The name apatite comes from the Greek word to deceive because the gem varieties were often confused with other minerals. Apatite has been marketed as a less expensive alternative to Paraiba Tourmaline. The gem is not used in jewelry often, and fairly unknown to the public, which has made it a favorite among collectors. In the past, apatite was used as a source of phosphate in fertilizer. Because the gem is not relatively hard, it is only ideal for use in earrings, pendants, and brooches, if used in a ring extra care must be taken not to damage the gem.
Apatite (Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)) is a common accessory mineral in many types of metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks. The largest apatite deposits are associated with alkalic rocks; also the phosphates in bones and teeth are members of the apatite group. Apatite can be found in a variety of colors including; green, blue-green, yellow, brown, and violet. Recently, Madagascar apatite has made the gem more popular with its stunning neon blue-green color.
Apatite is found in Brazil, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Norway, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), South Africa and the United States.
Properties, Treatments & Lab Created
Apatite is rated a 5 on the Mohs scale, making is a soft gemstone not ideal for rings or daily wear.
While green apatite is usually untreated, blue apatite is generally heat treated to enhance its color.
There is no lab created apatite, but there are simulants available that resembles the color of fine apatite.
Shop Apatite Gemstones
Natural Apatite Ovals$10.65 – $35.19 Select options