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An aid to labeling display quality barite specimens

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Click picture to enlarge. Unless noted all specimens are from Bill & Diana Dameron’s barite suite


Cornwall, Menheniot, Wheal Mary Ann  
  Pale tan/clear, yellow tips, beveled tabular crystals to 5+ cm (Minerals of Cornwall & Devon, BM specimen). Classic, uncommon, old. Great piece from Cornwall.
Cornwall, Gwennap, Ale & Cakes (often Cakes & Ale, briefly used) mine  
  Thin,long grey-brown tabular crystals, some phantoms, to 3 cm. Cornwall/Devon book, Royal Cornwall (Truro) Museum. Greg/Lettsom lists the mine as Cakes & Ale, as does the label from Frank Rutley (d. 1904), with his own diagram of the crystallography on reverse of label, with this piece in the Hunterian M&AG. These crystals to 4 cm.
Cornwall, Gwennap, Mt. Wellington mine (near Cakes & Ale)
  Thin gray elongated tabular blades to 1.4 cm in small groups, doubly terminated, on massive chalcopyrite.
Cornwall, near Liskeard, Herodsfoot mine  
  Reportedly well crystallized. Size? Greg/Lettsom.
Cumbria, Caldbeck Fells, Dry Gill
  White opaque tabular crystal 5+ cm with classic mimetite (campylite) balls.
Cumbria, Dalmellington &/or Parkside  
  The Dalmellington Iron Company operated the Holebeck mine from 1869 to 1900. Holebeck adjoins Parkside. Dalmellington is usually on labels today as the source of classic, sometimes large, gold or pale yellow elongated prisms. However, knowledgable British collectors say that Parkside is more likely. All part of the same complex, and The Parkside company took over one of the nearby Dalmellington pits. Flat tabular crystals also occur. The first three above are all on display at the BMNH, the white one labeled Parkside, and are cabinet specimens. The second is probably about 19 cm long. The elongated crystal on matrix, from the Eric Asselborn collection in Jeff Scovil's photo, is 6.4 cm long. The specimen with no matrix, two very clear intergrown crystals, is 8 cm high. Two bright salmon-colored balls, 2.2 m, one complete, on black matrix with small (0.3 cm) dogtooth calcite crystals and clearly visible micro pyrite crystals. 9x7x4.5 cm.
Cumbria, Egremont, Bigrigg mine
Although known for calcite, this mine (near Pala Flat) also had barite; this specimen labeled Bigrigg (appears to be small cabinet) is in the BMNH.
Cumbria, Egremont, Pallaflat (aka Palla Flats) mine  
  This is the only mine in what is considered the Bigrigg area which is known to have produced high quality barite specimen. Some say they are the only decent barite specimens from the West Cumberland Iron Ore Fields to be associated with visible calcite crystals, but there are many other barites with calcite labeled Frizington, so this claim seems unlikely. The barite is usually blue or blue to yellow, with a flat tabular habit, and some of these were recovered in modern times. First specimen has larger crystals, nearly clear, somewhat green, about 8 cm oveall; second 8.5 cm plate of blue barite crystals to 2.3 cm, smaller calcites. Very pale green/blue thin tabular crystals to 3+ cm each in tight group, clear 1.5 cm calcite twin in center and calcite scalenohedrons on side. 5.5x5.5x4 cm overall.
Cumbria, Egremont OR Cumbria, Frizington (labels confuse or use Egremont district & Frizington village; there were many individual mines). Labels also from Cleator Moor & Mowbray mine (Frizington village). Cumbria was formerly Cumberland with different borders.
