General information about Apatite:
The trade rarely uses collectors’ stones in jewelry. There are many possible reasons for this. For instance, a stone might be too scarce, so there’s not enough of it to support marketing it in jewelry. Or it might never have been widely promoted. Or perhaps it’s too soft and therefore not durable enough to withstand cutting, mounting, and everyday wearing.
There are many fascinating gem materials that will always be part of people’s prized collections but never be seen decorating wrists, fingers, or ears. In this section, you’ll learn about apatite that occasionally cross over into the jewelry mainstream.
The gem apatite is found in a great variety of colors. The most common colors of apatite are yellow, green, blue, and violet, but there seems to be no red apatites. Occassionally you may find apatite contains massive fibrous structure that may resulting in Chatoyancy od Cat's eye effect when cutting as cabochon or any other cutting styles that has convex surface.
Cat’s-eye apatite is semitransparent to translucent, and usually green or yellow. An inclusion that creates eye like effect is fine paralle lneedle like inclusions.
Among apatite’s many colors, Paraiba or neon green and neon blue apatite are the rarest and most valuable. The neon blues have been compared to Paraíba tourmaline. The recent find of Apatite deposite in Madagascar have led the gem to becoming more poppular to public. Stones from this locality usually possess excellent color saturation which is comparable to the finest color paraiba tourmaline. Madagascan apatite's colors ranging from neon emerald greens to the more classic neon paraiba blues.
Typically yellow and green apatite do not normally undergone any kind of treatments. However neon blue and green are usually heat treated or so as to improve the stone's color and appearance. Colors result from heat treatment in apatite is stable and doesn't fade over the time.
Apatite is particularly soft and sensitive to abrasives, chemicals, thermal shock, ammonia and strong acids. Cleaning a piece of jewelry containing apatite with Ultrasonic cleaners and steamers is not recommended. It is advisable to clean gem apatite with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. A piece of jewelry containing gem apatite should always be kept speparately on its own in a jewelry pouch of lined jewel box. And always keep your apatite jewelry away from harder items, which may cause scratches or abrasions.
Major sources: Brazil, Myanmar, Mexico, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Sri Lanka.
Colors found: Blue, green, yellow, violet, and brown
Hardness: 5 on Moh's hardness scale
Refractive index: 1.62-1.63
Optical character: DR uniaxial (-)
Specific gravity: 3.16-3.23
Crystal system: Hexagonal
Phenomenon: Chatoyancy (cat's eye effect)