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The chemical formula of mineral Witherite is indicated by BaCO3 or Barium Carbonate. Witherite is actually a Carbonate mineral. It is considered as a minor ore of barium and it is also most commonly used as mineral specimen. Witherite is usually found showing nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Witherite is actually an uncommon carbonate mineral despite the fact that it is the second most common barium mineral next to the barium sulfate mineral called barite. Witherite is also a known member of the Aragonite group of minerals. All members of the Aragonite group of minerals can form twins but mineral Witherite is the only one member that always forms twins. In the field of optical mineralogy, twinning is the result of an error during the growth of the crystal. Witherite twins are typically capped with a six sided pyramid and often are dipyramidal which can be found more clearly exhibited when evaluated with the aid of polarized microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Witherite is also considered as an interesting and valuable collection specimen that anyone, especially a collector of twinned minerals, would love to own.

             Witherite is most commonly found white, colorless, gray, brown, yellowish or greenish which can be found more splendidly exhibited under polarized microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Witherite is also most commonly found exhibiting vitreous to dull luster when viewed in reflected light of petrographic polarizing microscopes. Most crystals of mineral Witherite are found transparent to usually translucent in appearance. Mineral Witherite is known to crystallize in the orthorhombic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this orthorhombic crystal system comprises crystals having three mutually perpendicular axes, of which all are of different lengths. The crystal habit of mineral Witherite usually includes a pseudo-hexagonal trilling twin which forms a six-sided prism. This is usually found with a slanted tapering pyramid. They are also often found dypiramidal in form without any prism faces. The faces are usually striated perpendicularly. Witherite is also found botryoidal, massive and fibrous in form. The hardness measure of the mineral when specimen is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually found ranging from 3 to 3.5. Witherite is also most commonly found showing distinct cleavage in one direction, but this is not usually seen because of the twinning. The specific gravity measure of the mineral Witherite is usually found 4.3+ grams per cubic centimeters, which is considered heavy for translucent minerals. Mineral Witherite is also most commonly found exhibiting uneven fracture when it is closely evaluated under petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Witherite is also usually found leaving a white streak when specimen sample is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. Witherite is most commonly found associated with other interesting minerals including fluorite, galena, celestite, calcite, barite and aragonite. Mineral Witherite is also usually found effervescing in dilute HCl solutions. It is also fluoresces a light blue color under both long and short wave ultra violet light. It is also a phosphorescent mineral under short wave ultra violet light. The best field indicators of mineral Witherite usually include its twinned habits, fluorescence, reaction to acid, phosphorescent under short-wave ultra violet light and density. Witherite notably occurs at several localities including Illinois, USA as well as England, Germany and Ontario in Canada.



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Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
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The Carbonates and Borates Mineral Class
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