Alari Design

Fine Jewelry and Gemstone Showcase

About Apatite

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History/Background

Apatite is actually the mineral that makes up the teeth and bones of all vertebrate animals. The name comes from the Greek word apate, which means, "to deceive." Apatite was often confused, therefore "deceiving" many, with some of the more valuable gems such as tourmaline, olivine, peridot, topaz and beryl.

Cleaning

This stone is fragile and very sensitive to chemicals, abrasives, heat, acids, and ammonia. Never use a steamer, hot water or ultrasonic cleaners with this gemstone. Use mild soap and room temperature tap water with a soft cloth so you do not scratch the surface or diminish the luster of the gemstone.

Metaphysical/Healing Properties

Apatite is believed to decrease appetite (hunger) as well as enhance insight, creativity and learning. It is said that wearing apatite will enhance focus, clarity for concentration, intellect, acceptance, and unconditional love. This acceptance and unconditional love relates to the self as well as from others.

Scientific Description

Apatite is "any group of calcium phosphate minerals occurring variously as hexagonal crystals, as granular masses, or in fine-grained masses as the chief constituent of phosphate rock and of bones and teeth; especially: calcium phosphate fluoride," according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary. It is a common phosphate mineral. It is found in igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock, in phosphorite and in some hydrothermal veins and in iron rich igneous deposits along with feldspar, quartz and iron ores. There are three minerals that actually contribute to apatite, which is the reason for the varied colors and shades of this stone. Apatite is calcium phosphate combined with fluorine, chlorine or hydroxyl. These three minerals are usually found in every specimen but some specimens have been known to have 100% of one or the other. It is often hard to spot the difference between the three minerals in hand samples of this stone. Therefore, they are often considered together in apatite.

Mineral Information:  Basic Fluori- and Chloro-calcium Phosphate

Chemical Composition:  Ca5(PO4)3 + (F, Cl, or OH)

Color:  Colorless, pink, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, purple

Hardness:  5

Specific Gravity:  3.17-3.23

Refractive Index:  1.628-1.65

Occurrence

Deposits are found in Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Sri Lanka, East and South Africa, Spain, Russia (Kola Peninsula), Canada, and the United States. Apatite found in Myanmar can be colorless to light blue. The fibrous apatite is cut into cat's-eye. Spanish apatite is often called "asparagus stone" due to its yellowish-green color. 

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