacular museum-quality specimen is 9 X 7 X 2 cm. The entire specimen is barite crystals, 12.5 X 9 X 8.5 cm and it is perfect - no damage at all - all around. The crystals show detailed zoning (look at the last picture). The specimen is also very solid, no cracking or fragility here. Many thanks to Giorgio Spiga of Sardinia for this one. It was found only a few months before I got it (July, 2005) in an outcrop somewhere between Mont'e Mesu (the classic locale for this type of barite) and Riu Bachera (about 10 km apart), in the province of  Villamassargia, Sardinia.


Morocco, M'hrit, near Khenifra
Middle Atlas Mountains

A spectacular barite specimen. Two giant crystals intersect each other. Their surfaces are glassy and the interiors have gemmy and translucent regions. The larger crystal is 12 X 8 cm. The specimen is about 12 cm in each dimension and is incredibly three- dimensional. This mining area produces incredible large colorless barite, but this is out-sized even for the area.


Mu Li Mine, Ebian, Ebian County
Sichuan Province, China

Large specimen with see-through vug in middle, 22 X 22 X 7 cm. Golden barite xls, largest xl ~ 2+ cm. A truly awesome specimen from a one-time find. The crystals equal the famous Meikle Mine, Elko, Nevada crystals in size and color. Many are zoned, many are golden and clear. The fourth picture in Additional Images shows the back side, which has more green/yellow toned crystals. A truly unique and precious specimen, not likley to be equalled.

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