  Egremont (and often Frizington) are often used as a catchall Cumbria locality. Many specimens are labeled Egremont or Frizington without specific mine information, and with few exceptions it is difficult to pin down a specific mine, most of which are quite close to each other. From left to right:
  • Lustrous blue tabular crystal, 8.5 cm (they come larger), seems to be a floater;
  • Hematite stained clear/very light blue crystals to 6 cm in group;
  • Ian Bruce's very large clear crystals;
  • BMNH specimen, orange with white rims, 11 cm;
  • Flat tabular light yellow clear group, 5 cm with dolomite, uncommon form;
  • Blue "cockscomb" like crystals, red towards tips, Jesse Fisher specimen;
  • Blue prismatic 5 cm crystal;
  • A relatively fat, very complex dark reddish-brown prismatic crystal, 5 cm;
  • Typical dark yellow/clear zoned 3.5 cm blade, on dolomite, 5 cm specimen, very likely Mowbray;
  • Thick 4 cm crystal, light blue & yellow, then red, especially on termination, nice luster and gemmy, with small crystals on dolomite, 7 cm overall;
  • Labeled Cleator Moor this Edinburgh NMS specimen has crystals to 140 cm;
  • Jesse Fisher's "Frizington" specimen is with hexagonal calcite (unusual), 5x4 cm overall;
  • Neat group of doubly terminated crystals with many "tips" or pyramid faces at the tips of each large crystal; likely Dalmellington. The specimen is 8.5 x 9 cm;
  • This unusual doubly terminated specimen with clear/bluish crystals to 3.5 cm on small globules of black to brown kidney ore labeled "Freyington." Almost certainly misspelled and should be Frizington;"
  • Nice 7 cm crystal perched on dolomite, Jesse Fisher specimen & photo.
  • Large pale green 12x5 cm crystal, zoned in center (more blue), tabular with sawtooth ends, no damage on front, or back, except very slight rough spot on bottom right corner. Smaller crystal on front pointed forward; good group on back, even smaller chisel shaped crystal, all on dolomite. Nice dolomite crystals on bottom; some minor iridescent sulfide blebs. 7x12x7.5 cm overall.
  • Excellent miniature (unusual) in mint condition; typical red (included) glossy tabular crystal with clear rim 3.75x3 cm with smaller crystals in front and on back, which also has dolomite. Displays very well. Buck Keller collection, bought 1993 from Scott Williams for $35.
  • Pale greenish-blue, transparent thick prismatic crystal with opaque red top, back and some sides, typical of area. In group with other smaller, similar crystals, some attached to main crystal, others separate. High luster; on pale tan tiny sparkling dolomite crystals. Main crystal 6 cm. 8x5x5 cm.
Cumbria, Florence mine (outskirts of Egremont); also Ullcoats mine, Beckermet and Winscales; Haile Moor is nearby.
  Hematite stained/included white chisel crystals to 5 cm in group (this one a Kristalle specimen). Also reported in blue crystals. Ullcoats was the first mine; the Florence mine came later and was eventually connected to Ullcoats. Beckermet and its Winscales shaft were extensive and they also were eventually connected to the Florence (Symes & Young). Most famous for hematite and fluorite; barite is scarce from Florence.
Cumbria, near Egremont, Winscales (see above)
Above specimen in BMNH labeled Winscales.
Cumbria, Coledale area (near Braithwaite), Force Crag mine  
  Milky, thin, glossy square tabular crystals to 3.5 cm, virtually damage free (occurs to 30 cm). Can occur with sphalerite, and can be yellow tipped (Greg/Lettsom; Symes/AYoung). L. Greenbank collected this piece in the 1980s.
Cumbria, Dufton Fels Mine (formerly in & frequently labeled County Westmorland)
  Large (10 cm) very clear tabular crystal. Also occurs prismatic and much larger, although some same the very large crystals are from nearby Silverband. Also yellowish, curved according to Gregg & /Lettsom.
Cumbria, near Dufton, (also near Appleby), Threlkeld Side mine (level)  
  Part of the Dufton complex. Milky, blocky modified tabular crystals to 2.7 cm on edge; larger crystals common, to 10 cm with darker phantoms, also in floaters. UKJMM 24. See Threlkeld, below.
Cumbria, near Keswick, Threlkeld mine
This former lead-zinc mine near the Force Crag mine (not the granite quarry) evidently also had some cockscomb barite; some confusion with the "Threlkeld Side level" of the Dufton complex.
