1. An Introduction to Citrine
2. Citrine Birthstone for November
3. More Citrine Facts
4. Citrine | Explore Our Collection
5. Read More
An Introduction to Citrine
Natural citrine is one of the most valuable varieties of the mineral quartz. This transparent to translucent crystal exhibits a vitreous lustre but the exact cause of its subtle yellow to deep orange colour is still somewhat of a mystery. What is known about the colour of citrine is that trace amounts of aluminium cause some crystals to turn yellow.
Due to its rarity the vast majority of citrine that's sold commercially is actually amethyst. Soon after being mined the stone is heated which causes the crystals to change colour. It's fairly safe to say that many people who own a citrine stone will have no idea whether it's natural or heated amethyst. In citrine that hasn't been cut and polished as a gemstone it's usually quite easy to tell one from the other.
Although the colour of natural citrine can vary from an exceptionally subtle shade yellow to deep orange, it tends to be mostly uniform throughout the stone. In heated amethyst however it's common for there to be areas of opaque white quartz particularly towards the base of the crystal. The colour in material that has been heated is usually very yellow or distinctively orange. In fact some of this citrine is so orange the colour almost looks burnt.
Almost all citrine geodes that are sold around the world are in fact amethyst which has been heated in industrial sized ovens.
Citrine (heated amethyst) tumbled stones. Photo; Stone Mania ©
Natural citrine is also sometimes heated in order to improve the depth of colour.
During the first and second centuries AD both the Greeks and Romans used citrine for intaglios. The stone was also once believed to offer protection against snake venom and evil thoughts.
Historically little is known about this yellow variety of quartz because there are few references to it which is likely to be because of the stone's rarity.
Citrine Birthstone for November
Citrine is the traditional birthstone for the month of November but on the modern birthstone chart it's an alternative to topaz.
Although some coloured varieties of quartz have often been mistaken for topaz, they're two completely different minerals. The reason for the confusion may stem from the fact that for many years all translucent brown orange and yellow gemstones were commonly referred to as topaz. Even after the discovery that some stones had a different chemical composition, it was many years before the correct names started being widely used.
Natural citrine not heated amethyst. Photo; Stone Mania © | Clickable image
A Few More Facts About Citrine
Like most varieties of quartz citrine grades 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness which makes it particularly suitable for cutting and for decorative purposes. When used as a gemstone it tends to be faceted which maximises brilliance and the cut can further increase the stone's value.
Popular for use in crystal healing citrine is said to help with digestion and the removal of toxins from within the body. It symbolizes light-heartedness, joy and happiness and influences the areas of education, business pursuits and interpersonal relationships. Citrine can also be used for smoothing out or pacifying family or group problems. Along with the mineral kyanite it does not accumulate or retain negative energy hence never needs to be cleansed.
Deposits of natural citrine can be found in Madagascar, Spain, Uruguay, on the Isle of Arran in Scotland, the Ural mountains of Russia and the USA. Currently the world's largest supplier of natural citrine is the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Natural citrine cluster. Collier Creek Mine, Arkansas, USA