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.