McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Home » Minerals » Apatite

Apatite


Mineral Properties and Uses



What is Apatite?



Apatite is a group of phosphate minerals which includes: fluorapatite, chlorapatite, hydroxylapatite, carbonate-rich apatite and francolite. The term "apatite" is often used for fluorapatite, the most common of these minerals. Apatite is found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. The most extensive deposits are the sedimentary "phosphate rocks", which are mined to produce phosphate fertilizer.


Uses of Apatite



The primary use of apatite is in the manufacture of fertilizer - it is a source of phosphorus. It is occasionally used as a gemstone. Apatite also serves as an index mineral of Mohs hardness scale with a hardness of five.


Physical Properties of Apatite

Chemical Classification phosphate
Color green, brown, blue, yellow, violet, colorless
Streak white
Luster vitreous to subresinous
Diaphaneity transparent to translucent
Cleavage poor
Mohs Hardness 5
Specific Gravity 3.1 to 3.2
Diagnostic Properties color, crystal form, and hardness, can be scratched with a steel knife blade
Chemical Composition a variety of calcium phosphates
    - fluorapatite: Ca5(PO4)3F
    - hydroxylapatite: Ca5(PO4)3(OH)
    - chlorapatite: Ca5(PO4)3Cl
    - carbonate-rich apatite/francolite:
      Ca5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
Crystal System hexagonal
Uses


Green Apatite cabochon
A cabochon cut from apatite from the Kola Peninsula (Khibiny Region) of Russia. This gemstone is approximately 24 millimeters by 18 millimeters.


Cats eye Apatite
Apatite cabochon with a cat's eye from Sri Lanka. The gemstone is approximately 3 carats, and 9 millimeters by 7 millimeters.



Find it on Geology.com




More from Geology.com


strontium titanate
Strontium Titanate is a man-made diamond simulant with a fire much stronger than diamond.
What Are Meteorites?
What Are Meteorites? Rocks which were once part of planets or large asteroids.
Asteroid Impact Map
Asteroid Impact Map: Explore fifty of the most obvious asteroid impact craters on Earth.
Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons: The largest volcano in the solar system is on Mars.
The San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault: A feature that separates the Pacific and North American Plates.
bear attack
Bear Attacks! Knowing how to react to a bear encounter and attack could save your life.
Mount Etna
Mount Etna: The most active volcano in Europe, continues an eruption that started in 2001.
Uses of Marble
The Uses of Marble are numerous and diverse. You will be surprised by how it is used.


Apatite
Apatite from Perth, Ontario, Canada. Specimen is approximately 4 inches (10 centimeters) across.




Apatite from Canada
Apatite Crystal from Perth, Ontario, Canada. Specimen is approximately 2 inches (5 centimeters) across.


Apatite crystal
Apatite Crystal from Perth, Ontario, Canada. Specimen is approximately 2 inches (5 centimeters) across.


More Minerals
  Minerals
  Quartz
  Mineral Identification Chart
  Fluorescent Minerals
  Find Minerals and Gems
  Diamond
  Calcite
  Diamonds Do Not Form From Coal




© 2005-2015 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code and content of this website are property of Geology.com. Use without permission is prohibited. Pages on this site are protected by Copyscape.