Apatite, a stone seldom found in jewelry stores and virtually unknown to the general public, is beloved by collectors for its many different colors and forms. Only with the recent availability of the neon blue-green variety from Madagascar, has its jewelry use increased. The color of the best specimens of this type rivals the famed Paraiba tourmalines, but apatite is not quite as hard.
What jewelry designs are great for apatite?
At 5 on the Mohs scale, apatite must be cut, set, and worn gently. Earrings, pendants, pins, and tie tacks are quite safe, but ring use should be limited to occasional wear pieces with protective settings. Care for this stone is similar to that given opals, it is heat and shock sensitive, so steamers and ultrasonics must be avoided.
Gems are available in yellows and various shades of blues and greens. Some of the blues show chatoyancy and can be cut as cat's eyes. The main sources are Brazil, Canada, India, Mozambique, and Madagascar.
GemSelect has a great selection of smaller cabochons. Many other retailers do not. Plus, the photo of the stone is the one you are purchasing. Shipping from Thailand is nearly as fast as from within the US. Stones are tightly and neatly packaged.