Apophyllite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
Although not suitable for jewelry, apophyllite is a popular collector's piece. Perhaps the whitest of all gems, some cut specimens are so devoid of color they can appear almost silvery.
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Although not suitable for jewelry, apophyllite is a popular collector’s piece. Perhaps the whitest of all gems, some cut specimens are so devoid of color they can appear almost silvery. This stone is not rare, but facetable material is quite scarce.
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What is Apophyllite?
The gemstones known as apophyllites belong to a solid solution series of minerals that includes fluorapophyllite-(K), fluorapophyllite-(Na), and hydroxyapophyllite-(K). Fluorapophyllite-(K) is the most commonly found type. The rarest, fluorapophyllite-(Na), crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, while the others form in the tetragonal system.
Does Apophyllite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?
You're more likely to find apophyllites in mineral collections than jewelry collections. This material is difficult to cut into gemstones. Extremely perfect and easy cleavage make it very fragile and dictate that gem cutters choose an orientation with the table of a faceted stone not perpendicular to the crystal's long axis.
Apophyllite also has great heat sensitivity. The heat from a jeweler's torch may cause these gems to exfoliate. In other words, true to its etymology, apophyllite may lose flakes or "leaves" of material if heated. Setting a faceted stone would be difficult. With a hardness of just 4.5 to 5, any apophyllite jewelry stones would need protective settings. Reserve these gems for occasional wear.
Faceted apophyllites would probably appeal most to a collector of unusual gems or aficionados of the art of gem cutting.
Material from Poona, India shows the following properties:
Are There Any Synthetic Apophyllites?
There are no known synthetic apophyllites.
Do Apophyllites Receive Enhancements?
Where is Apophyllite Found?
Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India produces colorless as well as intense, apple-green colored crystals, due to the presence of iron. These iron-rich apophyllites occur in magnificent crystal groups. However, facetable material is usually rare and smaller than the colorless variety. Many other sites in Maharashtra produce apophyllites.
Other notable sources include the following locations:
- United States: Colorado; Michigan; New Jersey; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington.
- Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Guanajuato, Chihuahua and San Martin, Zacatecas, Mexico.
- Australia; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Faroe Islands; Finland; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Russia; Scotland; South Africa; Sweden.
Gem cutters seldom facet apophyllites. Furthermore, facetable rough greater than ten carats in size is very rare. Stones faceted as curiosities are usually colorless. However, custom gem cutters have faceted the green Indian material.
- Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC): 15.4 (colorless, step cut).
- Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 7.05 (colorless, Poona, India).
- Private collection: 24.92 (freeform, Poona, India).
Caring for Apophyllites
Use a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water to clean apophyllites. Consult our gemstone jewelry care guide for more recommendations.
Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA
Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.
Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com
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