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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Apatite

The beautiful intense blue color of this apatite results from heat treatment of a naturally green stone.
Photo by Greg Polley. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G10571-00
Locality Urrcum Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Weight 4.25 ct

Apatite is a phosphate mineral that has a hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale, making it too soft to be widely used as a gemstone for jewelry. Apatites are transparent to translucent, most commonly green to blue, but can also be colorless, yellow, violet, pink or brown. Transparent stones with good color can be faceted into gemstones; the intense blue apatites seen in jewelry today most typically result from heat treament of a natually green stone. Major sources for gem quality apatite are Brazil, Burma, and Mexico.


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