Apatite is not a Tourmaline, but since the discovery of its saturated neon ‘Paraíba Tourmaline Esque’ blues in Madagascar (1995) and later Brazil, Apatite has become an increasingly popular jewelry gemstone. However, unbeknownst to many, a small deposit of similarly colored Apatite was discovered near Lake Baikal (Pronounced: By-Call) in southern Siberia in 1990. Long vaulted from a now historic, depleted deposit, Russian Apatite’s bright, neon blues are exceptional, not only because of their beauty, but also due to their high clarity, natural color, and unavailability. One the bluest of all blue gems, Russian Apatite is a gemstone to be treasured by the true connoisseur. Impossibly scarce, only 54.91 carats are available to the lucky few.
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, electric colors and an attractive brilliance are especially coveted.
Usually found as small crystals, optimal lapidary is absolutely critical to fully realize Apatite’s unique beauty. Carefully faceted by experienced lapidaries with an eye-clean clarity, the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones as determined by the world’s leading gemological laboratories, they possess a superior polish resulting in a beautiful luster, as well as a good shape and overall appearance (outline, profile and proportions).
One of the world’s most beautiful gemstones, Russian Apatite’s vivid 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, with Brazil and Madagascar the main sources.
Russian Apatite hails from the Lake Baikal Region of Zabaykalsky Krai in southern Siberia. Yielding mineral specimens as well as a miniscule quantity of facet grade crystals, this deposit is long depleted. This geological scarcity is also heightened by faceting difficulties. A rift lake so large that it is often mistaken for a sea, Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake in the world, the largest freshwater lake by volume, and famous for its crystal-clear waters and unique wildlife.
With almost all Apatite gems heated, Russian Apatite are totally natural and unenhanced, further accentuating their rarity.
Durability & Care
A popular jewelry gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 5), Russian 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.