General information about Citrine
A variety of the quartz group, citrine is considered the most beautiful yellow gemstone. As the name suggests, it is most commonly found in various shades of citrine, from pale yellow to orange-brown, reminiscent of the sunniest and most energetic summers spent on the Mediterranean coast.
As a semi-precious stone, citrine is rarely found in nature and used to be easily confused with topaz or yellow sapphire.
As raw citrine is increasingly difficult to find in nature, a method of obtaining it by heat-treating amethyst or smoky quartz – other varieties of quartz with similar properties – has been identified. However, the natural stone is still used to make beautifully decorated luxury jewelry.
Physical properties of Citrine
Chemical formula: SiO2 (silicon dioxide)
Colour: yellow to orange-brown, green (extremely rare)
Refractive index: 1.544 to 1.553
Specific Gravity: 2.66 (+0.03/-0.02)
Mohs hardness: 7
Crystallization system: trigonal
Crystal class: trapezoidal 32
Transparency: transparent, translucent
How is it formed?
Like other quartz class minerals such as amethyst or ametrine, crude citrine is formed when silicon atoms and oxygen atoms bond.
The citrus-like colour comes from iron impurities present during the formation of quartz. Because of the lemon-yellow hue in which it is most often found, for a long time (until 1556) citrine was called yellow quartz.
Where is it found?
In the past, citrine ores were found all over the world, but today they are only found in certain areas, such as Brazil, the Ural Mountains (Russia), Kazakhstan, Madagascar and Uruguay. Brazil is the world’s leading producer of citrine.
When cut and polished, citrine stones show intense lustre and sparkle. Hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale means they are scratch and handling resistant enough to be used in jewelry manufacture.
To determine the quality of a worked citrine, the same procedure is used as for gemstones, assessing colour, clarity, cut and carat.
The highest quality stones have a deep yellow colour with subtle reddish-brown reflections, but because of their rarity, pale yellow citrines are also highly prized. High quality citrines must also be clear (transparent, with no visible inclusions).
The most popular cuts are round and oval, but due to the generous size of the rough stones, they can be cut into almost any shape.
Typically, worked citrine weighs up to 20 carats, so it can be used in statement jewellery.
The largest polished citrine, called ‘Malaga Citrine’, weighs an impressive 20,200 carats and was discovered in the 1980s in Brazil.
The history of citrine is not recent, but rather takes us back thousands of years. It is known that between 300 and 150 BC, in Ancient Greece, when it was known only as a yellow stone, citrine was used for decorative purposes.
In the Ancient East and especially in ancient China, citrine stones were given to emperors because it was believed that they could bring success in battle.
In later centuries, it continued to be used to decorate the battle weapons of rulers in Europe, a custom we find even among 17th-century Scots.
Hollywood history of the 20th century places citrine as a semi-precious stone among the top favorites of the film stars of the inter-war period. The Art Deco style, popular at the time, set the tone for large, sophisticatedly elaborate citrine jewelry.
Citrine stone has great physical properties that have made it popular with lovers and connoisseurs of luxury jewelry, but it also enjoys interesting spiritual properties (some would even call them magical properties).
Citrine and the Zodiac signs
Like topaz, citrine is considered the November moonstone, so it can benefit certain Scorpio and Sagittarius natives.
However, it is definitely a suitable stone for Aries, Gemini, Leo or Libra. It is believed that owning and wearing citrine jewellery by these zodiac signs will help them purify their chakras and improve their daily lives.
The main beneficial effect that citrine would have on the wearers of the mentioned zodiac signs is on their emotional balance, creativity and interpersonal relationships.
Magical Properties of Citrine
Because of its warm hues, it is associated with the Sun and therefore offers a feeling of inner warmth, psychological comfort and high vibrational energy.
If you have a dream, with the sense of an ideal that you would like to turn into reality, citrine is said to be able to help you, giving you the motivation to continue, but also opening your mind to wise choices.
During the Middle Ages the theory that citrine was the ‘Merchant’s Stone’ gained currency. The association comes from citrine wearers who noticed that their income from trading increased significantly, without dissipating as easily.
This is also why it is recommended to entrepreneurs, sales agents, bankers and other professionals in fields with increased financial tangencies.
There is also a less desirable effect of the stone, which manifests itself in people with quick tempers – that of amplifying impulsiveness.
Natural Citrine Jewelry
You probably already love citrine and want to see what natural citrine jewelry artists are creating these days.