Apatite

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Introduction
  • While it sounds like its hungry, it's actually trying to fool you! The name Apatite comes from the Greek word "Apatao", meaning "To Deceive", as Apatite has often been confused with more valuable gems such as Paraiba Tourmaline, Peridot (Olivine) and Beryl.
  • Ironically, the phosphates in bones and teeth of all vertebrate animals are members of the Apatite group, so the hunger connection is quite appropriate after all!
  • Did you know that Apatite was once used as a source of phosphate for fertilizer? Today, mainly phosphorites are used.

    Legends & Lore
  • Apatite is said to enhance one's insight, learning abilities and creativity, and to give increased self-confidence. It also is said to help achieve deeper states of meditation. Using Apatite is said to facilitate the desired results when working with other crystals.
  • Apatite is also believed by crystal healers to be useful to help improve one's coordination and to strengthen muscles, and to help suppress hunger and ease hypertension.


    Just The Facts
  • Apatite (Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)) is a common accessory mineral in many types of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. The largest Apatite deposits are associated with alkalic rocks.
  • Apatite is actually three different minerals depending on the predominance of either fluorine, chlorine or the hydroxyl group: Calcium (Fluoro, Chloro, Hydroxyl) Phosphate. These ions can freely substitute in the crystal lattice and all three are usually present in every specimen although some specimens are almost 100% pure in one group.
  • The mineral Apatite is quite common but gem quality specimens are rare. This combined with its softness, has prevented Apatite from becoming particularly popular, even though its existence has been known since ancient times.
  • The colour in Apatite is often due to the presence of rare earth elements or by natural irradiation. Apatite is a clear to opaque gem that comes in many colours, including green, yellow, blue, violet, and a yellow-green variety, originally mined in Spain, commonly called "Asparagus Stone" because of its similarity in colour to the vegetable. Cat's Eye Apatite gems are also known.
  • Apatite is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Russia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Canada, East Africa, Sweden, Spain and Mexico.
  • Brazil is the traditional source of gem quality Apatite. Quite attractive, Brazilian Apatite is a medium dark to dark, strongly saturated blue colour.
  • However, recent finds of what is now widely referred to as Neon Apatite in Madagascar has added to the popularity of this gem. The neon ranges from a green to blue and exhibits excellent saturation.
  • As it is quite a soft gem and tends to exhibit a pale translucency, Apatite is often used in earrings and pendants where it will catch the light and really shine.
  • The more intense the colour (i.e. neon or vivid), the higher the cost of Apatite. The best gems will be almost a neon greenish blue with a clean clarity. Apatite over 1 Carat is rare and will command higher prices.
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