Diego Suarez Apatite are rare, beautiful, blue gemstones from deposits near the Madagascan port of Diego Suarez. While Apatite is a hugely popular gemstone that comes in almost every shade of blue, the bright, medium neon blues of Diego Suarez Apatite are especially coveted.
Refractive Index 1.628 – 1.649
Relative Density 3.16 – 3.23
In gemstones, color is the most important consideration, representing 50 percent of a gems’ value. Blue gems with bright, neon colors and an attractive brilliance are especially coveted.
Visually similar to the famed Paraíba Tourmaline, Diego Suarez Apatite displays bright, medium neon blues. Usually only found as small crystals, Diego Suarez 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 Diego Suarez Apatite a premium quality.
One of the world’s most beautiful gemstones, Diego Suarez Apatite’s vivid blues suits 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. Particularly since the mid-90s Madagascan discovery of Apatite’s unusual ‘Paraiba-esque’ blues and sea foam bluish-greens, which saw its popularity skyrocket.
Diego Suarez Apatite comes from a deposit near the Madagascan port of Diego Suarez (Antsiranana). With its wide streets and old colonial-era buildings, Diego is an important town in Madagascar’s northern region. The mine mainly produces small sizes, largely under 30 points, and is owned by Malala, one of the few women mine owners in the business.
The geological scarcity of Diego Suarez Apatite’s top blues are accentuated by faceting difficulties.
Durability & Care
A popular jewelry gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 5), Diego Suarez 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.