Apophyllite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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Apophyllite, 5.72 cts. 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, some cut 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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Faceted

3 to 10 carats
Faceted
to /ct
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Apophyllite Information

Data Value
Name Apophyllite
Crystallography Tetragonal. Crystals pseudo cubic; tabular, prismatic, sometimes pyramidal. Rare fluorapophyllite-(Na) crystalizes in the orthorhombic system.
Crystallographic Forms
Refractive Index 1.530-1.540
Colors Colorless, white, grayish, pale yellow, pale green, dark green, pink, reddish.
Luster Vitreous, pearly on cleavage.
Hardness 4.5–5
Wearability Display Only
Fracture Uneven
Specific Gravity 2.3-2.5
Birefringence 0.003 to 0.001 or less. May appear isotropic.
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction; easy.
Luminescence None
Luminescence Present No
Enhancements Surface coatings, radiation, heating.
Typical Treatments Heat Treatment, Irradiation, Surface Coating
Transparency Transparent to opaque
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic
Formula KCa4Si8O20(F, OH)· 8H2O
Pleochroism None
Optics o = 1.53-1.54; e = 1.53-1.54 (variable). Optically (+) or (-); uniaxial. See “Identifying Characteristics” below.
Optic Sign Uniaxial +, Uniaxial -
Etymology From the Greek words apo and phyllos, “away from” and “leaves,” describing the gem's tendency to exfoliate when strongly heated.
Occurrence Secondary mineral in basic igneous rocks, such as basalts and traprocks.
apophyllites on matrix - China

Apophyllites on matrix, Fengjiashan Mine (Daye Copper mine), Edong Mining District, Daye Co., Huangshi Prefecture, Hubei Province, China. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

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.

Fluorapophyllite rough and cut set. Crystal specimen: 7.0 x 4.2 x 2.3 cm; Portuguese-cut gem, 8.58 cts. Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

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.

apophyllites - India

Apophyllites: India (7.40, 0.75). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Identifying Characteristics

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

Material from Poona, India shows the following properties:

Are There Any Synthetic Apophyllites?

There are no known synthetic apophyllites.

Apophyllite crystal with phantom - India

Yellow apophyllite crystal with phantom on matrix, Nashik District, India. Photo courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and Marques Dos Santos, Lda.

Do Apophyllites Receive 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, but heating may reverse this process.

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.

Disco Ball apophyllites

One of a few dozen celebrated “Disco Ball” spherical crystal clusters of apophyllites discovered in Rahuri, India in 2001. Momin Akhada well dig, Rahuri, Maharashtra State, India. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

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.
Pink apophyllites - Mexico

Pastel pink apophyllites, 9.1 x 6.4 x 3.8 cm. San Martin, Zacatecas, Mexico. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

  • Australia; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Faroe Islands; Finland; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Russia; Scotland; South Africa; Sweden.
apophyllites - Bulgaria

Apophyllite crystal cluster on matrix, Gruevo, Rhodope Mts. Bulgaria, 4 x 2.5 x 2 cm. Photo courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and Jasper52.

Stone Sizes

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).

Faceted apophyllite, 0.6 cts, India. Photo by Kay Günther/G-Empire The World of Gems/www.g-empire.de. Licensed under CC By-SA 4.0.

Caring for Apophyllites

Use a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water to clean apophyllites. Consult our gemstone jewelry care guide for more recommendations.

faceted apophyllites - India

Apophyllites: India (1.3, 8.6, 2.4). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

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