Apatite is a natural colored calcium fluoride phosphate, with chlorine, hydroxyl or carbonate sometimes replacing the fluoride. It is a source of phosphorus for plants and is used in the manufacture of fertilizers.
Apatite is composed of three different minerals depending on the predominance of either fluorine, chlorine or the hydroxyl group. These are considered together due to the difficulty in distinguishing them in hand samples using ordinary methods. The name apatite comes from the Greek word "apate" that means "to deceive" in allusion to its similarity to other more valuable minerals such as olivine, peridot and beryl.