A beautiful barite from Cerro Huarihuyn, this specimen features a group of clear, glassy, honey-yellow crystals rising up off the matrix at an aesthetic angle. The barites are highly lustrous, and also so clear that you can see other crystals in the group straight through them. Virtually pristine – a couple of rubs visible with magnification, but not distracting. The group measures 3.6 x 3.1 cm.
As we see with some Cerro Huarihuyn barites, this one has some minor phantom zoning in it – what’s cool about these zones (out near the outer edges of the large crystal) is that they are demarcated by sulfide mineral inclusions, visible under magnification. In fact, the shadowy outer rim is comprised of thousands of micro crystals all lined up along that line – these might be marcasite or could also be stretched out pyrite (akin to the inclusions in the calcite crystals from the Faraday Mine near Bancroft, Ontario). In any event, the micro inclusions are just cool little additional feature. There are also some small pyrite crystals also on the matrix.
The specimen is really about the super, high quality golden barite crystal group, its artistic perch, and overall impression – it is a great piece.
About These Barites
The barites from Cerro Huarihuyn are among my favourite barites from anywhere – they are glassy and sharp with excellent crystal development, translucent to transparent and some excellent colour (particularly the honey-coloured ones). Unlike most of the classic Peruvian localities, this one is not one of the polymetallic mines in the Andes. Rather, this is an occurrence which was discovered by, is worked by local villagers. The specific location is remote and many specimens have been damaged during transport over rough terrain. Most available are damaged to some degree, but I have scoured to find top quality ones and when they are in excellent condition, they are wonderful barites.