Apatite refers to a series of phosphate minerals; all the minerals in the apatite ‘family’ are calcium phosphates with identical structures. They differ in composition, with a number of minerals in their matrix. Fluorapatite contains fluorine, hydroxylapatite contains a hydroxil (OH), and chlorapatite contains chlorine, which creates a rainbow of colour in this group. Its name is derived from the Greek word apate, meaning “deceit,” which refers to its similarity to a number of gemstones such as aquamarine, olivine, beryl, peridot, and amethyst. It can be used as a gemstone, with a bright, strong colour but it is a stone on the softer side.

Apatite is a common mineral, formed in igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rocks.It can be found in large terminated, clear points but is more commonly seen in masses or nodules as well-formed crystals with transparent, coloured and glassy properties. Fluorapatite occurs in fossil bones and teeth and hydroxylapatite is the principle component of our bones and teeth today.

Properties & Characteristics The wide range of colours is the reason apatite is confused with other stones. Bright greenish-blue apatite (primarily from Brazil) is known as ‘neon’ apatite. The name ‘asparagus stone’ is given to the yellow-green variety.It can be cut as a gemstone, but its softness keeps it from being widely (e.g. it’s not used widely in ring settings because it scratches easily) used or considered a precious gem.Blue-green apatite is very attractive when polished as it shows microcrystalline fragments, opaque layers and sometimes also specks of rutile which may give a sparkling effect. The purple variety of the stone is considered the most valuable.
Group Phosphates
Crystal System Hexagonal or monoclinic
Composition Ca5(PO4)(F1OH1,Cl)
Colour blue-green, green, yellow-green, yellow, pink, violet, clear
Lustre Vitreous, waxy
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Hardness 5
Fracture Conchoidal to uneven
Locations Mexico, Russia, Canada, Germany
Energy Uses Helps with focus – can carry a stone with you when working on many tasks.Balance the body’s energy by placing a stone in each hand during a period of deep breathing.

Tie blue-green stones to chakra energy. Wear apatite during counselling sessions and strengthen aura energy by placing it over the Anahata centre while lying down.Place a stone over Ajna: the Brow or Third-Eye chakra (6th) to expand spiritual perception.

Physical/Emotional Healing* Aids while broken bones are mending or in dealing with pain from toothaches. May ease recovery after physical injury/trauma.Aids focus, concentration and problem solving. Helps to structure thinking and bring ideas into a clearer focus.

Expands awareness of and insight into other levels of consciousness.

Shades of blue-green or turquoise/teal combine the communication qualities of blue with the growth aspects of green and the colour is associated wth communication and intuition, as well as health, confidence and strength. Blue-green is the colour associated with water and the calming, relaxing feeling of being near water.Blue-green shades are associated with emotional healing process by mingling the forgiving, loving energy of Anahata: the Heart chakra (4th) with the communicating properties of Visshudha: the Throat chakra (5th), thereby aiding the gentle release of emotional trauma through counselling or talking and writing.
*NOT a replacement for medical treatments.

Colour stuff

(Like the new logo? *looks up* I’m not decided if I like it yet. Definitely a couple of ‘my’ colours but … I guess I don’t want people to go blind looking at it. ūüôā Send me a note or leave a comment – let me know what you think.)

Anyway …. I will bet at least … 2 or maybe 3 cups of tea (that is a BIG bet for me) that there’s been chat about this on ColourLovers but I must have missed it ‘cuz someone put me on to this today and I¬†can’t stop uploading pics! ¬†It’s Pictaculous – a way cool¬†colour palette tool. Upload a photo from your computer, hit “Get my palette” and it will generate a palette along with suggestions from other colour tools – including CL. And you can even download an Adobe swatch. Coloury sweetness.

What I learned from the Webbys

This year’s Webby Winners are out and, once again, my favouritest site of all, COLOURlovers didn’t win (FlickRRRRRR!!!, lol) but it’s amazing that the site is in the nominee list! Maybe next year CL … ūüėÄ There are some really amazing sites out there that make this time of year exciting for me. The Web Designer (oh yes, the caps are needed) part of me itches to see what the Webbys bring forth every year. Who stands at the cutting edge of design, communication? Where is web psychology taking us this year? I love seeing what the Webbys have to offer. Here are some of my 2009 faves …

The Museum of Modern has two fab sites that I’m loving. This first, I think is¬†really cool because it’s about beautiful, beautiful colour. Color Chart: Reinventing Color 1950 to Today is a great ride through an art exhibition derived from the modern commercial colour chart. I love the colourful design and set up of the site. Design and the Elastic Mind is another Art nominee from MoMA that is fabulous. Instead of paraphrasing, let’s let MoMA speak for themselves:

Design and the Elastic Mind explores the reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world by bringing together design objects and concepts that marry the most advanced scientific research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations. The exhibition highlights designers‚Äô ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history‚ÄĒchanges that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior‚ÄĒand translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use.

It’s a very cool exhibition, definitely worth your cyber time.

The Best Visual Design is one that I’m always interested in. I love this year’s People’s Voice Winner – Patagonia – The Tin Shed. The Tin Shed is filled with stories and as you look around the shed it’s just about impossible not to peek into all of them. It’s a unique journey and worthy of a win.

The Best Blog award goes to the always awesome 1000 Awesome Things. If you’ve never been over there, you need to have a read! This is one of the most awesome places on the web. (Did I get “awesome” in there enough times?)

