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Barite, United States - Arizona to Kansas

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Barite, United States - Arizona to Kansas
May 08, 2009 11:23AM
Click here to view Best Minerals Barite-Michigan to Wyoming and here to view Best Minerals B and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.


Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?


Baryte, United States
BaSO4 Orthorhombic



Here will go a good picture of a Baryte from the United States and general remarks about the Baryte from this country. Here are some url's to some of the better USA Baryte specimens here on Mindat that can be considered for inclusion in the article. These, in most cases are just for temporary use until we can get images of the much better specimens that are almost certainly out there. We should also consider that there are probably localities out there with fine specimens that are not even mentioned on Mindat. Also in some instances there are sometimes pictures on Mindat, of specimens from a locality, but they were so ratty that I did not include them here, but there may also be really good specimens from there that we should talk about in this article.

Baryte
USA
Arizona, Cochise Co. Mule Mts, Warren District, Bisbee, Higgins Mine (Higgins tunnel)

Rough white to brown, bladed crystals of up to 4 inches. Also as a wide (3 feet)vein on the surface.”1 You hardly ever see a good barite from Bisbee which is famous for its wonderful specimens of azurite, malachite, etc.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 12, 1981, p 294.


Baryte
USA
Arizona, Maricopa Co., Painted Rock Mts, Painted Rock District, Theba, Rowley Mine (Rawley Mine; Reliance Mine; Reliance Copper Mine; Rainbow Mine; Theba Mine; San Carlos patented claim #4524)

Baryte & wulfenite 3cm tall©

Arizona, Maricopa County, Theba, Rowley Mine. “Baryte comprises the bulk of the Rowley vein…Cavities often are lined by colorless barite crystals up to 2 cm on an edge and 2 to 4 mm in thickness…Other cavities are only defined by broken surfaces of barite. Either type is likely to also contain the fine wulfenite crystals for which the deposit is famous. The barite appears pink because of its intimate association with powdery hematite.”1 Perhaps I should have not even bothered to include barites from the Rowley mine since they are rarely collected unless they have wulfenite crystals on them. However this small mine was open to collecting for many years and hundreds of collectors, especially those form Arizona and California frequently visited the mine and sometimes worked in it for days. It was a “dirty” mine. If I didn't mention it here I would probably be ridden out of town on a rail at the next Tucson gem and mineral show. “The Rowley mine is located about 60 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona on the west slope of the Painted Rock Mountains, overlooking the Gila River Valley. The precise location is the eastern ½ of section 25, R8W, T4S…It was originally named the Reliance mine, is misspelled “Rawley” on the quadrangle map, and has also been known as the Theba mine and the Rainbow mine.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 5, 1974, p 14.


Baryte
USA
Arizona, Pima Co., Welden Mine

Baryte 4cm wide© 2008 Michael C. Roarke

“Over the last couple of years, many beautiful pastel-pink rosettes of barite to nearly 10 inches, associated with calcite on quartz have been found at the Weldon mine…The main stope of the mine transects the entire thickness of the mountain, opening on each side. One incline leads to a giant cavern 250 feet long and lined with 2 to 4-inch dogtooth calcite crystals. But the locality is best known (if that can be said of a little known mine) for barite…Flag described barite rosettes to 4 inches, and said the locality was “nearly exhausted.” But recently collected specimens have ranged up to 10 inches long and 3 inches thick. The crystal aggregates of barite are football-shaped and sometimes reach the size of footballs as well, The best of the recently collected specimens consist of 2 to 8-inch rosettes of barite scattered across plates of quartz. When collected the specimens are typically covered by a layer of chocolate-brown calcite, which forms a protective cover during removal and transportation of the specimens, and is easily etched off afterward. The largest and best specimen collected thus far is about 10 by 10 by 8 inches, and is composed of one 9-inch rosette surrounded by nine 3-inch rosettes on a quartz block.”1 These are interesting but not terribly attractive barites and rarely seen outside of local Arizona collections.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 12, 1981, p 118.



Baryte
USA
Arizona, Pinal Co., Pinal Mts. Pioneer District, Superior, Magma Mine (Magma Superior Mine; Irene claim; Hub claim; Pomeroy; Superior Division; Silver Queen; Monarch claim; Magma Copper Mine; Broken Hill; Apex)

Baryte 20cm wide© 2001 John H. Betts
Baryte 3.5cm wide© 2002 John H. Betts

Baryte 2.3cm wide© Dan & Diana Weinrich Minerals
Baryte ~8cm tall©

Baryte 3.8cm wide© Weinrich Minerals, Inc.
Baryte 5cm tall© Timothy J. Blackwood


“If the Magma mine is to be remembered for one mineral, it surely will be barite. The beautiful tabular crystals have been sought by collectors for years. Sharp crystals up to 2 inches on an edge and ½ inch thick have been found in a spectrum of colors (black, brown, maroon, green, gray, white, yellow and golden). In the 1950’s and 1960’s barite clusters were found in such large numbers that it was thought they would never cease to be abundant. These early specimens all came from the “A” bed. Stories of mud-filled pockets containing clusters of barites have been told and retold many times by the miners. In 1975 at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, a fine black barite with white calcite was awarded the prize for best miniature in the species competition…Probably the best barite since the 1960’s was found in the ‘D’ bed a week before Thanksgiving of 1981. This fine barite came from the 3600 4D stope on the 3620 level. Golden, brown and black crystals up to 1½ inches on an edge and highly lustrous were produced as singles, clusters and rosettes both on and off matrix. Many of the specimens were associated with clear sword-like crystals of gypsum…The pocket from which many of these beauties came is still intact, with many crystals remaining; but this part of the stope had to be backfilled with sand so that mining in the area could continue.”1 Here is a wonderful example of a loyal enthusiast of Arizona minerals. Most other collectors, given their choice would rather get barites from other localities and the golden barites for which the mine is known look like scaled down versions of wonderful golden barites from Meikle, Nevada. I am however pleased to have in my collection a modest example of the golden barite from this locality. See the good article sited below which shows a number of pictures of barite and other specimens from the mine.
1. Mineralogical Record, Reg Barnes & Mark Hay, The Magma Mine, Vol. 14, 1983, p 81.



