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Name:From the Greek απατείν ("apatein"), "to deceive" or "to be misleading", as apatite was often confused with other minerals (e.g. beryl, milarite).
Synonym of:Chlorapatite, Fluorapatite, Hydroxylapatite

NOTE: This file incorporates all synonyms applied in the past to undifferentiated apatites, or plain old "apatite." Most "apatite" is fluorapatite.

"Apatite" crystals are short to long hexagonal prisms [0001], with {1010} and {1011} dominant; also thick tabular {0001}, frequently in the crystals of hydrothermal origin in pegmatites and veins, with {1010}, relatively large {0001}, and often also {1011} or low pyramids. Massive, coarse granular to compact. Globular or reniform at times with a sub-fibrous, scaly, or imperfectly columnar structure or as fibrous crusts; stalactitic; earthy; oolitic. May be rock-forming in beds of great extent; as nodular concretions in clays and shales; conglomeritic.

Apatite may be confused with beryl.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Apatite. Currently in public beta-test.

Classification of Apatite

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Physical Properties of Apatite

Hardness (Mohs):5
Density (measured):3.1 - 3.2 g/cm3

Crystallography of Apatite

Crystal System:Hexagonal

Other Names for Apatite

AgustiteAsparagoliteAsparagus StoneAugustiteEstramadurite
FluocollophaniteFluorcollophaneKietyogiteKietyöitePhosphate of Lime
Other Languages:
Chaux phosphatatée
Chrysolite ordinaire
La Pierre Phosphorique
Phosphate calcaire
Pierre d'Asperge
Phosphorsaurer Kalk
Sächsischer Beryll
Spargelgrüne Steinkrystalle aus Spanien nähern Apatit
Kazakh (Arabic Script):Апатит
Norwegian (Bokmål):Apatitt
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Апатит
Simplified Chinese:磷灰石
Améthiste Basaltine (of Sage)Apatized WoodAsparagas StoneCarbonate-rich ApatiteCerapatite

Other Information

Special Storage/
Display Requirements from:
San Diego Mine,..., San Diego Co., California, USAWill fade on exposure to UV
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Apatite

Reference List:

- +
Davila, M. (1767) Catalogue syst. et raisonné des curiosités de la nature et de l’art qui composent de cabinet de M. Davila. 3 volumes, Paris (as La Pierre Phosphorique).

de Lisle, R. (1772) Essai de cristallographie. Paris (as Chryslite ordinaire).

Sage, B.G. (1777) Eléméns de minéralogie docimastique, second edition, 2 volumes: 1: 231 (as Améthiste Basaltine).

de Lisle, R. (1783) Cristallographie, ou description des formes propres à tous les corps du regne minéral. 4 volumes, Paris: 2: 254, 271 (as Chryslite ordinaire).

Werner (1786) Gerhard's Grundr.: 281 (as Apatit).

Klaproth (1788) Bergmaennusches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmannische Journal): 294 (as Phosphorsaurer-Kalk).

Proust (1788) Le Journal de physique et le radium, Paris: 32: 241 (as Phosphate calcaire).

Werner (1788) Bergmaennusches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmannische Journal): 576 (as Apatit).

Werner (1789) Bergmaennusches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmannische Journal): 378 (as Apatit).

Pelletier (1790) Annales de chimie, Paris: 7.

Werner (1790) Bergmaennusches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmannische Journal): 74 (as Spargelgrüne Steinkrystalle aus Spanien nähern Apatit).

Kirwan, R. (1794) Elements of Mineralogy, second edition: 1: 129 (as Phosphorite).

Karsten, D.L.G. (1808) Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin, second edition: 52 (as Phosphorite).

Abildgaard (1798) Moll’s Berg.-Hütten, Jb.: 2: 432 (as Moroxite).

Vauquelin (1798) Annales de chimie, Paris: 26: 123 (as Chaux phosphatatée).

Abildgaard (1800) Annales de chimie, Paris: 32: 195 (as Asparagolithe).

Karsten, D.L.G. (1800) Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin. First edition: 36 (applied to all varieties except Moroxite).

Trommsdorf (1800) J. de pharm.: 8: 153 (as Sächsischer Beryll & Augustit).

Haüy, R.J. (1801) Traité de minéralogie. First edition: in 4 volumes with atlas in fol.: 2 ( all varieties, including moroxite).

Emmons (1838) Rep. Geol., New York: 252 (as Eupyrchroite).

Hermann (1844) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 31: 101 (as Talkapatit).

Bromeis (1851) Ann. Chem. Pharm.: 79 (as Osteolith).

Shepard (1856) American Journal of Science: 22: 96 (as Pyroguanite, Glaubapatite).

Nordenskiöld (1857) Moskovskoe Obshchestvo Ispytatelei Prirody (Société impériale des naturalists de Moscou): 30: 217, 224 (as Lazur-apatit).

Phipson (1862) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 15: 277 (as Sombrerite).

Roscoe and Schorlemmer (1877) Treat. on Chem: 1: 459 (as Estramadurite).

Viola (1905) Rendus comitato geologico d’Italia, Rome, Bollettino: 6: 106 (optical anomalies).

Chirvinsky (1907) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 279 (optical anomalies).