Cumbria, near Knock, (also near Appleby), Silverband mine (or Westmoreland Silverband)  
  Not to be confused with Yorkshire Silverband. Usually clear; this thick tabular crystal (3.7 cm) very unusual with galena crystal (ex R. Sutcliffe, R. Barstow, B. Lloyd). Also clear, zoned doubly terminated floater showing unusual zoning, Cal Graeber specimen, as seen in UKJMM #20 (ex Ralph Sutcliffe specimen), about 6.5x4 cm. The Edinburg NMS crystal is about 4.5 cm. The water clear blades are 0.8 cm thick, specimen 4x5 cm. Good description of the mine in Symes & Young.
Cumbria, Scordale, Hilton mine
  Clear, some attractively iron stained flat crystals to 5 cm in groups. More of iron staining could be removed if desired. Occurs larger & clearer. Some suspect the larger clear tabular crystals are from Murton mine, across the stream.. White chisel crystals, 1.5x2 cm, in vug with 1 cm twinned fluorite crystal, 6 cm specimen overall.
Cumbria, Scordale, Murton mine  
  Across the creek from the Hilton mine. Somewhat clear to milky chisels to 4.5 cm, 7x5.5 overall, collected in 1973 by John Clayton. The larger one, from Carbonate Shake area of mine, is 24x18x12 cm specimen and photo of Andrew Hipkin (courtesy of Lloyd Llewellyn). Truly suitable for a museum.
Cumbria, Nenthead-Alston Moor  
  Clear tabular or blocky. Exact shaft or mine usually not known. See UKJMM #20. Many old specimens labeled "Alston Moor" may be from the Nenthead complex of mines. Barite from Cumbria between the mines near Caldbeck Fells to Alston, north of Nenthead, were labled "Alston Moor," which is in fact a much smaller area. These two old NMS specimens are similar to others with the Alston Moor label; crystals about 1.5 cm. Greenside mine near Glenridding in the Lake District and Carrigil on the South Tyne reportedly produced crystalized barite, for example, as did Roughton Gill (G&L). * Edinburgh NMS images are copyrighted and reproduction and display are prohibited without written consent. http://www.nms.ac.uk/
Cumbria, near Nenthead, Nentsberry Haggs mine
  Famous for WITHERITE altering to (or altered to) white barite (crystal size here 2.4 cm). (Also occurs rarely at nearby Rampgill mine in Nenthead, Scaleburn Vein). Also produces clear barite crystals with or altering to ALSTONITE. These altered crystals are 0.8 cm.
Derbyshire, near Castleton, Dirtlow Rake
  Curved, nearly white (slight pink color) tips of crystal blades to 2.5 cm per group, on thick white blades, light blue towards bases, in tight group, 6x4 cm. Sliced nodule group; light tan-peach colored centers to 2 cm with dark rims in packed radiating minute tan crystals, 11 nodules in the specimen, which is 11x6 cm. Polished to low gloss.
Derbyshire, near Castleton, open cast site near Hazard mine
  Large flat tabular crystal, slightly fan shaped (wider at top), coated with attractive chalky off-white barite with slight iron staining and tiny barite crest growths on faces, about 5x3.5x1 cm with a smaller similar crystal growing out of each side. 6x5 cm overall. No chalky coating on very bottom; a few sparkles. Collected by David Barker, late 1970s. Neat.
Derbyshire, near Eyam, Ladywash mine
White balls (tiny chalk-like blades) to 1 cm, partially coated with light purple fluorite druse, all on nice dark grey with yellow tinge fluorite cubes with pyrite (nickel-rich "bravoite") inclusions, mostly near surface. From Trumpet Vein.
Derbyshire, Matlock area
Several mines have (had) barite. Pale yellow tabular crystals to 2.5 cm. *Edinburgh NMS images are copyrighted and reproduction and display are prohibited without written consent. http://www.nms.ac.uk/
Derbyshire, Middleton and Smerrill, Arbor Low
  “Oakstone” banded brown stalactite (7.5 cm) & slice (3 cm diameter), polished. UKJMM #12. Also
Devon, near Torquay, Babbacombe quarry  
  Pink cockscombs (Minerals of Cornwall & Devon)
Devon, Christow, Teign Valley, Bridford mine  
  White or cream blades to 1½" yellow tips possible .