Baryte
USA
California, Los Angeles Co., Palos Verdes Hills

Baryte 6.6cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Baryte 4.9cm wide© Rob Lavinsky

Baryte ~7.5cm wide©
Baryte ~9cm wide©


Fine specimens of tan barite crystals have been collected from the sea side cliffs at this locality south of Los Angeles. The material has been collected for generations from pockets in the rapidly weathering ocean side bluffs by collectors who brave falling rocks. The crystals are a tan color though not terribly sharp, but are up to at least three inches in diameter. The best of these specimens make rather pleasant specimens and some of the arborescent forms can be rather elegant. The best specimens I ever saw of this material were of the arborescent type one of which is pictured above and were in the collection of Willard Perkins collection which were destroyed in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. Willard or Perky as he was commonly called, collected the best of these by crawling into cliff side pockets sometime so far that only his feet were visible. He kept his larger fine specimens in big glass display cases lining opposite walls if the small garage attached to his house and the quake caused the glass shelves and the big sliding glass fronts of the display cases to shatter and the specimens and the broken glass all ended up on the concrete floor of his garage.
[Rock Currier 2014]


Baryte
USA
Colorado, Boulder Co., Ward District, White Raven Mine

Baryte on galena 4.2cm wide© Brian Kosnar - Mineral Classics

“Most of the specimens consisted of a matrix of brown scalenohedral siderite crystals about ½ long. Projecting from this matrix were numerous, pure white, tabular barite crystals up to 1 inch on an edge with several, highly modified galena crystals. A dense mat of hair-like wires of silver covered the siderite matrix. As a rule the wires were tightly curled and less than an inch long but specimens with wires up to 6 inches long were not unusual. Unfortunately most of this material was shipped to the smelter.”1 Very few specimens from this mine were saved and the barite is interesting mostly because of its association with silver wires.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 7, 1976, p 279.



Baryte
USA
Colorado, Eagle Co., Gilman District (Battle Mountain District; Red Cliff District), 1700' level, Rocky Point area

Baryte 6cm wide© 2001 John H. Betts
Baryte 7.8cm tall© Rob Lavinsky

Baryte 3cm wide© 2001 John H. Betts
Baryte 2cm wide© 2001 John H. Betts

Baryte 5.5cm wide© Rob Lavinsky






Baryte
USA
Colorado, Lake Co., Leadville District, Leadville, Iowa Gulch, Black Cloud Mine (Resurrection Mine 0080650339; Yak Tunnel; Leadville Unit; Irene Shaft)

Baryte ~11cm wide©



Baryte
USA
Colorado, Lake Co., Leadville District, Leadville, Upper Iowa Gulch, Sherman Mine (Sherman tunnel; Leadville Corporation Mine; Day Mines; Hilltop Mine)

Baryte 3cm tall© 2003 John H. Betts
Baryte ~6cm wide©

Baryte 8cm wide© John Sobolewski
© Collectors Edge




Baryte
USA
Colorado, Mesa Co., Grand Junction, Book Cliffs area,

Baryte ~5cm tall©
Baryte ~6.5cm wide©




Baryte
USA
Colorado, Mineral Co., Creede District, Bulldog Mountain Mine

Baryte 10.5cm wide© Dan Weinrich



Baryte
USA
Colorado, Mineral Co., Creede District, Creede

Baryte 10.3cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Baryte 17.3cm wide© Rob Lavinsky



Baryte
USA
Colorado, Mineral Co., Wagon Wheel Gap, Colorado Fluorspar Co. Mine

Baryte on Fluorite 12cm wide© 2000 John H. Betts



Baryte
USA
Colorado, Park Co., Hartsel District

Baryte 4.5cm tall© Rob Lavinsky



Baryte
USA
Colorado, Rio Grande Co., San Juan River, Muddy Creek

Baryte 11.8cm tall© Dan Weinrich
Baryte 3.5cm© Rob Lavinsky

Baryte & calcite 4.5cm wide© Collectors Edge

Baryte & calcite 9cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Baryte 9.7cm wide© fabreminerals.com

Baryte & Calcite 5.9cm© Rob Lavinsky



Baryte
USA
Georgia, Bartow Co., Cartersville District, Cartersville

Barite 12cm wide© 2001 John H. Betts
Baryte ~7cm wide©

Baryte 25mm© 2001 John H. Betts



Baryte
USA
Georgia, Burke Co., Girard District, Girard

1.1mm baryte on goethite © JBS 2007
A 2mm spray of white baryte© JBS 2007

Baryte on baryte FOV 2.5mm© JBS 2007
Baryte FOV 4mm© JBS 2007



Baryte
USA
Idaho, Custer Co., Freighter Spring, Willow Creek

Baryte ~45mm wide© Alan Goldstein



Baryte
USA
Illinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Cave-in-Rock

Baryte ~7.5cm tall©



Baryte
USA
Illinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Cave-in-Rock, Crystal Mine

Baryte ~9cm wide© Alan Goldstein



Baryte
USA
Illinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Cave-in-Rock, Minerva No. 1 Mine

Baryte on Calcite 12.5cm wide© www.exceptionalminerals.com
Baryte on fluorite 7cm wide© 2007 Peter Cristofono

Baryte 3cm wide© 2002 John H. Betts
Baryte & calcite ~18cm wide© Charles Creekmur




Baryte
USA
Illinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Harris Creek Sub-District, Annabel Lee mine

Baryte on fluorite 5.2cm tall© fabreminerals.com
Baryte 4.6cm© Dan Weinrich

Baryte 7.8cm tall© Kristalle and Crys




Baryte
USA
Illinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Harris Creek Sub-District, Goose Creek Mine Group, Denton mine

Baryte on fluorite 4.7cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Baryte on fluorite 6.9cm wide© Rob Lavinsky

Baryte on fluorite 6.4cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Baryte 6.5cm wide© Rob Lavinsky




