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


Minerals
Minerals: Information about ore minerals, gem materials and rock-forming minerals.
Fossils
Fossils: Learn about fossils and fossil discoveries around the world.
Novarupta
Wrong Volcano! The most powerful eruption of the 20th century was misidentified?
Mount Etna
Mount Etna: The most active volcano in Europe, continues an eruption that started in 2001.
Fluorescent Minerals
Fluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors under ultraviolet light.
Sliding Rocks
Sliding Rocks Mystery: What causes these rocks to slide across a Death Valley playa?
Volcanoes
Volcanoes: Articles about volcanoes, volcanic hazards and eruptions past and present.
rocks
Rock Gallery: Photos of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks with descriptions.


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.


Mineral Information
 Andalusite
 Anhydrite
 Apatite
 Arsenopyrite
 Augite
 Azurite

 Barite
 Bauxite
 Beryl
 Biotite
 Bornite

 Calcite
 Cassiterite
 Chalcocite
 Chalcopyrite
 Chlorite
 Chromite
 Chrysoberyl
 Cinnabar
 Clinozoisite
 Copper
 Cordierite
 Corundum
 Cuprite
 Diamond
 Diopside
 Dolomite

 Enstatite
 Epidote

 Fluorite

 Galena
 Garnet
 Glauconite
 Gold
 Graphite
 Gypsum

 Halite
 Hematite
 Hornblende

 Ilmenite

 Jadeite

 Kyanite
 Limonite

 Magnesite
 Magnetite
 Malachite
 Marcasite
 Molybdenite
 Monazite
 Muscovite

 Nepheline
 Nephrite

 Olivine
 Orthoclase

 Plagioclase
 Prehnite
 Pyrite
 Pyrophyllite
 Pyrrhotite

 Quartz

 Rhodochrosite
 Rhodonite
 Rutile
 Scapolite
 Serpentine
 Siderite
 Sillimanite
 Silver
 Sodalite
 Sphalerite
 Spinel
 Spodumene
 Staurolite
 Sulfur
 Sylvite

 Talc
 Titanite
 Topaz
 Tourmaline
 Turquoise

 Uraninite

 Witherite
 Wollastonite

 Zircon
 Zoisite


San Andreas Fault
Vesuvius
Blood Diamonds
What is Geology?
Diamonds Don't Form From Coal
Types of Volcanic Eruptions
Volcanoes!
What is a Debris Flow?




© 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.