The Discovery of Neon Apatite
In the 1980s an important new discovery of this gem was made on the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa. This bright, well saturated electric blue to blue-green colored stone became known as neon apatite. The color is natural, and no treatments or alterations are required to achieve it. The color is close to that seen in the best Paraiba tourmaline, and is very attractive, but of course at a price which is only a tiny fraction of that of Paraiba Tourmaline. So if you are interested in that bright color, but cant afford the $20,000 per carat for Paraiba, then Neon Apatite is a reasonable and fully natural alternative. These electric colored stones have become by far the best known variety of this gem.
The Madagascar deposits were heavily mined for a period of about 10 years and produced quite a bit of gem material. However, most of the production has now ceased and the deposit is generally considered mined out. During the time of production, prices were comparatively low. Prices for gem quality neon apatite are slowly beginning to increase because of the popularity of this gem and the lack of new supply.