Baryte
USA
Indiana, Monroe Co., Harrodsburg, SR 37 Roadcut

Baryte, quartz & pyrite ~15cm wide© Alan Goldstein



Baryte
USA
Iowa, Scott Co., Buffalo, Linwood Mine

Baryte 10cm wide© Jacques Malassé



Baryte
USA
Kansas, Cherokee Co., Tri-State District

Baryte & sphalerite ~22cm wide©



Baryte
USA
Kentucky, Boyle Co., Danville, Caldwell Stone Company Quarry, Walker vein

Baryte & Fluorite ~6cm tall© Alan Goldstein



Baryte
USA
Kentucky, Jessamine Co., Lexington Quarry Company Catnip Hill quarry

Baryte on fluorite ~9cm wide© Alan Goldstein
Baryte ~5cm tall© Alan Goldstein

Baryte & fluorite ~8cm wide© Alan Goldstein




Baryte
USA
Kentucky, Woodford Co., Harrodsburg, Mundy's Landing, Faircloth Veins

Baryte & fluorite ~10cm wide© Alan Goldstein




United States
Arizona, Cochise County, Warren Mining District, Bisbee, Higgins Mine. “tunnel level, rough white to brown, bladed crystals of up to 4 inches. Also as a wide (3 feet)vein on the surface.”1 You hardly ever see a good barite from Bisbee which is famous for its wonderful specimens of azurite, malachite, etc.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 12, 1981, p 294.

Arizona, Maricopa County, Theba, Rowley Mine. “Barite comprises the bulk of the Rowley vein…Cavities often are lined by colorless barite crystals up to 2 cm on an edge and 2 to 4 mm in thickness…Other cavities are only defined by broken surfaces of barite. Either type is likely to also contain the fine wulfenite crystals for which the deposit is famous. The barite appears pink because of its intimate association with powdery hematite.”1 Perhaps I should have not even bothered to include barites from the Rowley mine since they are rarely collected unless they have wulfenite crystals on them. However this small mine was open to collecting for many years and hundreds of collectors, especially those form Arizona and California frequently visited the mine and sometimes worked in it for days. It was a “dirty” mine. If I didn’t mention it here I would probably be ridden out of town on a rail at the next Tucson gem and mineral show. “The Rowley mine is located about 60 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona on the west slope of the Painted Rock Mountains, overlooking the Gila River Valley. The precise location is the eastern ½ of section 25, R8W, T4S…It was originally named the Reliance mine, is misspelled “Rawley” on the quadrangle map, and has also been known as the Theba mine and the Rainbow mine…1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 5, 1974, p 14.

Arizona, Pima County, Ben Nevis Mountain, Weldon Mine. “Over the last couple of years, many beautiful pastel-pink rosettes of barite to nearly 10 inches, associated with calcite on quartz have been found at the Weldon mine…The main stope of the mine transects the entire thickness of the mountain, opening on each side. One incline leads to a giant cavern 250 feet long and lined with 2 to 4-inch dogtooth calcite crystals. But the locality is best known (if that can be said of a little known mine) for barite…Flag described barite rosettes to 4 inches, and said the locality was “nearly exhausted.” But recently collected specimens have ranged up to 10 inches long and 3 inches thick. The crystal aggregates of barite are football-shaped and sometimes reach the size of footballs as well, The best of the recently collected specimens consist of 2 to 8-inch rosettes of barite scattered across plates of quartz. When collected the specimens are typically covered by a layer of chocolate-brown calcite, which forms a protective cover during removal and transportation of the specimens, and is easily etched off afterward. The largest and best specimen collected thus far is about 10 by 10 by 8 inches, and is composed of one 9-inch rosette surrounded by nine 3-inch rosettes on a quartz block.”1 These are interesting but not terribly attractive barites and rarely seen outside of local Arizona collections.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 12, 1981, p 118.

Arizona, Pinal County, Pioneer (Superior) District, Superior, Magma mine. “If the Magma mine is to be remembered for one mineral, it surely will be barite. The beautiful tabular crystals have been sought by collectors for years. Sharp crystals up to 2 inches on an edge and ½ inch thick have been found in a spectrum of colors (black, brown, maroon, green, gray, white, yellow and golden). In the 1950’s and 1960’s barite clusters were found in such large numbers that it was thought they would never cease to be abundant. These early specimens all came from the “A” bed. Stories of mud-filled pockets containing clusters of barites have been told and retold many times by the miners. In 1975 at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, a fine black barite with white calcite was awarded the prize for best miniature in the species competition…Probably the best barite since the 1960’s was found in the ‘D’ bed a week before Thanksgiving of 1981. This fine barite came from the 3600 4D stope on the 3620 level. Golden, brown and black crystals up to 1½ inches on an edge and highly lustrous were produced as singles, clusters and rosettes both on and off matrix. Many of the specimens were associated with clear sword-like crystals of gypsum…The pocket from which many of these beauties came is still intact, with many crystals remaining; but this part of the stope had to be backfilled with sand so that mining in the area could continue.”1 Here is a wonderful example of a loyal enthusiast of Arizona minerals. Most other collectors, given their choice would rather get barites from other localities and the golden barites for which the mine is known look like scaled down versions of wonderful golden barites from Meikle, Nevada. I am however pleased to have in my collection a modest example of the golden barite from this locality. See the good article sited below which shows a number of pictures of barite and other specimens from the mine.
1 Mineralogical Record, Reg Barnes & Mark Hay, The Magma Mine, Vol. 14, 1983, p 81.

