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Apatite Properties, Meaning, Facts and Photos

small collection of rough blue apatite stones

What is Apatite?

Apatite is an important mineral in the field of geology because it's commonly found in igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

Being a phosphate mineral means it's a significant source of phosphorus.  Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for all forms of life.

Phosphate minerals contain phosphate as their primary component. The chemical composition of phosphate is one phosphorus atom bonded to four oxygen atoms.

Phosphorus plays an important role in various biological processes including the formation of DNA. 

Phosphate minerals are typically formed through geological processes involving the weathering and erosion of rocks containing phosphorus-rich minerals.

The phosphate ions are released and then react with other elements and compounds in the environment to form various phosphate minerals.

Ions are crucial in the formation of minerals as they participate in the chemical bonding and arrangement of atoms.  Ions ultimately determine the structure and properties of the mineral.

Although often referred to simply as apatite, the name describes a whole group of phosphate minerals.  It includes hydroxyapatite, fluorapatite and chlorapatite.

Fluorapatite is by far the most common.  Hydroxyapatite is the main component of tooth enamel and is also found in bones.

Apatite is used extensively in industry for producing fertiliser.  This is because it's a rich source of phosphorous.

Although occasionally used as a gemstone it's not popular because it's soft, fragile and scratches easily.  On Mohs scale of mineral hardness apatite grades 5.  In fact it's the index mineral for this grade of hardness. 

When used for jewellery apatite tends to be cut as a cabochon.  This is because it's brittle which makes cutting difficult.  The finest gemstones can be faceted but often have imperfections.

Apatite crystals occasionally feature inclusions of the mineral rutile.  This can cause slight chatoyance.  Where this optical phenomenon is present stones tend to be known as Cats Eye.

collection of rough green apatite crystals

Apatite occurs in many different colours and can also be colourless or multicoloured.

Blue apatite is particularly popular but mostly with rock and mineral collectors.  The stones' fragility makes it a difficult material to work with.

Apatite is often heat treated which enhances the colour.

The German geologist who described and named the mineral zoisite wrote in regards to apatite, "until now it has misled all mineralogists in its identification".

The name apatite originates from the Greek word "apate" meaning "to deceive" or "to be deceptive".  This is because it can be difficult to identify. 

Stones are often mistaken for other similar looking minerals.

Apatite Healing Properties

Apatite can help build a connection to past lives.  It increases psychic ability and deepens the state of meditation.

In tune with the mind, it's a stone for motivation that helps improve energy and enthusiasm to see a task through to completion.

Apatite encourages openness especially in social situations.  It dissolves awkwardness and raises self esteem.

Its powerful energy stimulates the mind, dispels doubt and confusion and encourages creativity.

For those who work too hard or feel emotionally drained apatite offers a revitalising boost by releasing energy in the base chakra.

Blue apatite is a stone for spiritual guidance.  It enhances communication particularly when speaking in public.

Green apatite replenishes energy levels by treating lethargy and lack of concentration.  It nourishes the spirit and gently dissolves anger and frustration.

The healing properties of apatite are highly personal and subjective. Different people may experience different benefits based on their own beliefs, experiences and intentions.

Apatite can be used for its healing properties in different ways. Healing with crystals must always be approached with an open mind.

Crystals are beautiful naturally occurring materials that can be enjoyed by everyone. Regardless of the intended use they can bring immense pleasure and fulfilment for a variety of reasons.

seven blue apatite tumbled stones on a round copper coloured metal plate

Article Pictures

The rough and polished apatite stones shown in our article are from our collection.  Both images are clickable.

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