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Apatite is the name given to a group of three related minerals the most common of which is fluorapatite(Ca5(PO4)3F), and more rarely clorapatite(Ca5(PO4)3Cl) and hydroxylapatite(Ca5(PO4)3OH). A complete solid solution series exists between these three with F, Cl and OH substituting for each other. Also, (CO3,OH) may substitute for (PO4) resulting in carbonate-apatite.
The name Collophane has been used for the massive cryptocrystalline apatite that makes up most phosphate rocks and fossil bones.
Apatite (Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)) is a common accessory mineral in many types of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. The largest apatite deposits are associated with alkalic rocks. The phosphates in bones and teeth are members of the apatite group.
The color in apatite is often due to the presence of rare earth elements or by natural irradiation.
Apatite is characterized by its hardness, crystal habit and color.
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The name apatite is from the Greek word to deceive because the gem varieties were often confused with other minerals.
Previously apatite was used as a source of phosphate for fertilizer, but today mainly phosphorites are used. Apatites of fine color and transparency are occaisionally used as gemstones, however the relatively low hardness of apatite limits its use as a gem, making it suitable only for use as gemstones in earrings, brooches and pendants. The use of apatite gems as ringstones requires extra care to prevent abrasion and loss of polish.
The astrological sign of apatite is Gemini.
Apatite is said to enhance one's insight, learning abilities and creativity, and to give increased self-confidence. It also is said to help achieve deeper states of meditation. Using apatite is said to facilitate the desired results when working with other minerals.
Apatite is said to be usefull to help improve one's coordination and to strengthen muscles, and to help suppress hunger and ease hypertension.
For more in-depth metaphysical information, see our Metaphysical Books section.
This is the end of our Apatite Factsheet and Information page.
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