I’m talking about apatite of course, although you might be mistaken for thinking that you were looking at some sublime pieces of paraiba tourmaline. Apatite actually takes its name from the Greek ‘apate’ which means ‘to deceive’, which really is the perfect name for it. It is a shade of gemstone that is just very unusual, very hard to find and which really only has paraiba as a similar colour. Bright, neon aqua, it is a beautiful stone in its own right, although it is a lot cheaper than paraiba. It’s also a lot softer; at 5 on the Mohs scale, its going to scratch fairly easily and even break, so it should really be reserved for either special occasion jewellery or be put in settings where it’s not going to get rough treatment. If you’re going to put it in a ring, it’s probably not for everyday use or for, ahem, doing the washing up in. It’s hard to cut, hard to polish and so it would be easy to dismiss this stone, but one look at it and you’ll be lost, I promise. Treat it nicely and you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking gem. There’s plenty of lower grade material on the market, and this is lovely in its own right; it makes for a very nice dark blue to teal opaque stone. But the transparent material is the most eye-catching and as it grows in small crystals, larger stones are pretty rare.
Interestingly apatite is part of a group of minerals that is abundant in nature. It’s found in the human body as tooth enamel and bone, and in rocks from the moon. It’s also the world’s most common source of phosphorus, and so some forms of apatite are used to make fertilizers and chemicals. When I read that I had to check it, as it seems so extraordinary. I’ve been selling apatite for a long time now and it is a very steady seller. Even though it is unusual, I think the colour is so beguiling that people don’t worry so much that they haven’t heard of it.
Below you can see what I mean. The stunning blue of the Kat Florence ring, the bright popping colours of Nikos Koulis’ apatite, pink tourmaline and agate earrings and Poppy Jewellery’s apatite and tourmaline pendant. I suppose if I had to guess I’d say the bottom stone was the apatite, but I could not say for sure!
The oval mixed cut apatite stones in the header image are now available on discount at around £35 per stone; an absolute bargain! To check out all of our apatite, click here