A study of apatite crystals from the Asio mine, Japan, showed sectoral texture related to the growth of the crystal, and with optically biaxial properties within the sectors. Wet chemical analysis gave a composition Ca5(PO4)3(F0.64,OH0.38,Cl0.01)1.03 for the specimen.
Additional diffraction spots were not observed in precession and oscillation X-ray photographs and electron diffraction photographs. Since the internal textures correlate with the surface growth features, it is suggested that the internal textures and the unusual optical properties were produced during nonequilibrium crystal growth. The fluorine/hydroxyl sites in hexagonal apatite are symmetrically equivalent in the solid crystal but, at a growth surface, this equivalence may be lost, resulting in a reduction of crystal symmetry. Heating of the apatite to about 850°C results in the almost complete disappearance of the optical anomalies due to disordering, which may be related to the loss of hydroxyl from the crystal.