California, Trinity County, Hart, Hale Creek Mine. “Subhedral to euhedral pale salmon-pink barite crystals, commonly reaching 4 cm in length, were found associate with inesite in the veins.”1 This open cast mine is mainly known for the good inesite crystals it produces. I have never seen any of the pale salmon-pink barites, but have collected specimens that when the calcite was removed showed small up to 1 cm white blocky, not very sharp, opaque barites of undistinguished nature, but showing nicely against the pink inesite crystals. On a very few specimens, some of the inesite crystals were replaced by barite forming white barite pseudomorphs after inesite which may be the only such occurrence known. All the specimens I ever heard about were boulders containing calcite veins that required the calcite to be etched away before the inesite specimens could be seen. If you used hydrochloric acid to etch away the calcite you ruined the inesite. To recover the inesite in good shape, you needed to use abut a 10% solution of nitric acid to remove the calcite. An old collector from San Francisco, Al McGuinness who was one of the first collectors to visit the locality told other collectors who visited the locality that hydrochloric acid was the proper acid to use for removing the calcite and because of this, many specimens were destroyed.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 18, 1987, p 347.

California, Los Angeles County, Palos Verde Peninsula. Interesting specimens of tan barite crystals can be collected from the sea side cliffs at this locality not far from down town Los Angeles. can boast some interesting if not fine Barite specimens that are collected from the. The material has been collected for generations from pockets in the rapidly weathering ocean side bluffs by collectors who brave falling rocks. The crystals are a tan color and not terribly sharp, but get up to at least three inches in diameter. The best of these specimens make rather pleasant specimens and some of the arborescent forms can be rather elegant. The best specimens I ever saw of this material were in the Willard Perkins collection and were destroyed in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. He kept his larger fine specimens in big glass display cases lining opposite walls if the small garage attached to his house and the quake caused the glass shelves and the big sliding glass fronts of the display cases to shatter and the specimens and the broken glass all ended up on the concrete floor of his garage.

California, Imperial County, Ocotillo. “Rare so-so large white TN”
Entry in Bill & Diana Dameron’s collection catalogue.

Colorado, Boulder County, White raven Mine. “Most of the specimens consisted of a matrix of brown scalenohedral siderite crystals about ½ long. Projecting from this matrix were numerous, pure white, tabular barite crystals up to 1 inch on an edge with several, highly modified galena crystals. A dense mat of hair-like wires of silver covered the siderite matrix. As a rule the wires were tightly curled and less than an inch long but specimens with wires up to 6 inches long were not unusual. Unfortunately most of this material was shipped to the smelter.”1 Very few specimens from this mine were saved and the barite is interesting mostly because of its association with silver wires.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 7, 1976, p 279.

Colorado, Dolores County, Rico Mountains, Pioneer Mining District, Rico, Aztec Mine. “Barite was not commonly found in the Rico district until the mining of the replacement beds began. Siliceous casts of barite show that the mineral saw present as an early phase, however in most cases these crystals were leached away before completion of mineralization…These casts can make for some very attractive specimens. One such incidence occurred in the Blaine tunnel (Rico Argentine mine) where barite had been covered by quartz, then leached away, and then in the voids were deposited scalenohedral manganoan calcite…These types of associations were apparently quite common in the replacement beds of the Rico Argentine mine. The Enterprise mine produced beautiful pseudomorphs of quartz after barite…Perhaps Rico’s finest barites came from the west side of the Dolores River on Expectation Mountain. At the Aztec mine, thin white rosettes of barite with individual crystals up to 2.5 cm were found(McKnight, 1974)1 Numerous stopes within the Rico Argentine mine produced druses and clusters of white to golden colored barites.”2 The heyday of the district was at the end of the 19th century (silver) and the last mine closed in 1971 (lead zinc). There were hundreds of mines and prospects in the district. Good specimens from the district are not common and generally not well known. Though barites from the Aztec mine were credited as being the best barites from the district, there was not a picture of one in the article in the Mineralogical Record on Rico.
1 McKnight, E. T. (1974) Geology and ore deposits of the Rico district, Colorado, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 723, 100p. 2 Mineralogical Record, Reginald Barnes, Rico, Vol. 16, 1985, p 215-6.
Reginald Barnes, 1351 W. Laguna Azul Ave., Mesa, Arizona 85202 wrote the article, contact him and ask about how abundant the barite was at Rico. Ask about the casts etc.

Colorado, Eagle County, Gilman, Eagle Mine. The Eagle mine has produced many specimens of blocky, golden barite crystals. The crystals are small about the size of raisins (a cm), but shiny and fairly transparent. They are often found growing on crusts of tiny curved bladed tan dolomite crystals. Hundreds of specimens must have been produced. The specimen pictured here. The specimen pictured here would probably bring less than $500.
Talk to Dave Bunk or Barbara Munchen and ask about max crystal size, are they growing on barite and how much was produced.

Colorado, Upper Cretaceous Shales, El Paso, Las Animas and Otero Counties. Concretions containing calcite and barite are found in the Upper Cretaceous shales in El Paso, Otero, and Las Animas counties on Colorado’s eastern plains. The material somewhat resembles the better-known clear barite specimens from the Book Cliffs near Grand Junction…However the barite from Eastern Colorado can be much more transparent, unflawed, and attractively emplaced on coffee-brown calcite rhombs. An exceptional and absolutely flawless barite crystal measuring 6 cm was collected early in 1987 from this locale by the Kiles. The specimen won bot Best-in Show and Best Field-Collected Specimen at the Denver Gem and Mineral show in September. …Barite is rare, compared to calcite from this area, especially as well terminated crystals. Those that are found are generally stuffy, but some are elongated and clear with complex terminations. The color ranges from absolutely colorless to palest blue to faint lavender. The largest barite crystal I have seen from this locality measures approximately 9 cm in length and has a large “ball” of cream-colored intergrown calcite rhombs next to it. The specimen which was honored at the Denver Show is certainly the best ever found from this area and may be the finest barite from anywhere in Colorado.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p 215.
Contact Dan Kile or Barbara Muntyan and ask about a better locality and how many barites were collected. Bill Dameron says that they get as large as 15 cm.

