2.6" Sphalerite Crystals On White Barite - Missouri

This beautiful specimen contains an association of deep red sphalerite crystals and white botryoidal barite clusters. It comes from the Washington County Aggregates Quarry in the Potosi Barite District of Missouri.

Barite sometimes spelled Baryte (Barium sulfate) is well-known for its great range of colors and varied crystal habits. It is easily identifiable by its heavy weight, since most similar minerals are much lighter. It occurs in a large number of depositional environments, and is deposited through a large number of processes including biogenic, hydrothermal, and evaporation, among others

Sphalerite is a part of the sulfides group and typically exhibits a grey/black appearance due to high concentrations of impurities. When sphalerite is in it's purest state, the chemical composition is ZnS, and can display a gemmy transparent light tan/yellow color. This is one of the few minerals that can form crystals ranging anywhere between gemmy and transparent to opaque and metallic-like. Opaque or cloudy sphalerite tends to be most abundant, due to the ease of iron replacing zinc in the process of formation.

Sphalerite and Barite
Washington County Aggregates Quarry, Potosi Barite District, Washington County, Missouri
2.6 x 1.9"