All you want to know about Citrine.

May 06 2015 0 Comments Tags: buying, citrine, gemstones, information

Citrine stones belongs to the large family of quartz (SiO2). It is the yellow to golden-orange variety of gemstone-quality macrocrystalline quartz (silicon dioxide). It has been used ornamentally on tools and in jewelry for thousands of years. Some Biblical scholars believe that citrine was the tenth of 12 stones in Aaron's breastplate described in the book of Exodus.


The name "citrine" was officially adopted in 1556 when German metallurgist Georg Bauer, known to some as "the father of modern mineralogy," used it in a publication about gemstones and jewelry. The word "citrine" has a few potential sources, all related to citrus fruits. The most likely root of this word is from the old French word citron, meaning "yellow," or the Latin word citrus, in reference to citrus fruit. Around the 17th century, both citrine and smoky quartz were called "cairngorm" after their source in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland. "Madeira citrine" is the term used for the orangey-brown citrines, so named because they share their color with Madeira wine.

  Sample of "Madeira" citrine, also called "carré" in Brazil.


Citrine is very closely related to violet 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.


                                                                      Beautiful Gemstones Brazil ametrines.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Identifying Citrine

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 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.

Some useful information about Citrines:

·       Chemistry: SiO2.

·       Colour: various shades of golden yellow and orange

·       Mohs scale: hardness 7

·       Luster: Vitreous

·       Cleavage: None  

·       Transparency: Transparent to translucent

·       Refractive index: 1.544-1.553


Citrine Origin and Gemstone Sources:

Brazil is the worlds leading supplier for Citrine. Other sources include Argentina, Bolivia, France, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Uruguay and Zambia.

Citrine History 

Citrine has been used ornamentally on tools and in jewelry for thousands of years. In ancient Greece, the stone now known as citrine first gained popularity as a decorative gem during the Hellenistic Age, roughly between 300 and 150 B.C. In the 17th century, Scottish weapon makers used citrine to adorn dagger handles, sometimes even using a single large citrine crystal as the handle itself.

 In Europe, the boom on these yellow to reddish crystal quartzs didn't begin until, in the 1930s, expatriate agate cutters from Idar-Oberstein sent large quantities of citrine back home, along with amethyst and agate, from Brazil and Uruguay. 

The supply of Europe with sufficient raw material came just at the right moment for the nascent upheaval in social conditions. As the bourgeoisie grew in strength, the demand for jewellery across a broader spectrum of social strata also grew, and the citrine found a permanent niche for itself. Since until then it was really only the topaz which was known and used as a gold-coloured gemstone, the yellow and brown crystal quartzes quickly became very popular among the ladies, being known as gold topaz or smoky topaz, or by the double-barrelled names that proclaimed their origin. However, they were also found in step and table cuts as cuff-links and rings in the evening wardrobe of fine gentlemen. At the beginning, perhaps, the notion "it's all on the surface" may have played a part. But there was no other stone to which the wrong name clung as doggedly as the citrine. Even now, jewellery enthusiasts with no specialist knowledge may be astounded when you tell them that their 'gold topaz' is a citrine, in other words not a topaz at all, but quartz.


Buying a Citrine  - How to determine a Citrine gemstone value ?

1. Citrine Colour

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.

2. 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.

3. 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-cut or Portuguese-cut 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.


Citrine oval 4. 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.


November’s Birthstone and 13th Wedding Anniversary

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.


Citrine Meaning & Properties

Citrine has been called the "stone of the mind". Ancient cultures believed that placing a citrine on the forehead of an elder would increase his psychic power.

Citrine is known as the lucky "Merchants 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.

Citrine is sometimes used by healers to help with digestion as it is considered beneficial to the endocrine and digestive system - cleansing, purifying and eliminating poisons that have built up. Some use it to help relieve depression, digestive problems (including constipation and diabetes). 


Citrine Caring and Cleaning 

Citrine, 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.




Gemstones Brazil Finest quality Citrines.

Gemstones Brazil’s citrines are mined in the north of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais and cut in Teofilo Otoni and Jaipur, India. We work with both traditional and contemporary designs and cuts, always insuring a fine and brilliant finish.



 Jewellers that we love and their marvellous citrine jewellery designs.

After so much information, lets finish this post with some inspiration for our soul! Here we go with some of my favourite designs with citrine gems.






Retro 1960’s Citrine Ring





Faceted spherical citrine ring, set in a 14 karat gold mount. American, circa 1965  






Kate Rowland Ring








Tutu Collection Citrine Ring - CoutureLab






Firenze Jewels 















Allia Jigsaw Earrings (left) &










Pave orange Sapphire & pear citrine earrings by  Red Carpet Ready (right)










 Kate Rowland Necklace

















Tomasz Donocik ring












I will be updating this section with more and more beautiful jewellery for you! If you want to help me, please send me an email to

I am looking forward to hearing from you! 


 Kindly shared by Mark LaJoie, this lovely hand made 25ct lemon citrine jewellery titled Surise won the "Designer of the Year" in a 2011 International Competition. According to Mark: “This design won in the $3000 and up category (unlimited expense) against all other designs loaded with diamonds and other precious stones. Shocking when one thinks about it. Just one citrine. no diamonds.”
Thank you Mark! Well done!




← Older Posts Newer Posts →


Leave a Comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published

From Our Blog

Custom Gemstones from Gemstones Brazil

Jul 12 2017 0

Custom Gemstones from Gemstones Brazil


Read More
Introducing the exciting new member of our gemstone collection: the imperial topaz!

Jun 07 2017 0

Introducing the exciting new member of our gemstone collection: the imperial topaz!

   The imperial topaz is also known as ‘precious topaz’, as it is the most sought-after and rarest  natural topaz. It represents less than 0.5% percent of facet-grade topaz found in...

Read More
Go the extra mile for your loved one with a custom-made engagement ring

Jul 10 2016 0

Go the extra mile for your loved one with a custom-made engagement ring

Nothing says thoughtful like an engagement ring you have designed yourself. The very best part of running Gemstones Brazil is being an intrinsic part of creating the perfect ring for...

Read More
July's birthstone is Ruby

Jul 04 2016 0

July's birthstone is Ruby

It won't surprise you to know that rubies are known as the "king of gemstones" in Sanskrit ('ratnaraj'). They are endlessly regal - indeed, it is the most prominently-featured stone in...

Read More

To add this product to your wish list you must Sign In or Create and Account.