Stellated Sulphate of Barytes Enlarge
June 1. 1806. Publiſhed by Ja.s Sowerby. London.
British Mineralogy
Barytes sulphata; var. stellata

Stellated Sulphate of Barytes

  • Div. 2. Imitative.
  • Syn.
    • White semi-pellucid Spar. Woodward, 88. spec. a. 16.
    • Starred waxen-vein. Grew’s Musæum, p. 312.
    • Lepastrum. Hill. p. 146. tab. 2. spec. 1. 2.

This substance was once taken for Gypsum, or Sulphate of Lime ; but is since found to be Sulphate of Barytes. To those that examine the crystallization it will be easier distinguishablc, than by any other external character that we know of.

These varieties of Sulphate of Barytes are chiefly found on the western side of the island of Shcepy, in Kent; and we do not know them to have been found so perfect elsewhere in England, or in any other country. The marley cliffs of that place, perhaps raised by the deluge, and full of a great variety of antediluvian relics, have been for years falling down in small or large masses, And from these cliffs are to be seen lumps of marie from the size of an ostrich egg* to several feet in diameter; in which these Sulphates of Barytes are concealed till the masses fall or break to pieces on the shore, or are broken (as they often are) on purpose for examination. The larger lumps (commonly called Sepiaria, and formerly Ludus Helmontii) most generally contain them in greatest perfection among the divisions or sort of cracks in the insides.

The upper figure is prettily relieved by the delicate yellow carbonate of lime, or waxen vein, as it is commonly called, which fills up the divisions, and the Lepastri are generally fixed on the calcareous partitions, which are often crystallized, varying in colour, thickness, and number of coats. This specimen is remarkable for having a star on the side, placed immediately on the argillaceous marle, which is represented divided by the carbonate of lime.

  • * Those about this size are sometimes called sea eggs by some of the guides; and when the divisions are lined with the yellower carbonate Of lime, they have a more apt resemblance to eggs.
  • † Of which we shall speak more at large in another place.
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