The name cat's eye apatite is a derivative of the Greek word "apate" which means to deceive or cheat. This meaning emerged because most Apatites were often confused for uncommon, more expensive gemstones. The name Cat's eye originated from the phenomena known as chatoyancy. The name chatoyancy is a derivative of the French words "chat" which means cat and "oeil" which means eye. Chatoyancy creates the cat's eye optimal effect because when light reflects on the gemstone it looks similar to a cat's eye because it contains two parallel rays. Additionally, when the cat's eye revolves, it appears as if the cat's eye is gliding over the surface. Many gemstones display chatoyancy however; the cat's eye is the most valuable and respected.
Today, cat's eye apatites are primarily used in jewelry such as, earrings, pendants, pins, brooches and tie tacks. The gemstone is not recommended for rings because it is considered too soft. The cat's eye apatite ranges in color from colorless, yellow, green, blue, pink to violet. Cat's eye apatites are found in Brazil, Algeria, Kenya, Austria, Russia, Burma (Myanmar), Egypt, Canada, Mexico, India, Norway, Israel, Spain, Tunisia, United States (California, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho ), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Sweden, Morocco and Madagascar.
Cat's eye apatite is most frequently cut as cabochons and is a 5 on the Mohs scale. The gemstone has been known to inspire insight and to improve consciousness. It also stimulates intellect and assists with communication. It is supposed to protect the wearer from undesirable energy, help create a balance in life and provide comfort. It has been known to assist with suppressing hunger, kidney problems, strengthening bones and muscle tissue issues.