Colorado, Lake County, Leadville, Black Cloud Mine. “…some interesting dark yellow barite in tabular, modified, almost rounded crystals to more than 5 cm in size. …are very distinctive.”1 “…Dave Bunk’s new honey-orange barites from the 121 stope, 1250 level of the Black Cloud mine. These are tabular, complexly edge-modified crystals, often showing dark phantoms, on sulfide matrixes, sometimes with bluish quartz; they were mined earlier this year, and come in all sizes.”2 The crystals from the Black Cloud mine were a sort of smoky golden color tabular, sort of rounded and up to about two inches across. There were perhaps 20 to 50 flats of material all told. In reality this is a small amount of material and it can vanish into collections in a year or two and then only be seen after that as a recycled specimen or two.
Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p 113. 2 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 25, 1994, p 60.
Ask Dave Bunk about how many were mined, maximum crystal size price etc.

Colorado, Lake County, Leadville, Hilltop Mine, Sherman Adit. The Hilltop mine has also produced some respectable golden colored Barites. The specimen pictured from the Hilltop mine is an extraordinary small specimen, but there were very few of this quality ever found. Crystals were found that were up to about four inches in diameter. If the pictured specimen were to be sold on today’s market the price would probably be well in excess of $1000.

Colorado, Mesa County, Book Cliffs, Grand Junction. This is one of my favorite barite localities. The crystals are white and not very large, perhaps up to 15 cm but most are much smaller. A few miles from Grand Junction is a sedimentary formation that contains big septarian nodules. In some of these are found barite crystals that are so sharp and transparent that it at a quick glance they almost seem invisible. The really sharp transparent crystals get to about two inches maximum in size and after that they tend to get milky and not very desirable. Fine specimens are rarely offered for sale because they are difficult to dig and not every nodule contains good barite specimens. Also, many are lost when the nodules are broken open. The weather for collecting in this area is not always pleasant and some of the nodules can be six feet in diameter. Most of the good specimens have been produced in dribbles and drabbles over the years. One more or less large scale dig here was done by Brian Lees of the Collectors Edge company of Golden, Colorado and they got very little for their effort. However, the deposit of septarian nodules is fairly extensive and there should be a trickle of good specimens from here for many years. Because it is doubtful that a commercial collecting venture could support itself here the specimens will be dug by dedicated amateurs who are much more interested in the good specimens they collect than the money they could get by selling them. These men would rather sell you their first born boy child before parting with the treasurers they have painfully won. But like all collectors, we all die and our specimens will be passed on to other collectors and museums. Your best bet in getting a good barite from this locality will be to get it from an old collection or possibly in trade from a collector who digs at this locality. The cost of a good miniature or small cabinet specimen of this material would be several hundred dollars and could easily be over a thousand for a really exceptional specimen. “The locality is on a bluff or mesa of clay. Buried in this clay are calcareous sandstone concretions from 5 to 15 feet in diameter and up to 3 feet thick. Cracks occurring throughout the concretions are a help in opening them to expose the hollow center which may contain crystals. The crystals may be loose in some cavities. Many cavities are devoid of crystals of any material. The area is easily reached from Grand Junction of from the highway west of Clifton, and is on public land crossed with many jeep trails and roads.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 7, 1976, p 169.


Colorado, Mineral County, Creede, Bulldog Mine. The Bulldog mine has reportedly produced bladed white barite crystals up to about 15 cm that look remarkably like the white Barites that are produced by the base metal mine at Huanzala, Peru. A fine specimen from Richard Kosnar’s collection with a 15 cm barite is pictured in his article in the Mineralogical Record.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 7, 1976, p 294.

Colorado, Mineral County, Wagon Wheel Gap Fluorspar Mine. “Barite is found throughout the deposit as massive bands up to 30 cm thick alternating with massive fluorite. In open spaces and water courses the barite occurs as large, well developed, blocky crystals. Barite from stope A…in the New tunnel occurs as whit translucent crystals, up to 2 cm in size on the longest edge…These crystals are perched on etched purple fluorite crystals and have a week pale yellow fluorescence under shortwave ultraviolet light. Barite at this location appears to have formed in an open watercourse, protruding into a 1.5 to 2.5-meter-wide, clay filled seam near the central part of the main vein. In the top of the vein system, the barite crystals are much larger. Barite from Stope C...accessible from the Wilson Level, is pale gray, up to 2.5 cm in size on the longest edge…The crystals are intergrown, forming a tightly packed sheet covering a 5-mm-thick layer of purple fluorite, and are coated with a layer of white clay.”1 The specimens of barite from stope A are interesting because of their color contrast with the light violet fluorite, but collectors will not pay a lot of money for these specimens.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 24, 1993, p 25.
Stanley L. Korzeb, 12812 West Dakota Ave. Lakewood, Colorado 80228 wrote the article that described this fine. See if you can locate him and find out how much was produced.

Colorado, Montrose County. Yellow barite crystals to 3 cm in Sectarian nodules of Mancos Shale rarely have barite crystals in them
Specimen in the collection of Bill & Diana Dameron.

Colorado, Ouray County, Ouray. Pedestrian whit blades to 2 cm with tiny sparkling quartz crystals, rare.
Specimen in the collection of Bill & Diana Dameron.

Colorado, Ouray County, Black Girl Mine. Opaque thin, stepped, white blades to 3.5 cm on drusy quartz.
Specimen in the collection of Bill & Diana Dameron

Colorado, Ouray County, Guston Mine. Milky white crystal fragment (tabular), 4.5 cm. Large for locality, Collected on the dump. Rare.
Specimen in the collection of Bill & Barbara Dameron

Colorado, Ouray County, Mineral Farm Mine. “…nice tabular spears of bone-white barite, as singles to 5 cm and in smaller bladed intergrowths. … The mineral farm mine, just southwest of Ouray off the Camp Bird Road, is the mine which began the boom in Ouray County. (the Mineral Farm mine)…The mine was discovered in 1875…Total production was valued at over $1,000,000. In later years this mine became a tourist attraction. Since by that time most of the likely-looking ore-bearing rocks were rather scarce, the ambitious promoters constructed make-believe paper-maché(!) boulders with suitable metallic sparkles. The remnants of these pseudo-rocks can still be seen rotting along the main pit of the mine, their wooden frames fully exposed to view…”1 This locality is kind of marginal for barite and I probably would not have mentioned it, but the story about the fake rocks was jut too good not to include.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p 99.

