Apatite from Tanzania

These particular gems were cut from a parcel of material from Tanzania.

Sometimes, as a cutter, I want to do a stone just because of the inclusions it has - that is the case for these gemstones.

This material has a lot of "silk" in it as well as some large "tubes" running through it. This creates a chatoyant effect. The cat's-eye produced has a strong "milk and honey" look to it that is very reminiscent of cat's-eye chrysoberyl.

Some of the material has just a slight sheen to it and facets well.

The color ranges from honey to lime to cinnamon.

There is no annoying cleavage to worry about with this material.

I rough cut this material with a 360-grit plate, followed with a fine cut on a 1200-grit plate, and finished with a 14k polish. I typically use quartz angles for cutting apatite unless I have a reason to try something else (like the rough is too thin).

Apatite has a hardness of about 5, making it more suitable for earrings and pendants rather than high wear applications like rings.

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