Apatite Gemstones - Great blue gemstone
Apatite is a gemstone that is said to mimic other gemstones, and deceive people, to be what it is not; now that sounds like a mouthful, but it is a true fact. For years. Apatite was confused as Peridot, Beryl, and Tourmaline. It is a gemstone that is loved for the fantastic blue color of a swimming pool, which range to appealing green hues. Apatite is not a single gemstone, but a family of gemstones, which have convoluted names, and therefore the name is applied to all of them. Commonly, the main color of Apatite is a lovely blue, such as that of Paraiba Tourmaline, which looks like the waters of a swimming pool; the colors also range into fern-like greens which are fascinating to see.
Occasionally, you will find the gemstones in colors such as brownish-yellow, greyish green and white. There is also a rare color which is given the name Asparagus Stone, since it strongly looks like the vegetable. Another rarity is the Catís Eye Apatite, which is occasionally found in the mines. This rare gemstone exhibits a very fantastic effect called Chatoyancy; this is when a gemstone has numerous tiny fiber-like inclusions which are arrange in a parallel manner. Shining a light on such a gemstone causes the surface of the gemstone to cast a narrow line of light, which is very much like you would see when a cat opens and closes the eyes.
It is very rare that you find apatite gemstones in sizes bigger than a single carat, and when they are found, they are usually not very clean; at least a few inclusions will be seen in the stone. However, gemstone lovers do not mind having an apatite gem which has inclusions, but has a very good color saturation.
The popularity of apatite increased, in 1995, when new deposits were found in Madagascar. The Madagascar apatite was very famous because it has fantastic color saturation, which ranged from the green that are typical of emeralds all the way to Paraiba blue tones; all these colors have a neon glow that is absolutely amazing, and hence the increased popularity. There is one rarity that has only been found in one place, and this is the purple apatite which is found on Mount Apatite, in Maine, United States of America.
When it comes to mythology, Apatite is associated with healing properties and powers, and it is said to give someone a true picture of themselves encouraging personal growth. If someone has jewelry that has apatite and rose quartz, they are said to bring about unconditional love; when it is combined with colorless quartz, it is sad to aid the wearer see the changes that he or she has to bring about in life; adding aquamarine to this last combination will help the wearer in actually going ahead and making the required changes.
Apatite is a very beautiful gemstone that exhibits a neon glow, and one is absolutely fascinated by the fact that these stones actually come from fossilized dinosaur bones. This is a soft gemstone, with a hardness of only 5 on the Mohs scale, which makes it very delicate stone to cut and wear. When it is properly takes care of, it will continue to amaze the wearer with its brilliance for a long time to come.
Apatite is a generic name that is used for many phosphates, although most of them are not gemstone quality. Those that are found in gemstone quality are very beautiful. The various colors of apatite are due to the presence of rare elements in the earth, or due to irradiation. Apatite has often been confused with other gemstones because of the wide variety of colors that it exhibits; you would not tell the difference between apatite, and topaz, tourmaline and a variety of beryl stones. As mentioned earlier, this is a gemstone that is rarely found in sizes above 1 carat, and this may be due to the fact that it is a very soft and delicate stone. When it is set in jewelry the setting has to protect the stone adequately, and still allow it to boast of its natural brilliance. Gem-quality apatite has traditionally been found in Mexico and Brazil, but some interesting finds in Africa have uplifted the profile of the stone, in the gemstone world.
This is a gemstone that is found in many parts of the world, apart from the rare purple variety; deposits have been found on Canada, England Russia, Norway and Sweden
The chemical composition of Apatite gems
The alternate names for apatite are Flourapatite, Moroxite and Asparagus Stone; there are many more, but these are the most common. The colors most commonly found are Pale light blue, Violet blue, Green, brownish green, Yellowish green, Blue, Pink, Purple, brown, Orange, Yellow and Colorless. Apatite occurs in clarity values that range from transparent to translucent. It has a refractive index of 1.634 to 1.638. It is sensitive to heat, chemicals and ultrasonic cleaner, so these must be avoided at all costs. Since it is soft, it can easily get abrasions, which means that extreme caution must be exercised when handling the stone. The name, can be loosely translated in Greek as saying ďI am misleadingĒ. The green varieties are called Asparagus Stone, and Moroxite is blue-green in color. It has a doubly refractive effect when it is seen using a Polariscope. The stones also exhibit some pleochroism, and change colors when vowed from different angles.
Apatite from various localities are named after where they come from and they all have unique properties. The Madagascar apatite has a light blue color; the Mexican apatite has an antique color; the Brazilian apatite is greenish-blue to dark green; the Canadian apatite is dark green and the Maine apatite is violet or purple.