This last one is a fave of mine: Boston Globe’s The Big Picture. It won, hands down, for Best Use of Photography and if you have a peek, you’ll see why. Letting pictures¬†paint their thousands of words, it’s a worthy cyber break in your busy day. I especially like Human Landscapes from Above¬†and the photos from Cassini’s mission (astronomy nerd alert).¬†

Head over to the Webby Awards to see the list of sites. You can learn a thing or two about the web and how it’s evolving, and while you’re there you can’t help but learn a thing or two about our world. ūüôā

Oh and did I mention COLOURlovers?? Ok, I know I did but it’s worth another mention! If you love colour, love to play with colour, investigate colour, ruminate upon colour, discuss colour,¬†LIVE in colour … then CL is the place for you! It’s only the most awesome community I’ve ever been part of. See those folks over on the right-hand side in the Peoples I Love column? Most of those are my lovely fellow CLs. I’m constantly inspired by the people I’ve come to know there. If there is one thing more wonderful than playing with colour it’s loving other colour people.

Colours that want to be jewellery

I’ve been playing with colour lately that seems to want me to make jewellery …

the_inner_life ethereal_sorbet believer rare_moments

I think I’m closest to final ideas for the first two. The last one is still whispering to me. I love the third but I’m not sure how to make the components come together into a whole. “Gestalt” is one design idea that’s important to me – the piece needs to flow and feel like more than just the sum of its parts. I’ll be sure to let you know what I come up with. Feel free to leave ideas.¬†ūüôā

Colour Glossary

Colour is a very broad area of study. Here is a little handy reference to some colour terms.

Additive Colour Model: A system involving light that starts with no light (black) and creates coloured light as wavelengths are added; the end-point is white, when all wavelengths of visible light are present. The primary colours in the additive system are red, green and blue, which create white light when combined together at equal intensities. Combining the primaries, creates secondary colours of cyan, magenta and yellow. In the additive system, the more colours that are added, the lighter the result is and is closer to white. Additive colour is the system used in televisions and computer monitors.

Chromaticity or Chroma: This concept is related to Saturation but refers to the purity of the colour.¬†Highly chromatic colours have little or no “impurities”¬†like¬†black, white or grey and appear very clear and vivid.

Chroma is can also be thought of as how “colourful” a colour is; how much of the¬†pure¬†hue is in the colour. Colours with the maximum chroma are those that do not have any black or white in them. With most hues, as the colour gets brighter, the chroma increases (not with very light colours).

Colours without any hue are monochromatic or achromatic and will look grey.

Hue:¬†The actual colour the human eye sees and is caused by¬†wavelengths of light. In the case of an object, the predominant wavelength that is reflected from the object is perceived as the hue (e.g. a red¬†rose appears to the eye as “red” because¬†that wavelength is¬†not being absorbed by the petals, it is being bounced back – all other wavelengths of the spectrum pass through it and are not visible to the eye). In the case of light, the wavelength that is being emitted is what the eye perceives.

RYB Colour Model: The red-yellow-blue system is the traditional set of primary colours. These colours form another subtractive model predating the CYM model, and became the basis for theories of colour in the 18th century. When these primaries are mixed, secondary colours of green, orange and violet are created. The RYB model is still the standard that most people are taught and is the basis of the Itten colour wheel.

Saturation: Related to the concept of Chromaticity, saturation indicates how intense a colour will appear in different lighting conditions. It is basically comparing a colour to its own brightness. Instead of thinking of saturation in terms of “light” and “dark.” it’s better to think of it in terms of “weak” and “strong” or “pale” and “pure.”

Shade: When a pure colour is mixed with black to produce darker colours.

Spectrum (of visible light): The range of electromagnetic waves perceived as colours by the human eye when white light is split through a prism. Violet is the shortest wavelength and red is the longest wavelength, so the colours in spectral order are violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Visible light ranges from ultra-violet (as wavelengths get smaller above ultra-violet, they become x-ray and gamma ray) to infrared (as wavelengths get larger below infrared, they become microwave and radio waves).

Subtractive Colour Model: The system used in the mixing of paints, inks, dyes, films and other colorants to create a vast range of colours. The subtractive system starts with white light and color is created as paints, pigments or transparent films are placed on a reflective surface* (such as white paper) or in front of a light source, and have the effect of subtracting wavelengths from the white light. The primary colours in the subtractive system are cyan, magenta and yellow. When these are mixed, they produce secondary colours of red, green and blue. When all are mixed at equal intensities, the result is black.

[*The human eye will perceive the reflected wavelengths as colour, not the wavelengths that are absorbed by the colorants.]

Tonal Family: Pure colours can be mixed with black, white, and grey to create a tonal family. (See Shades, Tints, Tones)

 Tint: When a pure colour is mixed with white to produce lighter colours.

Tone: When a pure colour is mixed with grey to produce more muted colours.

Value: Property of colour that is intrinsically the same as “brightness.” Value describes how “dark” or “light” a colour is based on how much light is emanating from it¬†or how close to white it is.

Dragon Princess

This is one of my favourite necklaces. It’s 18″ of carnelian, quartz, crystal¬†and silver. I wasn’t sure that the clear-to-white of the¬†quartz would compliment the orange-reds of the carnelian, but it ended up cooling the warm tones. The whole necklace came off with a casual elegance that surprised me.

The poem/story (right now it’s a bit of both) for this one will come along soon. (: