Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on MindatThe Mindat Store
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryHow to Link to MindatDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery


This page kindly sponsored by Matt Zukowski
From the Greek απατείν ("apatein"), "to deceive" or "to be misleading", as apatite was often confused with other minerals (e.g. beryl, milarite).
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 for gemological information about Apatite.

Classification of Apatite URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Physical Properties of Apatite

Hardness (Mohs):
3.1 - 3.2 g/cm3 (Measured)    

Crystallography of Apatite

Crystal System:

Other Names for Apatite

Other Information

Health Risks:
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.

Teiber, Holger; Marks, Michael A. W.; Arzamastsev, Andrei A.; Wenzel, Thomas; Markl, Gregor (2015): Compositional variation in apatite from various host rocks: clues with regards to source composition and crystallization conditions. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie - Abhandlungen, 192, 151-167.

Internet Links for Apatite

The following Apatite specimens are currently listed for sale on

Localities for Apatite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2015, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: November 25, 2015 23:56:38 Page generated: November 25, 2015 18:24:05