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About ApatiteHide

The name ('apatit') was invented by A.G. Werner probably sometime in the mid-1780s, which he later described as being named from the Greek verb aπasάω (strictly ἀπasάω; transliterated as apatáō) as the derivation, which means ‘to deceive’ (someone) or ‘to be deceptive’, because, as he wrote, "until now it has misled all mineralogists in its identification." (Roycroft & Cuypers, 2015).
"Apatite" is a field term for unidentified calcium phosphate members of the apatite group.
Most "apatite" is fluorapatite, whereas hydroxylapatite is much less common and chlorapatite is very rare.

"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, milarite or phenakite.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Apatite.

Pronounciation of ApatiteHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Age distributionHide

Recorded ages:
Mesoarchean to Neogene : 3068 ± 225 Ma to 18.3 ± 2.1 Ma - based on 22 recorded ages.

Synonyms of ApatiteHide

Other Language Names for ApatiteHide

Varieties of ApatiteHide

Améthiste Basaltine (of Sage)A violet variety of Apatite from Saxony.
Apatized WoodFossilized wood where the replacement of the wood is by phosphates, principally apatite.
Asparagas StoneA yellowish green coloured apatite, especially from Marcia, Spain.
Carbonate-rich ApatiteSynonyms pertaining to undifferentiated carbonate-bearing apatites are listed in this file.

Crystals short to long hexagonal prisms [0001], with {1010} and {1011} dominant; also thick tabular {0001}, frequently in the crystals of hydrothermal origin in...
CerapatiteAn apatite with 3.18% rare earth elements (REE) and 1.33% Ce2O3 from the Kola Peninsula.

Originally reported from Kola Peninsula, Murmanskaja Oblast', Northern Region, Russia.
CollophaneA name used for the massive, cryptocrystalline, colloidal (amorphous) varieties of Carbonate-rich Fluorapatite or Carbonate-rich Hydroxylapatite, such as those that constitute the bulk of phosphate rock and fossil bone. The original material was carbonate...
EupyrchroiteA fibrous, mammillated variety of apatite.
Lazur-ApatiteA sky-blue variety of Apatite from Siberia.
MoroxiteA blue-green variety of Apatite from Arendal, Norway.
OsteolithMassive, earthy, impure variety of apatite.
PseudoapatiteName for apatite pseudomorph after pyromorphite.

Possibly carbonate-apatite.
TalkapatitA name applied to an apparent magnesian variety of Apatite.
TrilliumA yellow-green gem variety of apatite.
Originally reported from Bancroft District, Hastings Co., Ontario, Canada.
YttriumapatiteA name introduced by G. Flink in 1889 of a variety of apatite with 3.36 wt% Y2O3, found in the Narsaarsuk pegmatite (Narssârssuk pegmatite), Igaliku (Igaliko), Narsaq, Kujalleq, Greenland.

Relationship of Apatite to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
AlforsiteBa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
HydroxylapatiteCa5(PO4)3(OH)Hex. 6/m : P63/m
HydroxylpyromorphitePb5(PO4)3(OH)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mcm
JohnbaumiteCa5(AsO4)3OHHex. 6/m : P63/m
MimetitePb5(AsO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
PieczkaiteMn5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
PyromorphitePb5(PO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m
StronadelphiteSr5(PO4)3FHex. 6/m : P63/m
SvabiteCa5(AsO4)3FHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
Unnamed (F-analogue of Pyromorphite)Pb5(PO4)3F
Unnamed (OH-analogue of Mimetite)Pb5(AsO4)3(OH)
VanadinitePb5(VO4)3ClHex. 6/m : P63/m

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz186 photos of Apatite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Muscovite92 photos of Apatite associated with Muscovite on mindat.org.
Calcite86 photos of Apatite associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Fluorite80 photos of Apatite associated with Fluorite on mindat.org.
Albite62 photos of Apatite associated with Albite on mindat.org.
Siderite61 photos of Apatite associated with Siderite on mindat.org.
Epidote52 photos of Apatite associated with Epidote on mindat.org.
Pyroxene Group47 photos of Apatite associated with Pyroxene Group on mindat.org.
Schorl41 photos of Apatite associated with Schorl on mindat.org.
Magnetite38 photos of Apatite associated with Magnetite on mindat.org.

