Along with topaz, citrine is the official birthstone for November. It’s is also the gemstone that celebrates the thirteenth anniversary.
It’s perhaps the most popular and frequently purchased yellow gemstone and an attractive alternative for topaz as well as for yellow sapphire.
People have used quartz in jewelry for thousands of years. Egyptians gathered ornately striped agates from the shore and used them as talismans.
The ancient Greeks carved rock crystal ornaments that glistened like permafrost, and the hands of Roman pontiffs bore rings set with huge purple amethysts.
The name was derived from ‘citron’, a French word meaning ‘lemon’, although its color tends to be more golden rather than lemon-yellow.
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.
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.
It is also said to be especially powerful for overcoming physical addictions, fears and phobias, as well as, heart, kidney, and liver disorders.
Citrine is rare in nature. In the days before modern gemology, its tawny color caused it to be confused with topaz. Today, its attractive color, plus the durability and affordability it shares with most other quartzes, makes it the top-selling yellow-to-orange gem.
Since natural citrine is rare, most of the citrine on the market is the result of heat treatment, which causes some amethyst to change color from undesirable pale violet to an attractive yellow.
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.
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.
Natural unheated citrine is becoming increasingly rare. Many of the citrine stones available today are heat-treated amethyst or smoky quartz. The color change is considered to be both permanent and stable.
Citrine, 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.
Ultrasonic cleaners are typically considered safe for this gemstone, but steamers should be avoided due to sensitivity to heat.
When storing citrine gemstones, wrap them in a soft cloth and place them inside a fabric-lined box.
We hope this article has given you a bit more of a background on citrine, but should you have any additional questions about this or any other jewellery related topics, you can always: “Ask the Jeweller”
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