The name is evocative, deriving from the Greek word ‘apato’, or ‘deceit’, and mirrors the confusion that has surrounded this gemstone in the past due to its broad color palette. Often mistaken for Tourmaline, Peridot or Beryl, in truth Apatite has no need to hide behind other gemstones: its marvelous colors and beauty make it a truly multifaceted precious stone.
Apatite is a mineral found in various countries, although jewelry quality stones are quite rare. The most important deposits are located in Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia and Mexico, but a few examples have also been extracted in Canada and Russia. In 1995, a few neon blue examples of Apatite were found in Mexico, very similar in color to Paraíba Tourmaline, turning this gemstone into an instant celebrity.
Rare, neon blue apatite is rarely over .25 carat in gem quality. Courtesy of, Chateau Peridot.
Neon blue Apatite is very rare. Also a blue gray and lavender apatite were discovered in Namibia. the largest flawless cut blue gray is owned by Chateau Peridot in Lynchburg, Virginia.
31.13 carat Blue Gray Namibian Apatite the largest known flawless specimen in the world currently.
Properties of Apatite
Neither too dark or too light, Apatite shines with intense colors and a well-balanced luster. Its brilliance is also affected by other factors, such as dimensions, purity, color saturation and the quality of the faceting. Polishing Apatite represents a true challenge for gem cutters. A well-polished, skillfully cut Apatite is a highly valuable gemstone. Usually cut in baguette, oval and round cuts, this stone may also be worked in various styles, such as stepped or mixed cuts. Apatites larger than one carat of eye clean purity are extremely rare.
Paraiba blue, apatite courtesy Chateau Peridot.
Apatite became very popular after the discovery of Paraiba tourmaline since the color can be almost identical at a fraction of the price.