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Apatite in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for ApatiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Davila, M. (1767) Ordre Second. Pierres Gypseuses. 2. in 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) Pierreux Cristaux. Espece V. La Chrysolite. Essai de cristallographie. Paris. [as Chrysolite ordinaire]
Sage, B.G. (1777) Améthiste Basaltine. Eléméns de Minéralogie Docimastique, second edition, 2 volumes: 1: 231. [as Améthiste Basaltine]
de Lisle, R. (1783) Gemmes. Espèce VII. Chysolite ordinaire ou proprement dire. 2. Cristallographie, ou description des formes propres à tous les corps du regne minéral. 4 volumes, Paris: 2: 254, 271. [as Chrysolite ordinaire]
Gerhards, C.A. (1786) Erster Anhang. Von einigen noch nicht genau bestimmten und ganz neu entdecken Mineralien. in Grundriss des Mineralsystems, Christian Friedrich Himburg, Berlin: 281-287. [as Apatit]
Klaproth (1788) Bergmännisches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmännisches Journal): 294. [as Phosphorsaurer-Kalk]
Proust (1788) Le Journal de physique et le radium, Paris: 32: 241. [as Phosphate calcaire]
Werner (1788) Bergmännisches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmännisches Journal): 576. [as Apatit]
Hoffmann, C.A.S. (1789) Mineralsystem des Herrn Inspektor Werners mit dessen Erlaubnis herausgegeben von C.A.S. Hoffmann. Bergmännisches Journal: 1: 369-398. [as Apatit]
Pelletier (1790) Annales de chimie, Paris: 7.
Werner (1790) Bergmännisches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmännisches Journal): 74. [as Spargelgrüne Steinkrystalle aus Spanien nähern Apatit]
Kirwan, R. (1794) Elements of Mineralogy, second edition: 1: 129. [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 and Augustit]
Haüy, R.J. (1801) Chaux phosphatée. 1. Traité de minéralogie. First edition: in 4 volumes with atlas in fol.: 2. [all varieties, including moroxite]
Karsten, D.L.G. (1808) Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin, second edition: 52. [as Phosphorit]
Emmons (1838) Rep. Geol., New York: 252. [as Eupyrchroite]
Hermann (1844) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 31: 101. [as Talkapatit]
Henry, T.H. (1850) XVII. On francolite, a supposed new mineral. Philosophical Magazine Series: 3: 241, 134-135.
Bromeis (1851) Ann. Chem. Pharm.: 79. [as Osteolith]
Dana, J.D. (1854) V. Phosphates, Arsenates, Antimonates, Nitrates. 1. Anhydrous. 1. Apatite Group. 1. in A System of Mineralogy Fourth Edition, George P. Putnam and Co., New York and London: 396-399.
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]
Rammelsberg, C.F. (1860) Apatit. in Handbuch der Mineralchemie, Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig: 351-355.
Phipson (1862) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 15: 277. [as Sombrerite]
Dana, J.D. and Brush, G.J. (1869) Apatite. in A System of Mineralogy, Fifth Edition, John Wiley and Son, New York: 530-535.
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 Paläontologie, 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, P. (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, C. (1924) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4A]: 562.
Shannon and Larsen (1925) American Journal of Science: 9: 250.
Fersman (1928) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Beilage.-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.
Foshag, W.F. (1936) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 21: 269-272.
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, D. (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., and 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.
Fisher, D.J. and Volborth, A. (1960) Morinite-Apatite-Whitlockite. American Mineralogist 45, 645-667.
Kay, M.I., Young, R.A., and Posner, A.S. (1964) Crystal structure of hydroxyapatite. Nature: 204: 1050-1052.
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.
Hughes, J.M., Cameron, M., and Crowley, K.D. (1989) Structural variations in natural F, OH, and Cl apatites. American Mineralogist: 74: 870-876.
Hughes, J.M., Cameron, M., and Crowley, K.D. (1990) Crystal structures of natural ternary apatites: Solid solution in the Ca5(PO4)3X (X=F, OH, Cl) system. American Mineralogist: 75: 295-304.
Elliott, J.C. (1994) Structure and chemistry of the apatites and other calcium orthophosphates. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 389 pp.
Fleet, M.E. and Pan, Y. (1997) 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 and 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.
Dorozhkin, S.V. (2009) Calcium orthophosphates in nature, biology and medicine. Materials 2, 399-498.
Pasero, M., Kampf, A.R., Ferraris, C., Pekov, I.V., Rakovan, J.R., and White, T.J. (2010) Nomenclature of the apatite supergroup minerals. European Journal of Mineralogy: 22: 163-179.
Hovis, G.L., Scott, B.T., Altomare, C.M., Leaman, A.R., Morris, M.D., Tomaino, G.P., and McCubbin, F.M. (2014) Thermal expansion of fluorapatite-hydroxylapatite crystalline solutions. American Mineralogist: 99: 2171-2175.
Hughes, J.M., Heffernan, K.M., Goldoff, B., and Nekvasil, H. (2014) Cl-rich fluorapatite, devoid of OH, from the Three Peaks Area, Utah: the first reported structure of natural Cl-rich fluorapatite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 52: 643-651.
Hughes, J.M. (2015) The many facets of apatite. American Mineralogist: 100: 1033-1039.
Hughes, J.M. and Rakovan, J.F. (2015) Structurally robust, chemically diverse: apatite and apatite supergroup minerals. Elements 11, 165-170.
Teiber, H., Marks, M.A.W., Arzamastsev, A.A., Wenzel, T., and Markl, G. (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.
Roycroft, P.D. and Cuypers, M. (2015) The etymology of the mineral name 'apatite': a clarification. Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, 3: 71-75.

Internet Links for ApatiteHide

Localities for ApatiteHide

This 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.

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