Devon, Sidmouth
Colorless to light honey brown tabular crystals to 4-5 cm, sometimes with bluish tinge. Occasionally elongated. In calcite nodules in coastal cliffs. UKJMM 23. Group of clear, thin pyrimidal crystals with one fairly large crystal, 3 cm long, in calcite "vug." Perched nicely, no damage. Pale honey color (no blue tinge on this one). 7.5x6x5.5 cm. More specific locality is Peak Hill.
Dorset, Isle of Portland, Bowers (sometimes Boyers) quarry
  Dark brown tabular blades with sawtooth edges, groups to 1 cm, with calcite druse on limestone. Barite fluoresces tan in medium and short wave. 3.5x5 cm overall, Don Newsome specimen.
Durham, Lunehead, Closehouse mine
  Thumbnails; some cabinet specimens. Clear, sometimes bluish tabular crystals to several cm. MinDat.org, www.rock-site.co.uk
Durham, Teesdale, Cow Green mine
  Fairly large (10 cm?)clear grey translucent tabular crystals, modified edges sometimes have white barite overgrowth. See Symes & Young.
Kent, Isle of Sheppey, Warden Point
Glossy nodules (roses), grey or tan, commonly to 5 cm on thin dark yellow calcite coating matrix are found on the beach. This Edinburgh NMS specimen is about 3 cm. The nearly complete 2.5 cm ball is unusual, on 8 cm matrix with more tpical broken/contacted ball. The glossy radiating crystals are 3 cm in diameter are on a 7 cm specimen.
Northumberland, Hexham, Settling Stones mine
  White/clearish chisels to 2.5 cm, somewhat zoned; 9 cm specimen. Tips very white. The barite and witherite mine bears the company name and was formerly in Teesdale.
North Yorkshire, Arkengarthdale, Damrigg "mine;" several levels of complex identified as mines
  Milky lustrous tabular spears to 1.5 cm in groups. Polished slice of stalactite, 4.5 cm, "Primrose Lead Level."
North Yorkshire, Greenhow, near Pateley Bridge, Coldstones quarry
  Bladed cockscomb balls to 2.5x3 cm (two large, one smaller), sharp well defined blades, good luster on edges. On matrix of small (0.6 cm) fluorite cubes, transparent, very light purple. 7x4.5 cm overall.
North Yorkshire, Swaledale, Barras End mine
  Banded dark brown material which looks remarkably like the famous "oakstone" from Derbyshire, makes nice polished sections. Cavities have very small prismatic brown crystals also. See UKJMM #27.
North Yorkshire, Swaledale, Old Gang mines (Old Gang Lead Mining Co.)
An old locality; this example of milky spears to 1.2 cm. are from the Old Rake vein on the Hard Level, dug recently (8/06). 6 cm group.
North Yorkshire, Wenysleydale area, Wetgrooves (Wetgroves) mine; some other mines also had barite  
  Small clear-milky thin pointed tabular crystals, to 0.5 cm, coating brown lustrous 1.4 cm fluorite cubes. 4.5x6 cm. Clear tabular crystals to 0.7 cm in group, 3x4 cm, collected by Lloyd Llewellyn, bottom of spiral shaft in 3/2007. Also thicker chisel shaped crystals to 3 cm, yellow, brown or milky white. Very translucent, pale (nearly colorless) creamy/milky to clear thin tabular pointed crystals to 5 cm, with many minor faces and growth ridges, in undamaged group, 8x5 cm overall. Ex Peter Ward. (UKJMM 19, Manchester Mus.; MinDat).
Old barite mining area. Micros certainly available, probably macro specimens but uncommon.
Somerset, Torr Works quarry (Merehead)
6 x 4 cm honey coloured barite with white lenticular calcite crystals, found by Maxine Bayliss in the 1970s. Tony Lee specimen & photo.