Lacroix, A. (1910) Minéralogie de la France et des ses colonies, Paris. 5 volumes: vol. 4: 558 (optical anomalies), 561 (phosphate rock deps.).

Doelter, C. (1911-1931) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie (in 4 volumes divided into parts): 3, [1]: 333, 354.

Brauns (1916) Jb. Min., Beil.-Bd.: 41: 73 (optical anomalies).

Bellucci and Grassi (1919) Gazzetta chimica italiana, Rome: 49: 232.

Ramdohr (1919) Jb. Preuss. Geol. Landesanst.: 40: 284.

Simpson (1920) Mineralogical Magazine: 19: 29.

Zambonini (1923) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 58: 226.

Bornemann-Starinkevitch (1924) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S., n.s.: 39.

Fersman (1924) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S., n.s.: 42.

Hintze, Carl (1924) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4A]: 562.

Shannon and Larsen (1925) American Journal of Science: 9: 250.

Fersman (1928) Jb. Min., Beil.-Bd.: 55: 40 (as Cerapatite).

Simpson (1929) Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia: 15: 99.

Alfani (1932) Periodico de Mineralogia-Roma: 3: 220.

Dittler and Hueber (1932) Annalen des naturhistorischen Staats-Museum: 46: 185.

Simpson (1933) Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia: 20: 47.

Gruner and McConnell (1937) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 97: 208.

McConnell (1937) American Mineralogist: 22: 977.

Borneman-Starinkevitch (1938) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S., n.s.: 19: 253.

Deans (1938) Mineralogical Magazine: 25: 135.

McConnell, Duncan (1938), A structural investigation of the isomorphism of the apatite group. American Mineralogist: 23: 1-19.

Belov (1939) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S., n.s.: 22: 89.

Thewlis (1939) Transactions of the Faraday Society: 35: 358.

Mansfield (1940) American Journal of Science: 238: 863 (phosphate rock deps.).

McConnell and Gruner (1940) American Mineralogist: 25: 157.

Mason (1941) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 63: 383.

Minguzzi (1941) Periodico de Mineralogia-Roma: 12: 343.

Sahama (1941) Bull. Comm.. géol. Finlande: no. 126: 50.

Dihn and Klement (1942) Zeitschrift für Elektrochemie und angewandte physikalische Chemie, Halle a.S.: 48: 331.

McConnell (1943) Geological Society of America Bulletin: 54: 707 (phosphate rock deps.).

Volodchenkova and Melentiev (1943) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S., n.s.: 39: 34.

Gordon (1944) Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia: 96: 333.

Hudson, Cherkes, and Buchwald (1945) Journal of Urology: 53: 654 (sulfatian in urinary tracts).

Jolibois and Hébert (1946) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 222: 569.

Pieruccini (1947) Att. Soc. tosc.: 54.

Afanasev (1948) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S., n.s: 62: 677.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 878.

Portnov, A.M. and Gorobets, B.S. (1969) Luminescence of apatite fro different rock types. Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR: 184: 110-113.

McConnell, D. (1973) Apatite, its Crystal Chemistry, Mineralogy, Utilization, and Geologic and Biologic Occurrences. Springer-Verlag, New York, N.Y.

Lang, A.R. and Walmsley, J.C. (1983) Apatite inclusions in natural diamond coat. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 9: 6-8.

Farver, J.R. and Gletti, B.J. (1989) Oxygen and strontium diffusion kinetics in apatite and potential application to thermal history determinations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 53: 1621-1631.

Hogarth, D.D. (1989) Pyrochlore, apatite and amphibole: distinctive minerals in carbonatite. In K. Bell, Ed., Carbonatites: Genesis and Evolution: 105-148. Unwin Hyman Ltd., London.

Elliott, J. C. (1994): Structure and chemistry of the apatites and other calcium orthophosphates. Elservier, Amsterdam, 389 pp.

Fleet, M.E. and Pan, Y. (1997b) Rare earth elements in apatite: uptake from H2O-bearing phosphate-fluoride melts and role of volatile components. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 61: 4645-4760.

Jonckheere, R. and Wagner, G. (2000) On the occurrence of anomalous fission tracks in apatite and titanite American Mineralogist: 85: 1744-1753.

Hughes, J.M. and Rakovan, J. (2002) The crystal structure of apatite, Ca5(PO4)3(F,OH,Cl). In Phosphates - Geochemical, Geobiological, and Materials Importance (M.L. Kohn, J. Rakovan, and J.M. Hughes, Eds.). Rev. Mineral. Geochem.: 48: 1-12.

Pan, Y. and Fleet, M.E. (2002) Compositions of the apatite group minerals: substitution mechanisms ansd controlling factors. In Phosphates. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry (M.J. Kohn, J. Rakovan and J.M. Hughes, Eds.) Reviews in Mineralogy: 48: 13-49.

Waychunas, G. (2002) Apatite luminescence. Reviews in Mineralogy and geochemistry: 48: 701-742.

Flora, N.J., Yoder, C.H., and Jenkins, H.D.B. (2003) Lattice energies of apatites and estimation of ΔH1°(PO3- 4 g). Inorganic Chemistry: 34: 499-517.

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    Localities for Apatite

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