Apatite Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™

Apatite

Apatite is the name for a mineral group as well as the generic term for many phosphates, but gem-quality apatite is a special gemstone found in a beautiful variety of colors. Apatite's various colors are often due to the presence of rare earth elements or natural irradiation. Because of its wide color range, apatite has often been mistaken for many other gemstones, including topaz, tourmaline, and various beryl varieties. Particularly rare in sizes over one carat, apatite is a relatively soft gem and when used in jewelry manufacture, is often set into more protective mountings that capture light yet safely display its beauty. The long-established sources for gem-quality apatite are Brazil and Mexico, but more recent African discoveries have thrust it into the spotlight once again.

Colors

Yellowish Green, Brownish Green, Green, Violet, Pale Light Blue, Violet-Blue, Blue, Pink, Purple, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Colorless

  • Apatite classification

    CommonName
    Apatite
    Species
    Apatite
    Variety
    Colors
    Yellowish Green, Brownish Green, Green, Violet, Pale Light Blue, Violet-Blue, Blue, Pink, Purple, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Colorless
    AlternateNames
    Fluorapatite, Asparagus Stone, Moroxite
    GemstoneGroups
    KeySeparations
    refractive index, birefringence, optic character, pleochroism and possibly spectrum
    ClassificationComments
    May show pseudo-biaxial optic figure. Avoid heat and ultrasonic cleaners, and chemicals. Might show abrasions due to low moh's hardness. The name can be translated from Greek as "I am misleading". Most gemstones are Ca5(PO4)3F Calcium Fluroro Phosphate. The light green variety sometimes called asparagus stone. Moroxite is the blue-green variety.
  • Apatite chemistry & crystallography

    ChemicalName
    calcium phosphate with fluorine, chlorine or hydroxyl group
    ChemicalFormula
    Ca5(PO4)3(F,OH,Cl)
    Synthesis
    CrystalSystem
    Hexagonal
    ChemistryClassification
    Phosphate
    Nature
    Natural
    Crystallinity
    Crystalline
    ChemistryComments
  • Apatite optical properties

    Transparency
    Transparent - Translucent
    Dispersion
    Strength: weak fire Value: 0.013
    OpticalComments
    RefractiveIndex
    1.634-1.638
    Tolerance:(+0.012/-0.006)
    Birefringence
    0.002-0.008
    OpticCharacter
    Uniaxial
    OpticSign
    Negative
    PolariscopeReaction
    Doubly Refractive (DR)
    Fluorescence
    SWUV: Variable
    LWUV: Variable
    CCFReaction
    Pleochroism
    Dichroic, strong blue and yellow (in blue gems) and in other colors, weak to very weak tones of bodycolor
  • Apatite characteristic physical properties

    Hardness
    5
    CharacteristicComments
    Streak
    White To Yellow-Gray
    SpecificGravity
    3.13-3.23 Range:+/- 0.05 Typical:3.18
    Toughness
    Fair
    Inclusions
    Apatite is a type II stone. The stones are often found with natural inclusions, healing cracks and hollow tubes.
    Luster
    Vitreous
    Stability
    Fair
    Fracture
    Conchoidal, Uneven
    Cleavage
    Poor, in two directions