Barite desert roses are formed in sand by crystallisation of Barium sulfate within the interstitial spaces between the grains of sand. The unique shape is a result of this crystallisation process. Examination under magnification will show the specimen to be a massive sample of tiny barite crystals and sand particles.
Barite is a heavy mineral making it easily distinguishable from calcite, quartz, talc and gypsum. This makes an interesting identification activity in the classroom.
This specimen comes from western Queensland. One only availble.
Hardness: 3.0 – 3.5
Specific gravity: 4.5
Luster: Vitreous, pearly