Apatite Information

Apatite Information

Apatite is a common mineral with a wide and attractive range of colours. In non-gem quality, very large crystals occur weighing up to several hundredweight. Clear gem quality crystals, though, are quite scarce and always small. It is too soft to be commonly used in jewellery, particularly in rings. It sometimes occurs with chatoyancy (cat's eye effect). Apatite is a true collector gemstone. It's hardness of 5 makes it a difficult stone to set as wall as lacking the durability to be worn as a ring stone. It is found in colors such as pink, yellow, green, blue, and violet, however, the most collectible is the neon blue-green. Apatite is found in Burma, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Czechoslovakia, India, Malagasy Republic, Mexico, and the United States. The green variety is called asparagus-stone. Apatite, a stone seldom found in jewelry stores and virtually unknown to the general public, is beloved by collectors for its many different colors and forms. Only with the recent availability of the neon blue-green variety from Madagascar, has its jewelry use increased. The color of the best specimens of this type rivals the famed Paraiba tourmalines, but alas, this gem lacks their toughness and hardness. At 5 on the Mohs scale, apatite must be cut, set, and worn gently. Earrings, pendants, pins, and tie tacks are probably safe, but ring use should be limited to occasional wear pieces with protective settings. Care for this stone is similar to that given opals, it is heat and shock sensitive, so steamers and ultrasonics must be avoided.
Gems are available in yellows and various shades of blues and greens. Some of the blues show chatoyancy and can be cut as cat's eyes. Main sources are Brazil, Canada, India, Mozambique, and Madagascar.