Barite is a common mineral and makes very attractive specimens. It often is an accessory mineral to other minerals and can make a nice backdrop to brightly colored crystals. At times bladed or tabular crystals of Barite form a concentric pattern of increasingly larger crystals outward. This has the appearance of a flower and when colored red by iron stains, these formations are called "Desert Roses".
Because Barite is so common, it can be confused for other minerals. Celestite (SrSO4) has the same structure as barite and forms very similar crystals. The two are indistinguishable by ordinary methods, but a flame test can distinguish them. By scraping the dust of the crystals into a gas flame the color of the flame will confirm the identity of the crystal. If the flame is a pale green it is barite, but if the flame is red it is celestite. The flame test works because the elements barium (Ba) and strontium (Sr) react in the flame and produce those colors.
Seller: TABOIL Corporation