A member of the phosphate group of minerals, the world's major source of phosphorus, found as variously coloured, glassy crystals, masses, or nodules. Much of it has a chemical composition approximating Ca(PO)(F,Cl,OH). If not for its softness, apatite would be a popular gemstone; some of the material found is clear, but it is fragile and difficult to cut and polish.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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