The FTIR spectra of synthetic BaMg(CO3)2 (norsethite) are measured at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure, and the influence of formation conditions on the FTIR spectra is investigated. The results are compared with those for natural norsethite from Långban (Sweden) and Rosh Pinah (Namibia). The Raman spectrum of synthetic norsethite is reported, too. A number of first-order internal modes of the carbonate ion group (ν1, ν2, ν3, ν4) are found to be infrared and Raman active. Additonally, the (ν1+ν3) and (ν1+ν4) combination modes and the (2*ν2) overtone are observed in the FTIR and Raman spectrum, respectively. The carbon isotopic-shift coefficient for ν2 due to the substitution of 12C by 13C (ν2(13CO3
2-) = 0.971 ± 0.002), observed by FTIR spectroscopy, agrees with the theoretical value of 0.969.