The physical properties of apatite gemstones
It is a sad fact but there are very few apatite gemstone in museum collections. These stones are found in very small sizes, and there are very few of notable size which can be given to museums. The Brazilian blue apatite is always found in small sizes, with stones being between 1 to 2 carats. In Burma, you get large stones, but they are very rare, with gemstone sizes reaching about 10 carats. It is also possible to get stones as big as 15 to 20 carats in Mexico and they are yellow in color. The rarest and smallest variety is the purple apatite that is mined in the USA. There is one superb purple apatite that is known as the Roebling Purple Apatite. The blue-green gemstones are rare in large sizes and usually fall below 5 carats in weight. The Canadian green apatite can be found in large sizes, with some reaching up to 100 carats. Kenya, produced the largest green apatite in the world, which has a carat weight of 147. The yellow catís eye gemstone can be found in sizes of up to 15 carats and the green catís eyes have a weight reaching 20 carats.
When it comes to luminescence, this is a gemstone that has been known to have a neon-like effect, because of the high value of luminescence. The yellow apatite will fluoresce and give off a lilac-pink color. The blue apatite will give of colors ranging from sky blue, to violet-blue. The purple apatite will give off a greenish-yellow color, or pale mauve. Green apatite gives off a greenish mustard color. The Manganapatite, will give off a pink color.
When viewed under spectral examination the blue and yellow apatite exhibit a rare earth spectrum. The Yellow gemstones have a 7 line group at 5800 and 5 at 5200. Blue gems will exhibit a wide band at 4640, 4910 and 5120. These gemstones have some pleochroism, which is very distinct in the blue-green stones but otherwise weak in others. The Yellow gemstones may exhibit yellow and green or brown and green colors. Blue apatite has strong Dichroism properties, which show as blue and yellow.
The occurrence of apatite
Apatite is found in a broad variety of rocks, mainly igneous rocks which have high OH and F varieties, and also in some of those having Mn. The gemstone occurs in hydrothermal veins, pegmatite and cavities. They are also found in detrital grains in sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks they are also found in phosphate beds. The stones occur in various colors from all over the world, but here are the most common occurrences:
More information about apatite gemstones
- The blue apatite is found in Sri Lanka, Brazil and Burma.
- The blue-green Varity is found in Arendal, Gravellote, East Transvaal in South Africa, and Moroxite from Norway.
- The purple is found mainly in Maine, but can also be found in Germany.
- The yellow apatite is found in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Spain Murcia and Durango.
- The green apatite of found in Canada, India Madagascar, Spain, Burma and Mozambique.
- The brown apatite is found in Canada.
- The colorless variety is commonly found in Germany, Italy and Burma.
- The Catís eye variety is found in Burma and Sri Lanka.
- Lazurapatie is a rare variety that is a mixture of Lapis Lazuli and Apatite, and is found in Siberia.
The most abundant material available is the Mexican Yellow Apatite, and there are thousands of crystals that are available, which would yield up to 5 Carats of cut gemstone. Despite being abundant, this variety is rarely found in large sizes. When carefully heated the yellow apatite from this locality can be turned colorless.
The apatite from Tanzania displays a very intense catís eye effect that it looks like the catís eye Chrysoberyl.
It is very rare that you find apatite in jewelry shops and this is the reason why the public do not know much about it. This is a gemstone that is very popular amongst collectors, who want to own any possible color that is available. It is only the recent finding of deposits in Madagascar that made the gemstone known to the public. Apatite has fine varieties that can give the famous Paraiba tourmalines a run for their value. However, this is a very soft gemstone, and it has to be cut and worn very gently. It is safe to wear apatite in earrings, pendants and brooches, but when worn as a ring, it can only be worn on special days, and not every day. The wearer has to look after this gemstone just like he or she would look after an opal. It is sensitive to shock and hear, and cannot be cleansed using steam or ultrasonics.
The value of apatite gemstones
The most valuable variety of apatite is the rare purple one, which is found in Maine and Germany. This gemstone can go for about $250 per carat, which is quite high. According to gemologist, Sinkankas, you can get blue Brazilian apatite at prices ranging from $75 to $200 for a stone of 0.5 and 1.5 carats in weight. The information given will vary from one jewelry store to another, and the blue-green variety is as yet to be featured in many catalogues.
As with many other gemstone, the saturation of the color, the carat weight and the clarity of the stone will be the ones that affect the value of the apatite is question. The degree of polishing and the way the stone has been cut will also affect the value of the stone; those that are of superior polish will be pricier.
In summary, the most common apatite is the Florapatite. Apatite is the main constituent of bones and teeth and it is the most abundant material in the world. You can find this material in all minerals that bear phosphorous. They are commonly found in cellophane and they make up the lionís share of the beds in some localities.
Due to the fact that this gemstone is soft, it should always be worn and cleaned with a great deal of care. The stones which are properly cut are extremely fashionable and striking. It is possible to get suites which have as many as 20 gems of different colors, because apatite is found in many colors, and it is very bright and rich in color.