Barite

Chemical Formula: BaSO4

Color: Any color

Hardness: 3-3.5

Importance: The main use of barite is as a source of barium. Barium from barite has a wide variety of uses including as a contrast in digestive system X-rays, oil and gas drilling, paper and rubber manufacturing, and in fireworks to give off a green color.

Other Interesting Information: Some specimens of barite also have fluorescent properties, which means that they glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. Also, special forms of barite can form in a rose shape.

My Take: Unlike other minerals, barite can form in nearly any shape. This causes very beautiful and rare specimens to form, making barite a unique mineral.

For More Informationhttp://www.minerals.net/mineral/barite.aspx

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