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Citrine Gemstone Information

Citrine is one of the most popular gemstones available today. It belongs to the very large family of quartz (SiO2) gemstones.

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About Citrine - History and Introduction

Specifically, citrine 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 its attractive golden color. Almost all heated citrine will exhibit reddish tints. When quartz is heated (naturally or artificially), iron impurities are reduced, resulting in lesser amounts of violet and purple, and stronger yellow to golden orange colors.The only difference between citrine and amethyst is the oxidation level of iron ions (Fe3) present in otherwise colorless quartz crystal, which explaines citrine's close relation to violet-purple amethyst, another variety of transparent macrocrystalline quartz.

Natural Citrine
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Identifying Citrine

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Citrine can be easily identified through its distinct quartz properties. It is one of the few gemstones that naturally occurs 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. Ametrine is a natural bicolor combination of quartz, both golden citrine and violet amethyst in a single specimen. 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 similar materials.

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Citrine Origin and Gemstone Sources

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

Buying Citrine and Determining Citrine Gemstone Value

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Citrine Color

Natural untreated citrine is typically pale yellow to golden in color and is 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.

An Image Displaying the Typical Color Range of Citrine
The Typical Color Range of Citrine

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 cuts) and other fancy cuts, such as scissor-cuts or Portuguese-cuts are also quite popular. Citrine gemstones can be found 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

Although natural, unheated citrine is becoming increasingly rare, untreated citrine gemstones are available and remain quite affordable. Many of the citrine stones available today are actually heat-treated amethyst or smoky quartz. Citrine is often heated right at the mining source and because it is completed at such low temperatures, it is extremely difficult to detect. The color enhancement is considered to be both permanent and stable.

Citrine Gemological Properties:

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Chemical Formula: SiO2; Silicon dioxide
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal (trigonal) hexagonal prisms with pyramids
Color: Light-yellow to dark-yellow, gold-brown, orange
Hardness: 7 on the Mohs scale
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 of gemology-related terms.

Citrine: Varieties or Similar Gemstones:

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Natural Ametrine
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There are several different and distinct varieties of quartz gemstones, and most are based on optical properties such as color and crystal structure, but other varieties refer to origin or other similar traits. Locality based trade names are used mostly by gemstone sellers or collectors only. Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on earth, second only to the feldspar group.

Quartz stones can be classified into one of two branches, cryptocrystalline and macrocrystalline. The two varieties can be distinguished by transparency and luster. Amethyst and citrine are both macrocrystalline and there are many other similar gemstone varieties too. In addition, there are also many similar gemstones in appearance that can easily be mistaken for natural citrine, but are unrelated by way of composition, including imperial topaz, golden beryl and golden sapphire.

Most Popular Similar or Related Gemstones and Trade Names:

Amethyst, ametrine, smoky quartz, 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 Similar or Related Gemstones and Trade Names:

Aventurine, rock crystal quartz, chrysoprase, dumortierite quartz, gem silica (chrysocolla chalcedony) sardonyx, onyx, mystic quartz, strawberry quartz, blue quartz, hawk's eye, prasiolite and heliotrope (bloodstone) are lesser-known closely related gemstone varieties.

Citrine Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Healing Powers

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Citrine's color is thought to radiate positive energy. It is known as the 'success stone', since it is believed to promote prosperity and abundance, especially in situations involving business. Citrine has actually earned the nickname of 'the merchant's stone', owing to the fact that many businesses will keep citrine in their cash registers for good fortune. According to legend, citrine is able to dissipate negative energy. It is also thought to generate stability in life and be good for general protection. Emotionally, citrine is believed to 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, 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 circumstances.

Citrine Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas

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Citrine is perfectly suitable for any type of jewelry design, including rings, pendants and earrings.It is considered hard, durable and can easily withstand the daily wear and tear of commercial mainstream jewelry.

Pendant Design Ideas Created by GemSelect
Pendant Design Ideas Created by GemSelect

Citrine is typically worn as pendants or rings, but it 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 owing to the wide range of shapes and cuts available. Citrine is one of the most popular golden gemstones on the market today and it is very moderately priced even in large sizes.

Ring Design Ideas Created by GemSelect
Ring Design Ideas Created by GemSelect

Since citrine is one of November's birthstones, it is highly sought-after for use in birthstone jewelry, especially birthstone rings and pendants. Citrine rings are suitable for both men and women, with darker orange stones being favored for use in gentlemen's jewelry and lighter, brighter stones favored for use in ladies' jewelry.

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

Citrine Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning

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How to clean your gemstonesCitrine, like all quartz, is considered to be 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 vigorous physical activities like sports, exercise or even household chores. Clean your citrine using a mild soap and warm water. You can wipe gemstones 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 acid. Ultrasonic cleaners are typically considered safe for citrine, but steamers should be avoided due to citrine's sensitivity to heat. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct light or extreme temperature conditions. When storing citrine gemstones, wrap them in a soft cloth and place them inside a fabric-lined box.

  • Prima Pubblicazione: September-19-2006
  • Ultima modifica: May-14-2019
  • © 2005-2019 Tutti i diritti riservati.
    Qualsiasi riproduzione (testi o immagini) è strettamente proibita senza esplicita autorizzazione scritta da parte di (SETT Company Ltd.).
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Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

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length x width x depth,
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