Apatite is one of the most underestimated gemstones, considering the family it belongs to. A cool blue gemstone that derives its name from Greek word meaning “deceitful stone”, apatite is a misleading rock owing to its resemblance to other blue rocks like aquamarine beads, beryl, topaz gemstone and fluorite. Polishing and heat treatment with enhancing agents can make them deceivingly appear like sapphires and lapis lazuli.
Let us explore the gemstone, which is everything but not deceiving.
Beads of power:
Apatite gemstones are popular, only next to tourmaline. They have a hardness of 5 on Mohs scale, which makes them an easy candidate for cutting and shaping into desirable shapes. Clear cut apatite exhibit cat’s eye effect or chatoyant phenomena. Presence of rutile give it the exhilarating effect.
Oh yes... apatite gemstones don’t have an earthly origin. They are believed to have been carried to Earth by meteors and comets that crashed onto the surface millions of years ago. The presence of apatite on many outer planets in fact signify the presence of water, much like what we have on earth!
In terms of astrophysics, apatite is definitely a high priced commodity to reckon with.
A dreamer’s stone:
For peaceful sleep, gem collectors embrace apatite as it is known to induce tranquillity. It also improves hunger and soothes the digestive system. For higher level of concentration and better balance in life, apatite beads and bracelets are embraced for a long lasting effect.
Popular varieties of apatite are green apatite, Asparagus stone, neon blue-green apatite and samite apatite blends. Since, the gemstone market is full of heat treated apatite, it is usually considered safe to buy only light shaded rocks.
Impregnated by rare minerals:
One of the rarest forms of apatite are found in Hoidas Lake, Canada. The speciality of the apatite extracted from these areas is that it is loaded with rarest of the rare minerals like dysporium, allanite, tonalitic gneiss. In fact, apatite in this part of the world falls in the category of “rare earth mining project”.
Colours to die for:
Apart from the scintillating tropical blue green shade, apatite gemstones are also found in apple green and sea blue hues. The rare blue shade apatite is actually known as “Moroxite”, and is a high priced gemstone. It is often produced by heating the light coloured mineral.
Cuts and shapes:
Apart from the usually beads and rounded apatite, the gemstone is also cut into cabochon and placed in doublets and triplets for an enhanced brilliance. Chatoyant apatite gemstones are not treated artificially and often sold in high-class market at prices $ 150 and more per carat.
Life of the stone:
Despite its relative softness compared to other blue gemstones, Apatite can survive force and corrosive reactions. Pure untreated apatite are susceptible to bio-leaching where the constituents of the stone corrode away due to the action of micro-organisms.
However, there are many dimensions of apatite in the gemstone market that makes it a very good item to collect and adorn.
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