MDW10 Barite
Linwood Mine, Buffalo, Scott Co., Iowa, United States
7.5x 4.8x 2.8 cm

A large, terminated yellow crystal of barite, with unusual geminess.


Although not particularly well known outside the US, the Linwood Mine has produced some of the country"s finest (and certainly largest) barite crystals, though it had not received the same attention as Elk Creek (South Dakota), the various Colorado localities, or the Meikle Mine (Nevada).


This piece comes from a find made within the last year and a half.  Barite specimens from this mine in nearly all cases are displayable from only one side-- the back is usually heavily covered with sediment, or the point of attachment.      


Opened in 1944, the Linwood Mine is an active producer of calcium carbonate products, which are used in glass and plastic manufacture, cements and other building materials, feed, water purification, and various other chemical applications.  Given the high purity of product necessary for such uses, the presence of these barium sulfate crystals is actually considered a bad thing--when crushed into the mix, they become contaminants.


The site was originally operated as a quarry, though is now an underground mine.

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