Apatite is actually three different minerals depending on the predominance of either fluorine, chlorine or the hydroxyl group: calcium (fluoro, chloro, hydroxyl) phosphate. These ions can freely substitute in the crystal lattice and all three are usually present in every crystal although some specimens are almost 100% pure in one group. Gem-quality apatite is rare, particularly over one carat. The color is often due to the presence of rare earth elements and includes green, yellow, blue, violet, and a yellow-green variety, originally mined in Spain, commonly called asparagus stone because of its similarity in color to the vegetable. Cat’s eye apatites also exist.
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