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History & Introduction


Citrine is a pale yellow to brown variety of Quartz that carries traces of iron. Natural Citrine is in fact very rare, mainly the citrine available is the heat-treated Amethyst. Its name is derived from the Latin word ‘citrina’, means "yellow" and also in French the word means lemon, "citron".

A myth is said that Citrine is termed as the "Stone of Success," as it develops the intellect and broadens the mind by preventing the misconceptions. In the present time Citrine stone is very popular among the scholars, teachers and students. It is believed that when a Citrine is placed on the forehead of an elder would grow his psychic power. In earlier times, Citrine was considered a talisman, protecting against snake venom and evil thoughts.

Even merchants used it and so it was called "merchant's gemstone" because shopkeepers and merchants put it in their cash drawers. However, Citrine supposedly also brings about success in unexpected ways. This adds to manifesting abundance, Citrine even promotes openness, leading the people who are benefitted from its powers to share their wealth with others.

Citrine crystals are prescribed in general by healers to aid in digestion and endocrine systems. Natural citrine is actually quite rare and because it is more valuable as compared to quartz of other specimen, much of the citrine today is actually heat-treated to obtain its attractive golden color. Almost all heated citrine will show reddish tints. Citrine is closely connected to violet-purple amethyst, another variety of microcrystalline quartz. The only difference between citrine and amethyst is the oxidation level of iron ions (Fe3) present in colorless quartz crystal. Ametrine is the natural bicolor combination of both golden citrine and violet amethyst in a single specimen.

Recognise - Citrine is easily recognized through its distinct quartz properties. It is among those few gemstones that naturally occurs in golden to yellow colors. Other similar color stones are typically much harder (sapphire and topaz) or much softer (sphalerite and sphene). They are often confused with golden beryl, orthoclase and tourmaline also. Natural citrine quartz derives its attractive golden color from the presence of iron impurities.

Availability - Though citrine deposits is found across the globe, but major supply of citrine comes from Brazil. Other notable sources include Argentina, Bolivia, France, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, Uruguay, Scotland, Zambia and Spain.

Usages - Citrine is known mainly for its use as a gemstone. Gems are faceted for jewelry purposes and it is often used as an inexpensive substitute for Topaz. Citrine is famous among mineral collectors too and small pieces and drusy plates are often sold to amateur.

Buying Guide

Color - Natural untreated citrine is typically pale yellow to golden in color and is often accompanied by smoky brownish tones. Rich colors are available ranging from golden orange to gold-brown. Deep that is naturally considered more desirable than lighter lemon colors. Heated citrine (amethyst or smoky quartz) will normally show a reddish tint.

Clarity and Lustre - Citrine is known to occur with excellent transparency. Varieties that is eye-clean are quite common leaving little reason to buy citrine stones with the visible presence. Citrine shows an attractive vitreous luster when cut and polished.

Cut and Shape - Citrine is mostly faceted. Round brilliants and ovals are most common as these cuts tends to maximize color and dispersion. Step cuts (emerald cuts) and other fancy cuts like scissor-cuts or Portuguese-cuts are also quite popular. Citrine gemstones can be found in just about every shape that is imagined in addition to squares, pears, rounds, trillions, ovals, cushions and heart shapes. Calibrated sizes are very common and they are affordable with larger stones too.

Treatment - Citrine that is not heated naturally has become rare. There are citrine stones available these days that are heat-treated amethyst or smoky quartz. Treatment of citrine is often heated right at the mining source. The color change is considered to be both permanent as well as stable.

Gemological Characteristics:

Chemical Formula SiO2; Silicon dioxide
Crystal Structure Hexagonal (trigonal) hexagonal prisms with pyramids
Color gold-brown, Light-yellow to dark-yellow, orange
Hardness 7
Refractive Index 1.544 to 1.553
Density 2.65
Cleavage Not available
Transparency Transparent
Double Refraction or Birefringence 0.009
Lustre Vitreous
Fluorescence Not available
Streak White
Fracture Conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
Striking Features Color and crystal habits
Rock Type Metamorphic, Igneous, Sedimentary
Popularity (1-4) 1
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 1

Classification:

  • Yellow Citrine-
  • Madeira citrine- It is used for darker, orangey-brown citrines.