Apophyllite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


apophyllite gems - faceted
Apophyllite: India (1.3, 8.6, 2.4). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Although not suitable for jewelry, apophyllite is a popular collector's piece. Perhaps the whitest of all gems, cut, colorless specimens are so devoid of color they can appear almost silvery. This stone is not rare, but facetable material is quite scarce.

Apophyllite Value

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Apophyllite Value via Gem Price Guide
Faceted 3 to 10 carats
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Apophyllite Information

DataValue
NameApophyllite
Crystallography Tetragonal. Crystals pseudo cubic; tabular, prismatic, sometimes pyramidal.
Colors Colorless, white, grayish, pale yellow, pale green, dark green, pink, reddish.
Luster Vitreous, pearly on cleavage.
Fracture Uneven. Brittle.
Hardness 4.5 – 5
Specific Gravity 2.3-2.5
Birefringence 0.001 or less. May appear isotropic.
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction.
Luminescence None
Spectral Not diagnostic
Transparency Transparent to opaque.
FormulaKCa4Si8O20(F, OH)· 8H2O
Pleochroism None
Optics o = 1.53-1.54; e = 1.53-1.54 (variable). Optically (+) or (-); uniaxial. See “Identifying Characteristics” below.
EtymologyFrom the Greek words apo and phyllos, “away from” and “leaves,” describing the gem's tendency to exfoliate when strongly heated.
OccurrenceSecondary mineral in basic igneous rocks, such as basalts and traprocks.
apophyllite - Disco Ball crystal
One of a few dozen, celebrated “Disco Ball” spherical crystal apophyllites discovered in Rahuri, India in 2001. “Apophyllite on Stilbite,” Momin Akhada well dig, Rahuri, Maharashtra State, India. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Comments

Apophyllite’s extremely perfect and easy cleavage makes it very brittle and fragile. This perfect cleavage dictates that gem cutters choose an orientation with the table of a faceted stone not perpendicular to the crystal’s long axis.

The green, iron-rich apophyllite from India occurs in magnificent crystal groups. However, facetable material is usually rare and smaller than the colorless variety.

Identifying Characteristics

Apophyllite’s optic sign may vary. It may be uniaxial positive or negative.

Material from Poona, India shows the following properties:

Synthetics

None known.

Enhancements

Apophyllites may receive diamond-like carbon (DLC) and synthetic diamond film coatings. These treatments may improve the gems’ wearability and resistance to scratching.

Radiation can turn colorless material green. Heating may reverse this process.

Sources

Mumbai (Bombay), India produces colorless as well as intense, apple-green colored crystals, due to the presence of iron.

Other notable sources include:

  • United States: Colorado; Michigan; New Jersey; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington.
  • Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Guanajuato, Mexico.
  • Brazil; Canada; Faroe Islands; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Scotland; Sweden.
pink apophyllite - Mexico
“Pink Apophyllite,” an unusually huge crystal, 5.6 x 5.3 x 4.0 cm, San Martin Mine, San Martin, Zacatecas, Mexico. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Stone Sizes

Gem cutters seldom facet apophyllites. Furthermore, facetable rough greater than 10 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, D.C.): 15.4 (colorless, step cut).
  • Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 7.05 (colorless, Poona, India).
  • Private collection: 24.92 (freeform, Poona, India).

Care

You’re more likely to find apophyllites in mineral collections than in jewelry collections. In addition to perfect cleavage and relatively low hardness (4.5 to 5), this gem 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. For cleaning, use a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more recommendations.

fluorapophyllite - apophyllite gem
“Fluorapophyllite (rough and cut set),” round brilliant Portuguese-cut gem, 8.58 ct, 7.0 x 4.2 x 2.3 cm crystal. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.