Yes, apatite can scratch calcite.
The main reason is that apatite is a harder material than calcite.
In the article that follows, you’ll learn more about hardness, apatite, and calcite.
Can Apatite Scratch Calcite? (ANSWERED)
Introduction To The Moh’s Hardness Scale
To fully comprehend this answer, the Mohs hardness scale must first be identified and defined.
The Mohs hardness scale was first devised by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs in 1812.
The Mohs hardness scale is used to identify and convey the general hardness of a mineral.
The scaling process began by selecting ten minerals and ranking them from 1 to 10 by the level of hardness, or the resistance of a mineral to scratching, with the number one mineral being the softest and the number 10 mineral being the hardest.
The scale goes as follows: 1 – talc, 2 – gypsum, 3 – calcite, 4 – fluorite, 5 – apatite, 6 – orthoclase, 7 – quartz, 8 – topaz, 9 – corundum, and 10 – diamond.
Talc is the easiest mineral to scratch, while diamond is the hardest.
How Hard Is Your Material?
Determining where a mineral falls along this scale is quite easy.
All that needs to happen is to find a mineral and scrape it against the minerals listed above.
Once the mineral becomes impervious or scratches the other mineral in question, it has found its relative position on the Mohs hardness scale.
This determination is important for a myriad of practical reasons outside of identification purposes, especially in construction and determining value.
A mineral with a higher place on the Mohs hardness scale is generally seen as more precious or rarer because of its resilience and durability.
This scale is especially useful within the milling industry because it is used to identify which type of mill will reduce a certain product.
It is also very useful for electronic manufacturers when conducting tests to determine the resiliency of flat panel displays such as the outer glass covering of LCDs (liquid-crystal display) or with OLEDs (organic light-emitting diode), as well as for touch screens in consumer electronics.
Apatite minerals are a group of phosphates existing with common chemical compositions and physical properties.
They are important components of phosphorite, which is a rock that is predominantly mined for phosphorus and is also used in fertilizers, acids, and chemicals.
Apatite has a chemical composition of Ca5[PO4]3(OH,F,Cl) and maintains a consistent hardness of 5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Those with high clarity and vivid color are frequently cut into gems for collectors, where they are often sold for a very high price.
Apatite colors are green, brown, blue, yellow, violet, pink, colorless, with a vitreous to subresinous luster, and appear transparent to translucent with poor to indistinct cleavage.
It maintains a gravity between 3.1 to 3.3 and is considered brittle, and often highly fractured.
Apatite forms under many different conditions and is found mainly in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.
Perhaps the most abundant and well-formed apatites are found in sedimentary rocks that are found deposited in marine and lacustrine environments.
In these environments, phosphatic organic debris, including bones, teeth, scales, and fecal material, accumulates and mineralizes while in diagenesis.
Some deposits are found to have enough phosphorus that they are considered mineable and are frequently used in the production of fertilizers and various chemical products.
Apatite can also occur in well-formed hexagonal crystals and is found in hydrothermal veins and pegmatite pockets.
Apatite has high clarity and vivid color, which are frequently cut into gems for collectors, where they are often sold for a very high price.
Calcite is an incredibly common mineral with the chemical formula CaCO3.
It is considered a ubiquitous mineral that has been discovered around the planet in metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous rocks.
Calcite is usually white but is also found as colorless, grey, red, green, blue, brown, and orange.
It has a vitreous luster and is transparent to translucent.
Its cleavage can be described as perfect, rhombohedral, or in three directions.
Calcite has a Mohs hardness of 3 and a gravity of 2.7.
Calcite is the main makeup of both limestone and marble, which make up large portions of the Earth’s crust and layers.
Along with calcite serving as one of the largest carbon repositories on our planet, it also acts as a soil conditioner, acid neutralization, low-hardness abrasive, and is frequently heated to make the inorganic mineral, lime.
Both the physical and chemical properties of calcite make it one of the most practically used minerals in the world today.
It has a vast range of purposes, especially for construction materials, abrasives, construction aggregates, pigment, pharmaceutical properties, and much more, and is revered for the sheer amount of uses it holds over any other mineral on our planet.
Calcite comes in many different forms and is found abundantly in both limestone and marble.
Calcite is used in the concrete of many high-rise buildings, predominantly in the form of the limestone used to make cement, and is also used as the aggregate in concrete.
A concrete mixture of calcite is vital for construction purposes because it can be pumped and hoisted from ground level and easily poured into casted forms during the production stages of structural elements for buildings.
Limestone has been found in the pyramids of Egypt, the United States supreme court building, as well as many important buildings throughout Latin America.
Even today, rough and polished limestone and marble are important materials for prestige architecture.
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