21 Apatite Facts: Learn More About This Phosphate Mineral

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 05, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Feb 16, 2022
Apatite facts are interesting for kids.

Apatite is a type of stone found in metamorphic rocks, igneous rocks, and sedimentary rocks.

It is a group of phosphate minerals and is one of the few minerals produced by biological micro-environmental systems. This group of phosphate minerals contains the same physical properties and chemical compositions.

The chemical formula of apatite is Ca5(PO4)3(OH, F, Cl). Apatite in its crystal form is a valuable mineral for gem collectors. Apatite crystals occur in many different colors.

They can also be colorless or multicolored at the same time. The rock is usually green in color, but they are also available in blue, yellow, pink, and purple colors. Blue apatite is very popular among rock and mineral collectors.

Apatite is used in making many phosphoric materials. Apart from phosphate fertilizer, it is also utilized to produce animal feed supplements, elemental phosphorous, phosphoric acid, and phosphate compounds. To know more about apatite, keep on reading!

Facts About Apatite

Apatite forms an essential constituent for phosphorite, a type of rock that is solely mined for phosphorus and used to produce chemical compounds. It is very brittle and breaks with parting.

  • The term 'apatite' is used collectively for many phosphates and a mineral group, but it refers to a unique stone that comes in different colors. In some rock layers, it occurs as prismatic crystals, and such parties are characterized by hexagonal cross-sections. Apatite crystals include minerals that can cause a slight chatoyance or cat's eye effect.
  • The phosphate compounds found in animal bone and teeth samples vary considerably from the organically derived calcium phosphate. However, it is the same material found in apatite.
  • In 1786, the German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner coined the name 'Apatite.' The name is derived from a Greek word that means 'to deceive.' The name justifies the nature of the stone since many other minerals are often mistaken to be apatite.
  • Apatite contains many rare earth elements, making them usable as ores for other metals. It is not radioactive, so it does not cause any environmental hazards.
  • It was observed that traces of apatite also existed in the moon rocks collected during the Apollo mission.

Uses Of Apatite

Apatite is mainly used for producing phosphate fertilizers throughout the world. Additionally, there are also some metaphysical purposes of the rock.

  • Green and blue apatite are used as pigments. Apatite is mixed with sulfuric acid to produce phosphoric acid industrially, and this, in turn, results in the production of hydrogen fluoride as a byproduct.
  • The byproduct is an industrial source of producing hydrofluoric acid artificially.
  • It also helps in the storage of nuclear waste along with other phosphates. Apatite occasionally acts as the source of vanadium and uranium. These minerals are present in small amounts in the phosphate rock.
  • Apatite is also used as ore material. Sometimes, it contains rare earth elements in significant amounts, which can be used as an ore of such metals. It is preferable over traditional ores such as monazite. It is a significant ore mineral of the Hoidas Lake rare earth project.
  • Apatite is also often used as a gemstone. Clear and blue apatite is mainly used in this field. Gem apatite is collected mainly from Brazil, Mexico, and Myanmar. Other sources include the Czech Republic, India, Germany, the United States, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, and Spain.

Apatite Mining Areas

Apatite is a widely renowned rock, and it is found in many places around the world. They are mostly found in the layers of sedimentary rocks formed in either lacustrine or marine environments but are also collected from igneous and metamorphic rock sediments.

  • Apatite primarily occurs in all types of rocks, but sedimentary rocks are the most important deposits of apatite. The marine environment facilitates the formation of apatite.
  • Rarely, apatite occurs in the structure of hexagonal crystals. These types of forms of apatite are obtained from the pegmatite pockets and hydrothermal veins of both igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • Prismatic apatite closely resembling Tourmaline is extracted from the mine of Himalaya, San Diego, and Mesa Grande.
  • The attractive pink and purple crystals show excellent transparency. They are extracted from the mines of North Carolina, Kings Mountain, and Cleveland.
  • The serene light blue crystals come from the crystal mines of Montana, while yellow crystals are found in Colorado and Utah.

Apatite Gemstones

Apatite is commonly used as a gemstone. In astrology, this stone is considered a powerful stone that helps in achieving success by fighting all the evils. Apatite is related to achieving goals and calming your feelings of anger, confusion, and apathy.

This stone and its vibrant colors magically encourage good thoughts and ideas. It is mainly associated with intellect, physical awareness, meditation, and imagination. This soft gemstone is used in several jewelry-making industries.

  • The blue apatite is considered the stone of 'Throat Chakra.' It supposedly enhances your group communication skills and helps in public speaking. Being regarded as the 'Third Eye,' it also helps in improving memory skills and concentration.
  • Blue Apatite is a good stone for students since its good influences are related to education. It helps in time management while working on some projects.
  • Blue apatite is also considered to be a hunger suppressant. Wearing the stone or simply carrying it with you suppresses your hunger and helps you stay determined. It returns the body to a balance by eliminating blockages from your life.
  • It increases the possibility of making your dreams come true. The mineral has the power to manifest ideas into reality and therefore helps you reach your goal more quickly.
  • Wearing the gemstone increases your ability to communicate with others and express yourself more clearly. It enhances your power of communication as a whole. This makes apatite perfect for teachers as well.
  • On a physical health level, blue apatite is focused on healing the whole body system, including glands, organs, and meridians. Since it induces openness in a person, it is an excellent gemstone for autistic patients.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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