Fort Dauphin Apatite are rare, beautiful, green gemstones from Madagascar. Named for its locale, Fort Dauphin Apatite is highly coveted due to its brilliant limes greens and eye-clean clarity.
Refractive Index 1.628 - 1.649
Relative Density 3.16 - 3.23
In gemstones, color is the most important consideration and bright green gems with an attractive brilliance are especially coveted.
Fort Dauphin Apatite displays brilliant lime greens with an eye-clean clarity, the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones, and highly unusual for Apatite. Usually only found as small crystals, Apatite typically has inclusions, but these are often masked by its color intensity.
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 Apatite a premium quality.
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. Fort Dauphin Apatite comes from deposits outside Fort Dauphin in Madagascar’s southern Tuléar Province that were discovered in 1995.
The geological scarcity of Apatite’s top greens are accentuated by faceting difficulties.
Durability & Care
A popular jewelry gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 5), Fort Dauphin 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.