Stukenberg Geology Museum of Kazan State University
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Minerals of this class are natural salts of sulphuric acid, which consist of alkali (Na, K) and alkaline-earth metals (Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba) as well as Pb, Cu, Fe, and Al. Nowadays this class enumerates about 300 minerals. According to chemical composition there are simple anhydrous sulphates, complex sulphates with additional anions and hydrous sulphates.

Hydrous sulphates can loose water in air, but anhydrous ones are hydroscopic. Sulphates are widely used in construction and serve as raw materials in chemical industry for producing Ba, Sr, Al, Mg and some other elements.

The barite collection from Durham and Cumberland deposits (Great Britain) exhibited in the Mineralogy Section of the KSU Geology Museum is worth paying attention to. Barite crystals from these deposits are characterized by different form, size and color. The exhibition also has a number of samples of colloform barite from the same deposit.

As for other sulphates the greatest attraction is druses of celestite crystals from the Volga Region and Middle Asia and "gypsum roses" of exclusive beauty from Sahara in Algeria. They are aggregates of tabular gypsum crystals, formed in conditions of desert, which resemble flowers by appearance.

One can hardly overestimate practical value of such remarkable mineral as gypsum. Transparent gypsum is called "Maria's Glass" and it had been considered a truly Russian stone long ago as Russia was the main exporter of the mineral to the world market.

Gypsum. Caspian Territory
Caspian Territory

Celestite. Beikeu, Turkmenia
Beikeu, Turkmenia

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