Baryte is the most common mineral source of barium. The name baryte comes from the Greek word barys, which means heavy, as baryte is unusually heavy for a non-metallic mineral. Baryte is also known as heavy spar. It contains 59% barium and 41% sulphate and has many different and important industrial uses. It is powdered to produce heavy drilling muds, which are used in oil wells to help prevent blowouts. It is also used in hospitals in concrete and brick form, to shield radioactive sources, and to give "barium meals" to patients before x-rays. Baryte is also used to refine sugar, as a base for white paint, and as a pigment and filler for paper. In the 1600's, phosphorescent specimens of baryte were found in Bologna, Italy, and were given the name Bologna Stone. Baryte can range in color from colorless to white, yellow tinged, brown, blue, red, or green. It rates only a 2.5 to 3.5 on the hardness scale, making it not very durable, so stones are usually faceted for collectors only.
Baryte is vitreous, brittle, and transparent to translucent, but opaque varieties of the stone do exist as well. baryte crystals are usually quite large, tabular and sometimes prismatic, giving a diamond shaped outline. Baryte occurs as a vein filling and as a gangue mineral, often in lead and silver mines. It also accompanies ores of copper, zinc, iron, and nickel, together with calcite, quartz, fluorite, dolomite and siderite. Baryte also occurs as a replacement deposit of limestone, and as the cement in certain sandstones, sometimes with characteristic rosette-like forms, which are called "desert roses."
Baryte can also be found in many hot springs, which deposit the mineral. Baryte is similar to, and is often confused with celestine. The finest, largest baryte crystals, sometimes up to three feet long, have been discovered in Cumbria, Cornwall and Derbyshire, England. In the United States, reddish brown desert rose forms of the mineral exist in Oklahoma and Kansas. Blue baryte crystals are found in Colorado and various other forms are found in various locations around Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Michigan. Other major sources of the mineral include Transylvania, Northwest Romania, Freiberg, Eastern Germany, Pribran, in the Czech Republic, and various locations in Sweden and Finland.
Baryte is a stone that represents strength from the heart. The stone strengthens communication with the heart, and through the heart, we are able to hear our inner voice more strongly. This allows for a better understanding of what our inner selves would like to tell us. This understanding in turn, gives us a great power. Overall, baryte clears obstacles in order for us to achieve our life path. It helps those who are scattered or who have low vitality, chronic fatigue or exhaustion, aiding in achieving a gentle, balanced energy flow.