Forte Dauphin Apatite
With a verdant neon hue, Forte Dauphin apatite sparkles and glows with an intensity rarely seen in gemstones.
In gemology, apatite is often referred to as “the Great Deceiver,” for it is often confused for other gemstones, thanks to the astounding variety of colors in which it’s found. Forte Dauphin apatite, however, is found occurring in vibrant neon lime hues, unlike many other gemstones found on the market today.
Quality Factors of Forte Dauphin Apatite
Forte Dauphin apatite is often regarded as the finest quality apatite on the market. Though apatite is frequently included, the material sourced by Shop LC is of superior quality. The intense saturation of color also helps mask these clarity factors, and this stone typically appears eye-clean.
Ranking five on the Mohs scale of hardness, Forte Dauphin apatite requires the best cutters to work with the material. Given its general rarity, sporadic production, and softness, any mistake can be a costly setback. Despite this, finished gems feature a high polish and careful, deliberate faceting, giving stones a premium appearance. Polished stones feature a vitreous luster, with the shine of glass.
Forte Dauphin Apatite in Jewelry
Due to its softness, it is unusual to find the stone set in jewelry, making apatite jewelry a collector’s item when compared to other gemstone jewelry. In addition, stones above one carat in size are exceedingly rare. Value easily triples in price per carat once stones reach a size over a single carat. Stones over three carats are practically unknown.
Consider Forte Dauphin apatite if you love Arizona peridot, chartreuse quartz, tsavorite garnet, emerald and other bright green gems!
Apatite’s History of Deception
• It wasn’t until the late 18th century, when modern gemological understanding was on the rise, that apatite was identified as a separate gemstone. Before then, it was frequently confused for other gemstones. Identified by famed German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, he named the gem apatite in 1786. Its Greek roots mean “to deceive,” in recognition of the stone’s history of confusing professionals and amateurs alike.
As a mineral, apatite is common and found throughout the world. As a crystal gem, however, it is much less common to find. Madagascar is the world leader in the production of gem-quality apatite material. Forte Dauphin apatite is sourced by Shop LC from the Fort Dauphin region of Madagascar, located in the southeast area of the island country.
Mining and Processing Forte Dauphine Apatite
High-quality apatite crystals most often form in pegmatite pockets. Pegmatite is rock infused with crystals throughout the stone. Rough apatite is removed from this material. Apatite is considered to be a moderately included stone, and they are expected to be seen within the gem. Forte Dauphin apatite sourced by Shop LC is of a higher quality, and material is eye clean. Skilled lapidaries are necessary to work this material, as it’s fragile and easily broken. Rough will typically produce anywhere from eight to twelve-percent finished gemstones, averaging a ten-percent yield.
Few large-scale mining operations exist. For the most part, the majority of excavation is conducted by artisanal miners who employ traditional techniques and use simple tools. Unfortunately, the popularity of the gem has outstripped miner’s ability to acquire the stone. Prices continue to rise as available rough is snatched up on the open market. No new mining has been performed since 2014. The majority of sources are now widely regarded as depleted.
• Ranks five on the Mohs scale of hardness.
• Color presents as an intense, vibrant lime green.
• Sourced from the region around Fort Dauphin, Madagascar.
• Stones may be heat-treated to improve color.