apatite

Apatite

The name Apatite derived from Greek meaning “I am misleading”, because it can be easily confused with other minerals. Apatite is the most common type of phosphate in the world and it is the main source for phosphorus. Although apatite is a very common mineral, transparent gemstone-quality apatite is extremely rare. Despite Apatite being the defining mineral for 5 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, they remain virtually unknown to most consumers and seldom are they found in jewellery stores. However, because Apatite occurs in such a wide variety of attractive colours and forms, they are a favourite among gemstone collectors. Connoisseurs often seek out rare colours like paraiba-like blue-green, leek-green Apatite known as ‘asparagus stone’, and deep purple, violet and reddish specimens. There is also a blue variety known as ‘moroxite’, but these are typically heat-treated for enhanced colour.

Stock Sizes: Available in both faceted and cabochon
Round: 1.5mm – 8mm
Oval: 4x3mm – 18x13mm
Octagon: 6x4mm – 8x6mm
Marquise: 4x2mm – 6x3mm
Pear: 4x3mm – 8x6mm
Heart: 5mm – 6mm
Trillion: 6mm – 7mm

A large selection of non-calibrated single stone are available

Chemical Formula: Ca5(PO4)3(OH)0.33F0.33Cl0.33
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
Colour: Colourless, yellow, green, blue, violet
Hardness: 5 (Defining Mineral)
Refractive Index: 1.628 to 1.651
Specific Gravity: 3.16 to 3.23
Cleavage: Indiscernible, Conchoidal Fracture

Treatments: Colour commonly improved by heat-treatment

Care: Apatite is rather fragile compared to most gemstones. Care for Apatite should be similar to that of precious opal. Apatite is sensitive to acids, heat and shock, so steamers and ultrasonic cleaners should always be avoided. Avoid wearing Apatite jewellery when engaging in physical activity, such as exercise or sports, or when doing household chores. Since it is considerably softer than quartz, simply wiping off dust can eventually cause Apatite to lose its polish and develop surface scratches.