Organisms tune the metastability of amorphous calcium carbonates (ACC), often by incorporation of additives such as phosphate ions and water molecules, to serve diverse functions, such as modulating the availability of calcium reserves or constructing complex skeletal scaffolds. Although the effect of additive distribution on ACC was noted for several biogenic and synthetic systems, the molecular mechanisms by which additives govern ACC stability are not well understood. By precipitating ACC in the presence of different PO43 concentrations and regulating the initial water content, we identify conditions yielding either kinetically locked or spontaneously transforming coprecipitates. Solid state NMR, supported by FTIR, XRD, and electron microscopy, define the interactions of phosphate and water within the initial amorphous matrix, showing that initially the coprecipitates are homogeneous molecular dispersions of structural water and phosphate in ACC, and a small fraction of P-rich phases. Monitoring the transformations of the homogeneous phase shows that PO43 and waters are extracted first, and they phase separate, leading to solidsolid transformation of ACC to calcite; small part of ACC forms vaterite that subsequently converts to calcite. The simultaneous waterPO(4)(3) extraction is the key for the subsequent water-mediated accumulation and crystallization of hydroxyapatite (HAp) and carbonated hydroxyapatite. The thermodynamic driving force for the transformations is calcite crystallization, yet it is gated by specific combinations of waterphosphate levels in the initial amorphous coprecipitates. The molecular details of the spontaneously transforming ACC and of the stabilized ACC modulated by phosphate and water at ambient conditions, provide insight into biogenic and biomimetic pathways.