Colorado, Ouray County, National Belle Mine. “Barite was common in the oxidized ores, It is rare in the sulfide zone. It can be collected on the dumps as whit, opaque to transparent, tabular microcrystals in vugs with quartz, enargite and pyrite crystals.”1 “Aesthetically challenged white crystals to 4 cm, scarce.”2 The mine had good enargite specimens, but few of them have survived from the mines glory days in the last two decades of the 19th century. The only reason that I mention it here at all is that the descriptions of the caves that were encountered in the mine, though exaggerated, are just too good to pass up. “…They crept through the narrow opening (in the wall of the mine tunnel) into an immense natural tunnel running above and across the route of their working drift for a hundred feet of more, in which they clambered over great boulders of pure galena, and mounds of soft gray carbonates, while the walls and roof showed themselves a solid mass of chloride and carbonate ores of silver. Returning to the starting point they passed through another narrow tunnel of solid and glittering galena for a distance of forty feet, and found indications of other large passages and chambers beyond. …”3 Other descriptions, some wilder and others more factual make for interesting reading. Some of them will be quoted under enargite, if I ever get that far.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 17, 1986, p 233. 2 Specimen in the collection of Bill Dameron, personal communication 2003. 3 Ingersoll, E. (1883) The crest of the continent. Donnelley & Sons, Chicago, 322 p.

Colorado, Ouray County, Senorita Mine. “Barite is the outstanding collector species from the Senorita mine. It forms milk-white individual spears to 5 cm on edge, and probably represents the best examples of this species from Ouray County. These spears typically stand upright on the matrix, making some very showy specimens. Barite from this mine often has smaller barite crystals growing in sub-parallel arrangement along the surface of the blades, imparting a rough-textured appearance to the crystals. The Senorita barite can thus easily be distinguished from the small barite roses found at the Camp Bird, Idarado and Osceola mines. It is also different from the smooth, white, thick spears found at the Mineral Farm and the National Bell mines.1
1 Mineralogical Record, Barbara and John Muntyan, Recent Mineral Discoveries Ouray County, Colorado, Vol. 19, 1988, p 96.
Find out from Barbara how much of the stuff there was.

Colorado, Ouray County, Uncomphaghre Mining District, O.S. Prospect. “Also new from Ouray County are some hollow, drusy, milky quartz pseudomorphs after barite crystals to 7 x 10 cm from the O.S. Prospect…”1
Mineralogical Record, Vol. 24, 1993, p 382.
There should be more to be found out about these.

Colorado, Park County, Hartsel. “…has also produced very fine sky-blue barite groups rivaling the old classic Frizington (England)specimens. John and Barbara Muntyan of Bolder, Colorado, have recently recovered attractive specimens from this locality and prospects for more of this material seem very good. sky blue”1 Perhaps they compare favorably with some of the lower quality ones from England. “Many masses of the barite have a branching structure, but the ends of the masses, some of which are more than a foot long, show characteristics tabular crystals. Other groups of crystals do not show the branching development. …Crystals attain a maximum size of more than 1.5 inches in the direction of the c and 5 inches along the b axis.”2 Occasionally specimens occur having brownish inclusions on the {102} face only. This gives a pleasing pattern and contrast to these specimens. One striking feature of the barite is its tendency to change color upon exposure to sunlight. Before being exposed the color ranges from colorless to a greenish-yellow. The result of a few hours exposure to bright sunlight alters the color to a pronounced blue. The color is irregular in most crystals with the base tending to show a less pronounced color. The color change, although long lasting, is not permanent. This is evidenced by older specimens which show a very gradual loss of color. The specimens which have lost some of their color after a few years may be re-exposed and will become darker once again. It is interesting to compare this color behavior with…the barite found near Stoneham, Colorado, which occurs as blue crystals that lose their color completely in a few hours exposure to sunlight.”3
The Hartsel barite deposit is located approximately 3 kilometers southwest of the town of Hartsel, Colorado (SE ¼, Sec. 18, Tl2S, R75W). It is located just off U.S. Highway 24 in Park County in southwestern Colorado…The barite occurs in two ways, (1) as vertical veins from 1 to 2 feet thick, cutting across the beds, and (2) as irregular layers 6 inches to 3 feet thick, roughly parallel to the bedding.”2 We have observed that most of the veins and layers appear to be collapsed, with some resulting damage to a large amount of the barite. Collecting specimens entails considerable effort to expose the barite seams since the overlaying material is quite tough in most places. Once the barite seams are exposed, the crystals are removed with the use of picks and small tools. Because of settling and original intergrowth, one must remove a considerable amount of damaged crystals before recovering undamaged specimens. Through most of the crystals appear to be on top of each other in a horizontal fashion, occasionally a mud-filled pocket can be located yielding a few large, handsome single crystals and rarely fine matrix specimens. During recent collecting, we uncovered a pocket containing the fine single specimen and group shown in Figures 3 and four. The specimens can be easily cleaned in either oxalic or hydrochloric acid to remove the iron stain and carbonate coating. Some scrubbing is necessary beforehand to remove loose dirt and clay. Though both acids work effectively, personal experience suggests that oxalic acid be avoided since it has a tendency to diminish the luster of the specimens. Barite is temperature sensitive and it will fracture if subject to rapidly changing temperature. It is suggested that cleaning be done at room temperature to minimize thermal shock.”3
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 10, 1979, p 332. 2 Howland, A .L. (1936) An occurrence of barite in the red beds of Colorado. American Mineralogist, 21, 584--88. 3 Mineralogical Record, An Occurrence of Barite at Hartsel, Colorado, Vol. 11, 1980, p 24.
Check with Barbara Muntian and see how much material was collected.

Colorado, Pitkin County, Midnight Mine. “Large white barite roses were common on the black sphalerite on galena ore from the Midnight mine.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 7, 1976, p 291.
See if you can find out anything about these, I have never seen one and it was reported by Richie Kosnar.

