RockHoundBlog

Apatite

Filed under: Rare Gems — Gary November 8, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

Apatite is infrequently used as a gemstone. Transparent stones of clean color have been faceted, and chatoyant specimens have been cabochon cut. Chatoyant stones are known as cat’s-eye apatite, transparent green stones are known as asparagus stone, and blue stones have been called moroxite. Crystals of rutile may have grown in the crystal of apatite so when in the right light, the cut stone displays a cat’s eye effect. Major sources for gem apatite are Brazil, Burma, and Mexico. Other sources include Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the US.

Gemmy Green Apatite Crystals with Calcite on Matrix, Cerro de Mercado Mine, Durango Mexico

The name, ‘apatite’ comes from the Greek word ‘apate’, which means to cheat/deceive. It was called that because it can easily be confused with amblygonite, andalusite, brazilianite, peridot, precious beryl, sphene, topaz or tourmaline.

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