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


Sand
Sand is a diverse material. This gallery includes photos of sand from around the world.
Types of Volcanic Eruptions
Types of Volcanic Eruptions: A description of the most common eruption types.
US Gemstones
United States Gemstones: A diversity of gemstones are produced in the United States.
Find Minerals & Gems: Dozens of sites where you can dig and keep what you find.
Salt Domes
Salt Domes are columns of salt that move upwards because of the salt\\\'s low specific gravity.
Tallest Mountain
Tallest Mountain: Everest has rivals in tallness, altitude and distance to the center of Earth.
Peridotite
Peridotite is a chromite host rock, a source of diamonds and a possible carbon dioxide sink.
Blood Diamonds
Blood Diamonds are illegally-traded diamonds that are often used to fund conflict.


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
  Kyanite
  Minerals
  Gold
  Fluorescent Minerals
  Mohs Hardness Scale
  Mineral Identification Chart
  Quartz
  Diamonds Do Not Form From Coal




© 2005-2014 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.