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The Mineral Fluorapatite

Fluorapatite Mineral Picture

Fluorapatite, also spelled as fluoroapatite, is a phosphate mineral having hard crystals. Though one can find its specimens in colors like brown, green, blue, and violet, the mineral in its pure form is colorless like any other material devoid of transition metals. It forms a vital component of tooth enamel. It forms crystals in a hexagonal system. It is regularly shared as a solid solution with hydroxylapatite (Ca5 (PO4) 3OH or Ca10 (PO4) 6 (OH) 2) in biological matrices. Its related structure is Chlorapatite (Ca5 (PO4) 3Cl). This mineral is a vital source of hydrofluoric and phosphoric acids.

Chemical Formula

Ca5 (PO4) 3F

Derivation of Name

Its name derives from the Greek word, “Apatao, ” referring to “misleading”

Occurrence

Fluorapatite is the most widespread phosphate mineral. It usually occurs in association with igneous rocks as also in metamorphic rocks, rich in calcium. It is normally found as a diagenic (of two origins) or detrital (recognizable) mineral in sedimentary rocks. It forms an essential constituent of phosphorite ore deposits. It is also found as a left over mineral in lateritic soils.

Gemology

The Fluorapatite mineral is hardly ever utilized as a gemstone.

Source

Foremost sources of the gem apatite include Burma, Brazil and Mexico. Additional sources are Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, India, Mozambique, Norway, Madagascar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Spain and the United States.

Mineralogy

It occurs in nature as tiny, frequently green, glassy crystals in lots of igneous rocks. It is also found in magnetite deposits, metamorphic rocks and high-temperature hydrothermal veins. It also crops up as Collophane in marine deposits. Crystals are hexagonal prisms that are short to long having {1010} and {1011} dominant. You can also find {0001} thick tabular ones regularly in hydrothermal origin crystals in pegmatites and veins, with moderately large {0001}, as also {1011}sizes, in the low pyramid forms, in huge, coarse, and rough to compact configurations.

Color

Sea-green, purple, blue, violet, pink, yellow, white, colorless, brown, may be zoned

Density 

3.18 g/cm3

Mohs scale hardness

5



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