Yellow stones – purplish-pink, which is stronger in long wave; blue stones – blue to light-blue in both long and short wave; green stones – greenish-yellow, which is stronger in long wave; violet stones – greenish-yellow in long wave, light-purple in short wave.
Apatite is one of a few minerals produced and used by biological micro-environmental systems. Hydroxyapatite, also known as hydroxylapatite, is the major component of tooth enamel and bone mineral. A relatively rare form of apatite in which most of the OH groups are absent and containing many carbonate and acid phosphate substitutions is a large component of bone material.
Fluoro-chloro apatite forms the basis of the now obsolete Halophosphor fluorescent tube phosphor system. Dopant elements of manganese and antimony, at less than one mole-percent – in place of the calcium and phosphorus impart the fluorescence – and adjustment of the fluorine-to-chlorine ratio alter the shade of white produced. This system has been almost entirely replaced by the Tri-Phosphor system.
Apatite is infrequently used as a gemstone. Transparent stones of clean color have been faceted, and chatoyant specimens have been cabochon-cut. Chatoyant stones are known as cat's-eye apatite, transparent green stones are known as asparagus stone, and blue stones have been called moroxite. If crystals of rutile have grown in the crystal of apatite, in the right light the cut stone displays a cat's-eye effect. Major sources for gem apatite are Brazil, Myanmar, and Mexico. Other sources include Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the United States.
The standard enthalpies of formation in the crystalline state of hydroxyapatite, chlorapatite and a preliminary value for bromapatite, have been determined by reaction-solution calorimetry. Speculations on the existence of a possible fifth member of the calcium apatites family, iodoapatite, have been drawn from energetic considerations.
Structural and thermodynamic properties of crystal hexagonal calcium apatites, Ca10(PO4)6(X)2 (X= OH, F, Cl, Br), have been investigated using an all-atom Born-Huggins-Mayer potential by a molecular dynamics technique. The accuracy of the model at room temperature and atmospheric pressure was checked against crystal structural data, with maximum deviations of c. 4% for the haloapatites and 8% for hydroxyapatite. High-pressure simulation runs, in the range 0.5–75 kbar, were performed in order to estimate the isothermal compressibility coefficient of those compounds. The deformation of the compressed solids is always elastically anisotropic, with BrAp exhibiting a markedly different behavior from those displayed by HOAp and ClAp. High-pressure p-V data were fitted to the Parsafar-Mason equation of state with an accuracy better than 1%.
The monoclinic solid phases Ca10(PO4)6(X)2 (X= OH, Cl) and the molten hydroxyapatite compound have also been studied by molecular dynamics.
Moon rocks collected by astronauts during the Apollo program contain traces of apatite. Following new insights about the presence of water in the moon, re-analysis of these samples in 2010 revealed water trapped in the mineral as hydroxyl, leading to estimates of water on the lunar surface at a rate of at least 64 parts per billion – 100 times greater than previous estimates – and as high as 5 parts per million. If the minimum amount of mineral-locked water was hypothetically converted to liquid, it would cover the Moon's surface in roughly one meter of water.
The ectomycorrhizal fungi Suillus granulatus and Paxillus involutus can release elements from apatite. Release of phosphate from apatite is one of the most important activities of mycorrhizal fungi, which increase phosphorus uptake.
^According to Werner himself – (Werner, 1788), p. 85 – the name "apatite" first appeared in print in:
Gerhard, C.A., Grundriss des Mineral-systems [Outline of the system of minerals] (Berlin, (Germany): Christian Friedrich Himburg, 1786), p. 281. From p. 281: "Von einigen noch nicht genau bestimmten und ganz neu entdeckten Mineralien. Ich rechne hierzu folgende drei Körper: 1. Den Apatit des Herrn Werners. … "(On some still not precisely determined and quite recently discovered minerals. I count among these the following three substances: 1. the apatite of Mr. Werner. … )
Werner described the mineral in some detail in an article of 1788.
Werner, A.G. (1788) "Geschichte, Karakteristik, und kurze chemische Untersuchung des Apatits" (History, characteristics, and brief chemical investigation of apatite), Bergmännisches Journal (Miners' Journal), vol. 1, pp. 76–96. On pp. 84–85, Werner explained that because mineralogists had repeatedly misclassified it (e.g., as aquamarine), he gave apatite the name of "deceiver": "Ich wies hierauf diesem Foßile, als einer eigenen Gattung, sogleich eine Stelle in dem Kalkgeschlechte an; und ertheilte ihm, – weil es bisher alle Mineralogen in seiner Bestimmung irre geführt hatte, – den Namen Apatit, den ich von dem griechischen Worte απατάω (decipio) bildete, und welcher so viel as Trügling sagt." (I then immediately assigned to this fossil [i.e., material obtained from underground], as a separate type, a place in the lime lineage; and conferred on it – because it had previously led astray all mineralogists in its classification – the name "apatite", which I formed from the Greek word απατάω [apatáō] (I deceive) and which says as much as [the word] "deceiver".)
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