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Information sur les pierres précieuses CitrineInformación de la piedra preciosa citrino

Citrine Gemstone Information

About Citrine - History and Introduction

Citrine is one of the most popular gemstones available today. It belongs to the very large family of quartz (SiO2) gemstones. More specifically, it is the yellow to golden-orange variety of gemstone-quality macrocrystalline quartz (silicon dioxide). The name 'Citrine' was derived from 'Citron', a French word meaning 'lemon', although its color tends to be more golden rather than lemon-yellow.

Natural Citrine is actually quite rare and because it is more valuable than most other varieties of quartz, much of the citrine today is actually heat-treated to obtain their attractive golden color. Almost all heated citrine will exhibit reddish tints. Citrine is very closely related to violet-purple amethyst, another variety of macrocrystalline quartz. The only difference between citrine and amethyst is the oxidation level of iron ions (Fe3) present in colorless quartz crystal. When quartz is heated, iron impurities are reduced, resulting in less violet-purple color and more golden to orange colors. Ametrine is the natural bicolor combination of both golden citrine and violet amethyst in a single specimen.

Natural Citrine
Citrine Quartz
Identifying Citrine Back to Top

Citrine can be easily identified through its distinct quartz properties. It is one of the few gemstones which naturally occur in golden to yellow colors. Other similar colored stones are typically much harder (sapphire and topaz) or much softer (sphalerite and sphene). Golden beryl, orthoclase and tourmaline can also often cause confusion. Natural citrine quartz derives its attractive golden color from the presence of iron impurities. It has a specific chemical formula of SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide), a density of 2.60 to 2.70 and a refractive index of 1.544 to 1.553, all of which can help distinguish citrine from other similar materials.

Citrine Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top

Although citrine deposits can be found all around the world, Brazil is the worlds leading supplier for Citrine. Other notable sources include Argentina, Bolivia, France, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Uruguay and Zambia.

Buying Citrine and Determining Citrine Gemstone Value Back to Top

Citrine Color

Natural untreated citrine is typically pale yellow to golden in color and often accompanied by smoky brownish tones. Deeper colors can occur ranging from golden orange to rich gold-brown. Darker colors are typically considered more desirable than lighter lemon colors. Heated Citrine (amethyst or smoky quartz) will typically exhibit a reddish tint.

Citrine Clarity and Luster

Citrine is known to occur with excellent transparency. Eye-clean specimens are quite common leaving little reason to buy Citrine stones with visible inclusions. Citrine has an attractive vitreous luster when cut and polished.

Citrine Cut and Shape

Citrine is almost always faceted. Round brilliants and ovals are most common as these cuts tends to maximize color and dispersion. Step cuts (emerald cut) and other fancy cuts, such as scissor-cuts or Portuguese-cuts are also quite popular. Citrine gemstones can be found available in just about every shape imaginable, including pears, squares, trillions, rounds, ovals, cushions and heart shapes. Calibrated sizes are very common and remain affordable even with larger stones.

Citrine Treatment

Natural unheated citrine is becoming increasingly rare. Many of the citrine stones available today are heat-treated amethyst or smoky quartz. Often times, treated citrine is heated right at the mining source. The color change is considered both permanent and stable.

Citrine Gemological Properties: Back to Top
Chemical Formula: SiO2; Silicon Dioxide
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal (Trigonal) Hexagonal Prisms with Pyramids
Color: Light Yellow to Dark Yellow, Gold-Brown, Madeira, Orange
Hardness: 7.00
Refractive Index: 1.544 to 1.553
Density: 2.65
Cleavage: None
Transparency: Transparent
Double Refraction or Birefringence: +0.009
Luster: Vitreous
Fluorescence: None

Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details on gemology-related terms.

Citrine: Varieties or Similar Gemstones: Back to Top
Natural Ametrine
Bicolor Ametrine

There are several different and distinct varieties of quartz gemstones. There are also many similar-looking gemstones which can cause confusion but are unrelated by way of composition, including imperial topaz, golden beryl and golden sapphire. Below are other SiO2 gemstone varieties and trade names which are very closely related to Citrine:

Most Popular Related Gemstones and Trade Names:

Amethyst, Ametrine, Rose Quartz, Chalcedony, Agate, Rutile Quartz, Star Quartz, Cat's Eye Quartz, Golden Quartz, Carnelian and Colorless Quartz are the most popular closely related gemstones varieties.

Lesser-Known Related Gemstones and Trade Names:

Aventurine, Rock Crystal Quartz, Chrysoprase, Gem Silica (Chrysocolla Chalcedony) Sardonx, Onyx, Mystic Quartz, Strawberry Quartz, Blue Quartz, Hawk's Eye, Prasiolite and Heliotrope (Blood Stone) are lesser-known closely related gemstone varieties.

Citrine Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top

Citrine's color is thought to radiate positive energy. It is known as the 'success stone', promoting prosperity and abundance, especially in situations involving business. Citrine has actually earned the nickname of 'the merchant's stone', owed to the fact that many businesses will keep citrine in their cash registers for good fortune. According to many legends, citrine is able dissipate negative energy and eliminate negative energy. It can help generate stability in life and is good for general protection. Emotionally, citrine can help relieve depression, self-doubt, anger and irrational mood swings.

Physically, citrine is beneficial for digestion, stomach problems and sleep disturbances. It is also thought to be especially helpful for thyroid disorders, heart, kidney and liver disorders. Citrine is also said to be especially powerful for overcoming physical addictions, fears and phobias.

Citrine is often used as a birthstone of November (along with topaz) and it is the official 13th wedding anniversary gemstone. It is also considered the official Stone of Virgo. To achieve the most benefit from your crystal, wear the stone in contact with the skin, especially the targeted area.

Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and is not the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstance.
Citrine Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top

Citrine is perfectly suitable for any type of jewelry design, including rings. They are considered hard, durable and can easily withstand the daily wear-and-tear of commercial mainstream jewelry. Citrine is typically worn as pendants or rings, but they can also be used for necklaces, pins and brooches. Citrine is also quite popular for use in beaded and string jewelry designs. Citrine is a favorite for many jewelers and designers owed to the wide range of shapes and cuts made available. Citrine is one of the most popular golden gemstones on the market today, but it is still very moderately priced even in larger sizes.

Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary with size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamond by weight in comparison.

Gemstone Caring and Cleaning for your Citrine and Gemstone Jewelry Back to Top

How to Clean your GemstonesCitrine, like all quartz, is considered very durable, but there are still a number of other gem types capable of scratching Citrine, including Topaz, Spinel, Sapphire and Diamond. Take caution by not wearing or storing other gems near each other, especially when engaging in physical activities like sports, exercise or even household chores. Cleaned your citrine using a mild soap and warm water. You can wipe them down using a soft cloth or brush. Be sure to rinse them well to remove any soapy residue.

As with almost all colored stones, harsh chemicals are not recommended, especially bleach and acids. Ultrasonic cleaners are typically considered safe for citrine, but steamers should be avoided owed to their sensitivity to heat. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct light or extreme temperature conditions. When storing Citrine, wrap them in a soft cloth and place them inside a fabric-lined box.

  • First Published: September-19-2006
  • Last Updated: January-22-2014
  • © 2005-2014 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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