Colorado, San Juan Mountains, San Juan County?, Muddy Creek. The barite specimens produced here will leave the crying towel in pristine condition but good specimens of barite from this locality are pleasant. “The barite displays two distinct habits which can be correlated with its position along the trend. In the western part of the trend, barite is found in vugs or pods, 10 to 50 cm in diameter, in a silicified, brecciated fault zone. The barite lines the walls of the pods, and is attached to the breccia fragments within the openings. The crystals are relatively large (3 to 7 cm), translucent and of simple morphology. On the eastern end of the trend, the crystals are smaller (averaging about 1 cm), water clear, and of complex morphology. Some small, white plates of barite are associated with base-metal mineralization along Crater Creek. …One of the larger crystals from the west end of the barite trend measures 5 by 8 by 2 cm. The color of the crystals is gray, with suggestions of blue near the centers of the crystals. All the material collected had been naturally exposed to sunlight for an indeterminate period of time, and perhaps the original color of the barite was blue, throughout. The barite fluoresces pale yellow ( in short wave and long wave ultraviolet light) in zones roughly surrounding the three crystal axes or diameter in lines. One specimen shows a distinct whitening of the {210} faces, probably as a result of weathering. …The crystals from the eastern end of the barite trend are colorless, and completely transparent, except where cleaved or fractured internally. Their reaction to ultraviolet light is the same as the barite from the west end. …The remarkable clarity of the crystals facilitates the study of inclusions and phantoms. The phantoms suggest at least five growth pulses and a number of minor fluctuations in the solutions responsible for the deposition of the barite. Two of the pulses were major, resulting in the inclusion of debris…”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Henry Truebe, Vol. 12, 1981, p 80.
See if you can find out what county the barite trend is.

Colorado, Weld County, Stoneham, (Sterling). This locality produces very nice prismatic light blue barites. These crystals have been collected for over a hundred years. The locality produces mostly produced single crystals, many of which can be found loose in the soil. Many fine specimens were collected as part of a commercial dig in 1985 that used some heavy equipment to dig deep enough into the sedimentary formation to expose some meter plus size pockets. Crystals get up to a touch over 10 cm long, perhaps 4cm wide and perhaps a cm thick. The best specimens usually contain smaller crystals that occur as clusters of slightly intergrown crystals pale blue prismatic crystals some times associated with small pale yellow Calcites. Clusters of these crystals are very delicate and I suspect that few of them will survive intact for 100 years. However the deposit is not small and it is likely that further work will produce more fine specimens. Mining only for specimens is a very expensive, rarely profitable business and as soon as someone can convince themselves that mining more barite here would bring a profit, we will likely see more of these good Barites. At the 1985 dig probably 20 or thirty flats of good specimen and two or three flats of fine ones. At the Denver show in 1986 Bryan Lees (The Collectors Edge) sold most of them. I think the best ones went for something less than $1000, but today am sure that they would bring two or thee thousand dollars. The locality is northeast of Stoneham, in Weld County. Many lables give the locality as Sterling, Colorado which is a town in Logan County about 25 miles away.1 See Brian Lee’s article on the locality sited below. “The biggest news was the recent discovery of a large pocket of blue barite by Bryan Lees (Collector’s Edge) and Dennis Wilson at the famous Stoneham locality in Weld County…Te pocket was a wide and very flat cavity covered on the bottom face by thousands of superb crystals. Bryan had roughly 800 specimens for sale, including many fine thumbnails, miniatures and small-cabinet-size (7 to 10 cm) specimens. Two thousand more specimens from this find had been sold wholesale to another dealer, according to Bryan. The crystal quality and color are perhaps the best ever found for this locality.”2
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 17, 1986, p 255-58. 2 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 21, 1990, p 97.

Georgia, Bartow County, Cartersville. “Clear “oval” prisms to 2 cm mostly iron stained, some very clear. Scarce, More commonly, Pale blue crystals to 3 cm in 6 cm group. Also occurs much larger, deeper blue color, gray or white or somewhat clear.”
Specimens in the Bill & Diana Dameron’s collection.

Georgia has produced some blue Barites at least as good as those from Hartsel, Colorado. I don’t know how abundant the find was, perhaps you can tell me.
Is this the same locality as the other Georgia locality listed above?

Illinois, Hancock County. Barite crystals up to 5 cm can occasionally be found inside some of the Keokuk geodes that are found here.
See if you can find out what color they are and what habit.

Illinois, Hardin County, Cave in Rock. is better known for its fluorite specimens, but they have produced some decent barite specimens. The one pictured here with the red plastic one inch marker is not exceptional. Its value certainly less than $300

Illinois, Hardin County, Cave in Rock, Annabel Lee Mine. “Barite was originally found in brownish crystals to 2 cm or so, but following the snow some nice large (to 10 cm), yellow-orange zoned crystals on purple fluorite were found; other shades of barite, from tan to brown, gray, yellow, white and pale blue were as well. Mining was initiated at the site by the Ozark-Mahoning Mining Company in 1984; the first ore and good mineral specimens surfaced in 1985. Fluorites from the Annabel Lee are reminiscent of those from the famous Cave-in-Rock District only 3 km to the south, and in fact are being removed from the same horizon. Crystals are cubic, commonly 2.5 to 10 cm on edge, and range in color from purple and blue to yellow (in some cases zoned). Associated minerals include galena, barite, celestite, sphalerite, calcite and marcasite.1 ”
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 17, 1986, p 147.

Illinois, Hardin County, Denton Mine. “A recent find at the Denton Mine…has yielded several flats of very esthetic barite crystals on purple fluorite. Most of the barite is a yellow-creme color, though some crystals are pale blue to gray, All are well formed, diamond shaped, and up to 2 inches each. The combination of well-formed shaped, and up to 2 inches each. The combination of well-formed barite on light colored fluorites makes for a fine display piece, and some barite groups which Ron Sohn displayed in his booth at the main show are particularly attractive. The Illinois fluorite district is one America’s most famous and long-lived localities, and it is good to see it still producing some surprises.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 1, 1983, p 55.

