Bahia Apatite is a rare, beautiful, blue gemstone from the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Apatite is a hugely popular gemstone that comes in almost every shade of blue, from cool neon through to bright indigo and vivid royal blues.
Refractive Index 1.628 – 1.649
Relative Density 3.16 – 3.23
In gemstones, color is the most important consideration and blue gems with an attractive brilliance are especially coveted. Visually similar to the famed Paraíba Tourmaline, Bahia Apatite displays cool neon blues. Usually only found as small crystals, Bahia Apatite typically has inclusions, but these are often masked by its color intensity. Bahia Apatite is challenging for the lapidary due to polishing difficulties and inherent inclusions whose positioning impacts both beauty and value. The degree of polish can vary due to the skill of the lapidary, giving our expertly faceted, well-polished Bahia Apatite a premium quality. One of the world’s most attractive gemstones, Bahia Apatite’s blues suites all complexions.
A gemological chameleon, Apatite’s name comes from the Greek ‘apatao’ (to deceive) due to a historical confusion with other gemstones. Apatite’s propensity for deception even has its roots in Greek mythology. One of the spirits released from Pandora’s Box, Apate is the goddess of deceit, fraud and trickery. While its name is really about how Apatite can fool you, it does sound a bit like ‘appetite’ and there actually is a ‘hunger’ connection; a calcium phosphate, Apatite crystals are one of the components of teeth and bones in all vertebrate animals.
Typically colored by rare earth elements, Apatite is a gorgeous gem that occurs in blue, brown, gray, green, pink, purple, teal, violet, white, and yellow. Apatite is actually several different minerals depending on whether chlorine, fluorine, hydroxyl or strontium replaces the calcium. An abundant mineral found in many countries, gem-quality Apatite is very rare and plagued by sporadic production. Bahia Apatite comes from the Capim Grosso Mine near Água Branca in the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. The geological scarcity of Bahia Apatite’s top blues are accentuated by faceting difficulties.
Durability & Care
A popular jewelry gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 5), Bahia Apatite should always be stored carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.