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History & Introduction

Apatite belongs to the group of phosphate minerals that add up to hydroxyl-apatite, fluor-apatite and chlor-apatite. It gets its name from the Greek word ‘apatao’ meaning 'to deceive' or ' even misleading', because Apatite stone is confused with other crystals, especially Fluorite and Aquamarine. Apatite is not commonly used in jewelry, but still when the stone is cut correctly, it gives bright and strong colors. Apatite is one of the few minerals used by biological micro-environmental systems. It is considered to be a valuable source of phosphorous, therefore it is largely used in the manufacture of fertilizer. Green and blue varieties are used as pigments with excellent covering power.

Even though apatite is considered as one of the known mineral and transparent gemstone, but the quality apatite is hardly available. However, apatite is available in vivid attractive colors as well as styles, it is favorite among gemstone collectors. Frequent the experts search for the colors that are very rare like the Paraiba blue-green apatite or leek-green apatite, which is known as 'asparagus stone'. Stone with violet, deep purple and reddish are also sought after. It includes a blue variety known as 'moroxite', which is heat treated naturally to enhance color.

Apatite is rarely found, which carries significant quantity of rare elements of earth and is also used in the form of ore for those metals.

Recognise - Apatite stone is recognized by several testing methods. Through Fluorescence test apatite specimens can be distinguished. Apatite is harder as compared to calcite, and as compared to tourmaline, beryl and quartz it is softer so a simple scratch test can even recognize and distinguish apatite. The value of apatite depends on color saturation. Specimens consisting high color intensity are taken to be more precious. Apatite available in gem-quality is hardly seen in large sizes; stones with above one carat can get premiums that are high. Almost all apatite will have visible presence. Eye-clean specimens are very uncommon, mainly the stone with bigger size.

Usages - Apatite is the main source of phosphorus. In the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers this gemstone plays a vital part and is also very important in the chemical along with pharmaceutical industries. Apatite is popular among the mineral collectors, and some of the specimens of apatite that are transparent are faceted for collectors. The gemmy violet and reddish style is of great importance to the collectors and ask high prices.

Buying Guide

Color - The range of colors begins from colorless, yellow, pink, blue, green and violet. Rich purple from Maine is tend to be a rare variety. In demand the Blue Brazilian stones are the second. Neon blue-green material, which is highly in demand comes from Madagascar. Light-green apatite continue with the trade term as 'asparagus stone'. The color related to the best example of the stone can rival famed Paraiba tourmaline. In case of other gem, color saturation defines the value.

Clarity and Lustre - When the apatite is cut and polished, the luster is vitreous. The gem-quality of apatite comes to be transparent, however translucent specimens do exist.

Cut and Shape - Apatite is available in various shapes and cuts. Specimens that are naturally transparent faceted into traditional shapes. It is difficult to get fancy shapes and calibrated sizes and command higher prices. Some blue and yellow apatite shows chatoyancy and is cut and polished as cat's eye apatite. The gemstone that is most ideal for cabochon cuts is the one having bases parallel to the fibers.

Treatment - Apatite gemstones are not treated naturally. Blue apatite is known to be heat-treated, however some are un-enhanced. The green stones are typically untreated. Gemstone suppliers must be ready to present the treatments and enhancements made to their gemstones for sale.

Gemological Characteristics:

Chemical Formula Ca5(PO4)3(F,OH,CI) - Basic fluoro- and chloro-calcium
Crystal Structure Hexagonal, columnar, thick tabular
Color Colorless, pink, yellow, green, blue, violet
Hardness 5 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index 1.628 - 1.649
Density 3.16 - 3.23
Cleavage Indiscernible, conchoidal fracture
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Double Refraction / Birefringence -0.002 to -0.006
Lustre Vitreous
Fluorescence Yellow apatite: purple to pink
Crystal System Hexagonal
Rock Type Igneous, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 2
Prevalence (1-3) 1
Demand (1-3) 1


  • White Apatite - Microcrystalline variety of botryoidal white Apatite.
  • Yellow Apatite
  • Brown Apatite
  • Grey Apatite
  • Red Apatite
  • Pink Apatite
  • Purple Apatite
  • Blue Apatite
  • Green Apatite