Illinois, Hardin County, Minerva #1 Mine. At least two types of barite are found at the Minerva #1 mine. “Pure white “busy” stalactites of small crystals and light blue crystals spray balls to 2.5 cm on snowy calcite.”1
1 Bill Dameron, personal communication 2003 on specimens in his collection.

Illinois, Pope County, Gaskin Mine. “In August of 1974 a work crew was blasting an area for an underground tool shop at the 350 foot level adjacent to the main fluorite ore body at the Gaskin mine…The following morning another crew, clearing the debris from the previous night’s explosions, discovered a small cavity about 10 feet in length and two feet in height. The greater portion of this pocket was lined with fluorite cubes three to five inches on edge. Toward the center of the pocket occasional bright straw-yellow tabular barite crystals about one to one and one-half inches in size begin to appear on the fluorite. These barite crystals increased n number and size until at the extreme end of the pocket the fluorite was almost completely covered with large barite crystals. At this end of the cavity some of the tabular crystals measured three and one-half inches across, four inches in length, and as much as one inch in thickness. The most outstanding specimen from this pocket was a crown of straw-yellow barite crystals on a base of blue-purple fluorite cubes. The specimen is in excess of seven inches in length, six inches in width, and five inches in height. The individual barite crystals on this pieced measure two to two and one-half inches across, three to three and one-half inches in length and up to five-eighths of an inch in thickness. The orthorhombic crystals occur tabular on {001}, and have a bright mirror finish. This specimen had been attached to the roof of the cavity and had been dislodged by the discharge of the explosives in the blasting operation. Fortunately it dropped undamaged to the floor of the cavity…This golden crown of barite on fluorite eventually was purchased by J.L. Wroan…It will be housed at the University Museum’s Funk Gem and Mineral Museum, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois which is presently in the process of reorganizing and redesigning its mineral displays. …certain of the recent find of straw-yellow crystals from the Gaskin mine also posses this property (photosensitivity) and will change in color to a less aesthetic greyish-green. Exposed to direct sunlight this change will occur in a matter of a few hours.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 6, 1975, p 235-6.

Idaho, Custer County, Borah Peak. “John Seibel…had an interesting lot of barite crystals from Borah Peak…for sale at the Denver show. These consist of rather thick tabular, pale yellow crystals in groups up to about 30 cm across.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 21, 1990, p 483.
Call John and ask him about the barites.

Iowa, Scott County, Buffalo, Linwood Mine. Several types of barite crystals are found at this locality. Most of the crystals are small in the range of 1 cm. “Light gray/clear glassy doubly terminated “coffin” crystal of 5 cm.1 Some modes specimens of cm size bladed tan barite have been produced as well as some interesting dendritic barite specimens. Associated minerals are calcite, marcasite. The Linwood mine is mostly an open pit and underground limestone mine that began operations in 1918 and production in 1992 is about 1.4 million tons a year with reserves good for at least another 100 years. No one is going to beat your door down for specimens from this mine.2
1 Bill Dameron, Personal communication 2003 describing a specimen in his collection. 2 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 23, 1992, p 2318.

Kansas, Logan County. Olive brown Chisel xls to 1.5 cm w small calcite rhombs on 10 cm matrix. Scarce. Description of a specimen in Bill Dameron’s collection.
See if you can find out something about the locality.



Click here to view Best Minerals Barite-Michigan to Wyoming and here to view Best Minerals B and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.



Edited 13 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2014 03:08AM by Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Barite, United States
May 08, 2009 11:31AM
be    
Hi Rock,

Nice article.

Just a little error, Baryte is BaSO4 and is Orthorhombic.

Take care and best regards.

Paul.
avatar Re: Barite, United States
May 08, 2009 11:33AM
Just shows you what trying to short cut the work with the old cut and paste will do to you if your are not careful. Thanks for catching the error so quickly. I just entered ti about three minutes ago and your alertness will save me a lot of work. Thanks

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Barite, United States
May 08, 2009 11:36AM
be    
You'r welcome, Rock.

Paul.
avatar Re: Barite, United States
May 08, 2009 12:35PM
us    
We don't have any decent photos here, but Bingham NM produced up to 6" sheaves of barite crystals.
avatar Re: Barite, United States
May 08, 2009 12:40PM
Well, I hope that we can find someone to upload a picture of one. There are lots of similar situations out there and usually when someone actually starts to write one of these articles, we get people coming forward with advice and contributions. See! it is working all ready.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Barite, United States
May 08, 2009 12:47PM
us    
Bryan isn't going to like that you forgot the Sterling mine. I believe that was his first commercial specimen mining operation.
[www.mindat.org]

I see you just left off the locality name.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2009 12:52PM by David Von Bargen.
barbara muntyan
Re: Barite, United States - Arizona to Kansas
August 03, 2009 04:20AM
Are you originally Barbara Lieblein from New York? We have been sending you alumni info from Hunter High Sxhool for years and never had any contact from you. Please verify that you are the same. Thanks.
Jeanette Isenberg Bersh
avatar Re: Barite, United States - Arizona to Kansas
August 03, 2009 06:59AM
Dave, If I am the one to write the Barite, USA article you can be certain that I would not leave out the Sterling locality, I even bought one of them from Brian. When I and my buddy Bob Bartsch were doing a summers dig with a front end loader in the Crystal Creek area of Teller County near Crystal Peak back in....well too many years ago, there was a young guy that was going to school and working for a precious metal refiner who used to hang around a little and help dig pockets. The next year he rented the same piece of equipment and did an amazonite dig on his own and then went on to dig Sterling and the Sweethome and many others. He sure put me in the shade when it came to digging rocks and dealing high end minerals. I am sort of proud of him.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Barite, United States - Arizona to Kansas
March 29, 2010 10:43PM
us    
You have a good Weldon (AZ) piece; this one is a little more typical "football" and compliments it, I think, with calcite (as well as quartz). Barite AZ Weldon I will double check but am pretty sure it is Weldon, not Welden.
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