There are very few minerals that are produced and used with the help of biological micro environmental systems. One of them is the mineral / gemstone Apatite. This Apatite mineral is basically a group of phosphate minerals, mainly, hydroxylapatite, fluorapatite and chlorapatite.
Apatite is not used much as a gemstone, and though apatite as a mineral is commonly found, “gem quality” Apatite is quite rare. The gemstone quality of Apatite is known to gemstone connoisseurs in many colors, but two colors are prominent. They are the Paraiba-like blue green and its leek-green color, which has earned the stone the name, ‘Asparagus stone’.
The deep purple form of Apatite is also available, but this is a rare stone, found in the Mount Apatite of Maine, USA. Occasionally, you may get to see colorless, yellow, pink and violet colored apatite stones too.
Besides Maine, there are other places across the world famous for gem quality Apatite like Burma, Mexico and Brazil. Madagascar is where you usually find the blue green material. Other sources of Apatite are Germany, Canada, Czechoslovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Norway and the US.
Tips for Buying Apatite
When buying Apatite, it is important to take color saturation into consideration as the more intense the color of the stone, the higher is its value. Moreover, gemstones over one carat are very rare to find, and fetch a high price. However it is difficult to find a clean Apatite stone as most pieces have a few inclusions in them.
The most expensive Apatite stones are those from Maine while blue Brazilian stones come second in line. Basically, it is the recent availability of the neon blue green variety of Apatite from Madagascar that has promoted the popularity of Apatite jewelry, and especially Apatite necklaces.
Though the colors of the Apatite rival those of the Paraiba Tourmaline, Apatite lacks Tourmaline’s hardness and toughness. Though Apatite is basically a transparent gemstone, sometimes blue Apatite shows ‘chatoyancy’ or internal ‘optical reflectance’ wherein the stone can be cut as cat’s eyes.
Apatite Rings are Not Advised
As Apatite has a 5 on the Mohs scale, this is a stone that can be cut, set and worn gently. Though Apatite necklaces, pendants, pins, tacks and earrings are relatively safe to wear, the Apatite ring is not suggested as the stone is too soft for a ring. This is why the gemstone has to be given care when handling. It is heat and shock sensitive, so avoid steamers and ultrasonic radiation.
Therapeutic Benefits of Apatite
Apatite jewelry is not only used for enhancing your wardrobe, but it is used therapeutically both in the rounded and rough form. Rounded apatite necklaces are said to nourish the body by improving the flow of nutrients and solving food related issues.
It also is said to help strengthen bones, joints and marrow of the body and helps to resolve emotional and karmic issues. Rough, unpolished apatite stones are also said to help thwart oncoming cold and other viral illnesses if used properly and help to reduce the severity of the illness, although there have yet to be scientific studies which have verified this conclusively.
Copyright 2008 Paraiba International