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 Cat's Eye Apatite

 

Gemstone :
Cat's Eye Apatite

Birthstone Month :
Apatite is not associated with any particular birthstone month.

Zodiac :
Apatite is one of the accepted birthstones associated with the zodiac sign Gemini.

Chemical Symbol :
Ca5(PO4)3(OH,F,Cl)

Chemical Make-up :
Apatite is made up of basic Fluoro-Calcium, Chloro-Calcium and Hydroxyl Phosphate minerals.

History & Lore :
The word Apatite is derived from the Greek word “apate', meaning to deceive. This was primarily due to the fact that Apatite was often mistaken for rarer, more valuable gemstones such as Beryl, Olivine and Peridot. Apatite falls into two categories, Chlor-Apetite (Chloro-Calcium), and Flour-Apetite (Flouro—Calcium). The name Cat's eye is derived from the phenomena displayed by this stone known as chatoyancy.

Apatite enhances the wearers learning abilities, self-confidence and creativity. In addition to this, Apatite is an aid to achieving a deeper state of meditation and to increasing insightfulness. Apatite eases hypertension and decreases hunger, or “appetite”. In addition to this, Apatite is said to be a good gemstone for unblocking any of the chakras.

Availability :
Apatite is a commonly occurring gemstone, with supply easily meeting current demand, ensuring that Apatite is a low to moderately priced gemstone, with per Carat prices ranging in the region of US$75 – US$250 depending upon coloration.

 

Sources :
There are known Apatite deposits in Algeria, Austria, Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Sweden, Tunisia and the United States (California, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana).

Evaluation :
Apatite is rated at 5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Apatite can be worn every day in brooches, earrings and pendants, but it is generally considered too soft to be worn in a ring.

Apatite can be found in many colors, including, blue, brown, colorless, green, pink, purple, red, violet and yellow. Cat's Eye Apatite displays an amazing phenomena known as chatoyancy, also known in the gem trade as “the cat's eye effect”. The reason for this fascinating phenomenon is very fine inclusions within the stone. When a light source is directed on these inclusions, a bright strip of light appears, running perpendicular to the inclusions. This strip will then glide across the surface of the stone when turned over.

The most important value factor When buying Cat's Eye Apatite gemstones is the strength and sharpness of the eye. The eye of the stone must have a fine line running through it that is both distinct and easily recognizable. Two other important factors to consider are color and clarity. Gemstones with a finely marked eye-line, good color saturation and few inclusions are inherently more valuable and command higher prices.

Common Cuts :
Cat's Eye Apatites are most commonly and almost exclusively cut into cabochons. This is because a tall, round cut is required to maximize the striking Cat's Eye effect most brilliantly.

Routine Enhancements :
Cat's Eye Apatite gemstones do not normally require treatment. Those that do however are usually heat treated or irridated to improve colorayion and chatoyancy.

Care & Cleaning :
Apatite is particularly sensitive to abrasives, chemicals, heat, ammonia and acids. Ultrasonic cleaners and steamers should also be avoided. Apatite is best cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. Apatite jewelry should be stored on its own in a lined jewelry box, away from harder jewelry, which may cause scratches or abrasions.

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