Sample of crested barite from Missouri—Joseph and Helen Guetterman collection; photograph, John H. Gerard

Most common barium mineral, barium sulfate (BaSO). It commonly forms as platy crystals (known as crested barite). Barite is abundant in parts of Spain, Germany, and the U.S. Commercially, ground barite is used in oil well and gas well drilling muds; in the preparation of barium compounds; as a filler for paper, cloth, and phonograph records; as a white pigment; and as an inert material in coloured paints.

Variants of BARITE

barite or barytes or heavy spar

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on barite, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up barite? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.