APATITE

Apatite is a natural colored calcium fluoride phosphate, with chlorine, hydroxyl or carbonate sometimes replacing the fluoride. It is a source of phosphorus for plants and is used in the manufacture of fertilizers. Apatite is composed of three different minerals depending on the predominance of either fluorine, chlorine or the hydroxyl group. These are considered together due to the difficulty in distinguishing them in hand samples using ordinary methods. The name apatite comes from the Greek word "apate" that means "to deceive" in allusion to its similarity to other more valuable minerals such as olivine, peridot and beryl. Apatite is found in all igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. It can also be cut as gems but the softness of apatite prevents its acceptance as a gemstone. The nature of this gemstones varies from being transparent to opaque, with colors ranging from yellow, green, blue, violet and colorless. Apatite is found in different worldwide locations like: Russia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Africa.

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