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Apatite: Mining the Facts
Posted by Dakota Stones to Articles

What is Apatite?

Apatite is actually a group of minerals
that are difficult to tell apart. The first, Hydroxlapatite, is surprisingly a major component of bone and tooth enamel. The next, Fluorapatite, contains fluoride, which is added to most water supplies to strengthen our teeth. Last, Chlorapatite contains. . . (pause for suspense). . .chlorine. Each is a phosphate, making the whole apatite family sought after as a great source of fertilizer.

Some Apatites are chosen for their translucence and cut into gemstones, like the ones we carry. When brought to a polished gleam, its stones range from a cool blue to a light purple to a pale green. It is because of this color variation that Apatite is easily confused with other minerals, thus being appropriately named from the Greek word 'apate,' meaning 'to deceive'. Apatite ranks fairly low on the Mohs hardness scale and are relatively easy to scratch. Some are brittle, in fact, which makes these little beauties even more miraculous.




We find it in unexpected places.

The Earth's gem Apatites come from Brazil, Burma, Mexico, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Norway, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United States. You know, the usual places. But we’re not done yet. Most incredibly, traces of apatite have been found on THE MOON. This may explain the sense of otherworldly connection that some attribute to the stone.




Let’s get back to the color.

In the mineral industry, one rule of thumb is that if a stone looks too good to be true, it usually is. Many stones have been dyed or treated to enhance color (check out our blog about dyed stones HERE.) This is not the case with Apatite. With its chameleon like quality, Apatite exists as a rare combination of both vivid and all-natural colors. We feature the blue variety (along with a few green varieties) and a look at the intense, brilliant hues will tell you why.


 
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