Somerset, Nutfield Quarry
  6 x 4 cm honey coloured baryte with white lenticular calcite crystals, found by Maxine Bayliss in the 1970s. Tony Lee specimen & photo.
Dumfries & Galloway (Dumfriesshire), Wanlockhead (most from New Glencrieff mine)
  From left:
  • Opaque white groups of blades in intergrown balls on black sphalerite (large intergrown crystals), 11 cm;
  • These clear crystals, yellow tips, are 9 cm high, from one pocket only; a few were even larger;
  • Blades to 6 cm with 3.5 cm calcites from the Hunterian M&AG, Glasgow;
  • Thick greenish stained crystals to 7 cm covered with small calcites (20 cm specimen, Hunterian M&AG);
  • White ball of witherite in barite with barite altering to witherite, 6 cm, Hunterian M&AG;
  • The sphere of cockscomb crystals from Edinburgh NMS is about 9 cm;
  • Grey to white cockscomb blades reach 8 cm (with minor pyrite), also Edinburgh NMS;
  • Yellowish chisels (Edinburgh NMS) to 3.5 cm. These resemble material from nearby Leadhills, but the Edinburgh label says Wanlockhead;
  • Lamellar crystals, 5 cm, are with small calcite crystals (Edinburgh NMS).
East Ayershire, Muirkirk, Gass Water
Clear thick doubly terminated crystal in Hunterian M&AG; almost too good for the area. 5 cm
Highland, Isle of Skye, near Staffin, Floddigarry
  Honey colored crystals to 4+ cm in septerian concretions. This one from the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery is much smaller, around 2 cm.
Highland (formerly Argyll), Strontian barite mines
White cockscomb crystals at Whitesmith mine, sometimes with small galena crystals. This Edinburgh NMS specimen with 1 cm crystals was found on dumps of Strontian Main Vein. Also see UKJMM 21 & www.curriehj.freeserve.co.uk, mindat.org
Perth and Kinross, Aberfeldy, Ben Eagach, Cluniemore mine
Centimeter-size transparent to brown tabular crystals. UKJMM 21
Renfrewshire, Muirshiel mine  
  White blades in balls (cockscomb), opaque. Good size. UKJMM several issues
Renfrewshire, near Kilbirnie, Greenhill Quarry  
  Blocky blue so-so crystals with hematite staining. UKJMM #21
South Lanarkshire, Leadhills, Wembley (also known as Borlase) Shaft
Light yellowish-cream colored to milky white thick glossy chisels, sometimes with calcite or galena and darker. Both examples in Edinburgh NMS; first example on display (photo through glass), crystals to 3+ cm; second with calcite & galena also has crystals to 3+ cm, probably from Wembley Shaft.
Stirling, near Bridge of Allan, Airthrey Hill mine
  Flat opaque tabular blades, white with some "flesh" color resembling Dreislar , Germany , to 2 cm in group, 3.5x5 cm. Some small malachite blebs. Found 2001.
Cardiff, Blaengwynlais Quarry
Milky to tan thin opague blades to 1 cm in tight groups, 3x3 cm specimen collected by Lloyd Llewellyn at Bench #3 in 5/2007.
Cardiff, Tafts Well Quarry
White blades with iron staining to 2.5 cm with tiny calcite crystals.
Cardiff, Ton Mawr quarry  
  Crystals reported at this calcite locality. UKJMM
Chaerphilly Machen, Machen quarry
  Cockscomb white, thin blades with scattered very small tan calcite rhombs. 2x5 cm overall.
Chaerphilly, Oakdale Colliery  
  Colliery tips contain clear TN (2.5 cm) crystals. UKJMM #18.
County Sligo, Benbulben barite quarry
  Square, thin white somewhat translucent tabular crystals to 2 cm with "pyramid" faces, in groups. Found 2003.
County Tipperary, Silvermines district, Mogul mine
Small (1.5 cm) cream-white blades on galena & sphalerite. Cal Graeber specimen.