Apatite

Big Photo

Madagascar
2.03 carats
© Rarestone.com

The name Apatite derived from Greek meaning "I am misleading", because it can be easily confused with other minerals (eg. beryl).

The material is soft, brittle and sensitive to heat. It has a wide variety of colour. Clear transparent stones are faceted, and chatoyant specimens are cut into cabochons (Apatite cat's eye).

Apatite Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Apatite Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Apatite gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:0.18 cts
Heaviest:25.5 cts
Average:4.46 cts
Total photos:83
Do you have a larger Apatite? Why not upload a photo?
0.18ct to 2.71ct2.71ct to 5.24ct5.24ct to 7.78ct7.78ct to 10.31ct10.31ct to 12.84ct12.84ct to 15.37ct15.37ct to 17.90ct17.90ct to 20.44ct20.44ct to 22.97ct22.97ct to 25.50ct
General Information
Varieties/Types:
Chlorapatite - Chlorine end-member of the Apatite Group.
Fluorapatite - Fluorine end-member of the Apatite Group.
Moroxite - A blue-green variety of Apatite.
Chemical Formula
Ca
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(F,OH,Cl)
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Apatite Treatments
Some violet apatite turns green on exposure to radium (Przibram and Caffyn, 1956) and violet apatite which has lost its color from heating (perhaps to 500°C) is turned partly green and partly violet; there is no effect of electrons and only a minor effect of X-rays on some yellow and green specimens (Pough and Rogers, 1947; Pough, 1957) – Nassau (1984)
Color commonly improved by heat-treatment - Blue Chart Gem Identification, Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, 2010, p 4
Physical Properties of Apatite
Mohs Hardness5 to 0
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Specific Gravity3.16 to 3.23
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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TenacityBrittle
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Cleavage QualityIndistinct
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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FractureConchoidal
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Heat SensitivityHighly heat sensitive
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Apatite
Refractive Index1.628 to 1.651
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Optical CharacterUniaxial/-
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Birefringence0.002 to 0.008
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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PleochroismBlue - strong dichroism: colorless-(yellowish) - blue; Yellow - weak: greenish-yellow - golden-yellow; Green - weak: yellow - green - blue-green
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Dispersion0.013
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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ChatoyancyYes
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
Colour
Colour (General)Colourless, yellow, green, blue, violet
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Causes of ColourPink, F vacancy with a trapped electron. Dark blue, O2- Mn5+ charge transfer
W. William Hanneman, Pragmatic Spectroscopy For Gemologists (2011)
TransparencyTransparent
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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LustreVitreous
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Yellow: purplish pink; green: inert to greenish yellow; blue: blue
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Fluorescence (Short Wave UV)Violet: common light purple
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Fluorescence (Long-Wave UV)Violet: common greenish-yellow
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Fluorescence (X-RAY)There would be little need for
evaluating apatite’s response to X-rays.
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Crystallography of Apatite
Crystal SystemHexagonal
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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HabitColumnar, thick tabular
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Gem apatite usually occurring in pegmatites, hydrothermal veins or alluvially.
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Spectrographic Data
Calculated Spectra:
Click spectra for more information
Fluorapatite - Locality: Akjailau, Kazakstan
Fluorapatite - Locality: tanaznia
Fluorapatite - Locality: Tanaznia
Fluorapatite - Locality: Tanzania
Inclusions in Apatite
Healing cracks, hollow tubes - Gemmological Tables, Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, 2004, p 16
Further Information
Mineral information:Apatite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Brazil
 
  • Minas Gerais
Koivula et al. (1993)
    • Iron Quadrangle
      • Nova Lima
India
 
  • Rajasthan (Rajputana)
    • Ajmer Division
      • Ajmer District
  • Tamil Nadu
    • Salem District
S. Fernandes (1999)
Kenya
 
Barot et al. (1995)
  • Taita-Taveta County
Madagascar
 
  • Tuléar Province (Toliara)
    • Anosy Region (Fort Dauphin Region)
      • Betroka District
        • Mahasoa Est Commune
Pezzotta (1999)
Myanmar
 
  • Mandalay Region (Mandalay Division)
    • Pyin-Oo-Lwin District
[var: Fluorapatite]
        • Bernardmyo
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyauk-Pyat-That
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Mogok Valley
          • Dattaw-taung (Dattaw hill)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Fluorapatite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Pein-Pyit (Painpyit; Pyan Pyit)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Fluorapatite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Namibia
 
  • Erongo Region
    • Arandis
Norway
 
  • Aust-Agder
    • Arendal
      • Arendal Iron Mines
        • Barbudalen
          • Steinsås
[var: Moroxite] Precious Stones & Gems, Edwin Streeter, 1898
Russia
 
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Prebaikalia (Pribaikal'e)
      • Irkutskaya Oblast'
        • Lake Baikal area
          • Slyudyanka (Sludyanka)
            • Malaya Bystraya River Valley
Y. Shelementiev (1999)
South Africa
 
  • Limpopo Province
    • Phalaborwa
Gemstones, A.Thomas, 2009, p.83
Gemstones, A.Thomas, 2009, p.83
Sri Lanka
 
  • Sabaragamuwa Province
    • Ratnapura District
Milisenda and Henn (1999)
Milisenda and Henn (1999)
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