When you’re on the hunt for a sultry stone that won’t break the bank, citrine is your go-to. It’s yellow to orange in color, typically crystal clear, and makes an outstanding addition or centerpiece to any jewelry collection. Citrine accents fall fashion beautifully with its warm honey tone, pairing well with traditional fall fashions. Once a sought after stone held dear by the ancients, citrine is now easily mined and accessible to the masses. For this reason, citrine may just be the bargain of the century. And if you’re a November baby, citrine is one of your choice birthstones!
Origins of Citrine
The name citrine can clearly be traced back to the French word citron, which translates to lemon, a direct link to the stone’s trademark yellow color. Citrine is a quartz crystal, related to amethyst and for this reason can be found and mined near one another. Specifically, citrine is considered rare in comparison to its cousin amethyst; mainly due to the additional step nature must take changing the oxidation level, which is an outcome of heat exposure. In this way, citrine can be created in labs using heat, as an alternative to the naturally occurring gemstones. Certainly naturally occurring stones are much more desirable, however, the appearance between the two is slightly different. A good way to judge if your citrine stone has been heated in a lab, is to take a good look at the clarity. Citrines naturally take on a pale yellow color, sometimes exhibiting a smoky brown tone. Treated stones will be reddish and should be sold as smoky quartz or amethyst.
The Modern Emergence of Wear
Aside from an ancient past, when citrine had been dressed on Scottish daggers, citrine really made its mark on the modern era in the early 1900’s. Emerging out of the 1920’s when opulence was in and high living was matter of fact, citrine began making an appearance. Art Deco pieces worn by Hollywood starlets such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford made women flock to jewelers for the precious stones. Even more, Greta Garbo started her own Art Deco line, with many pieces featuring citrine. Such pieces continue to sell for countless dollar amounts, as they should be considered priceless. Her pieces range from elegant cocktail bracelets to opulent headpieces.
Citrine and Mystics
Part of the lure to this lustrous stone is its mystical power. Known as a spiritual cleanser and healer, citrine has the power to clear one’s mind for enhanced self-awareness. Ancients believed citrine to empower psychics, aiding in their ability to forecast the future by placing the stone on the visionary’s forehead. Furthermore, the golden stone is thought to bring good fortune. Merchants would keep the stone with their money to ward off negative energy. While healers believed in the stones purifying benefits used to help eliminate toxin buildups in the digestive system.
The World of Citrine According to Science
Citrine is considered a durable gemstone, however some care should be practiced to enhance the life of the stone. Citrine is a 7 on the Mohs scale for hardness. The stone is hardy but can be scratched by other stronger stones such as a sapphire, diamond or topaz. Furthermore, simple steps should be taken to keep the color radiant as heat and light can change the tint to a darker shade. For this reason, wearing citrine while playing sports, or spending long hours in the sun is not recommend.
Since the source of citrine is a variety of quartz, the stone can be found throughout the world. The largest producer today is Brazil, however many mines in the United States, Spain, Africa, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Madagascar supply the world keeping the price and quality competitive. For this reason, large, perfectly cut stones are available for breathtaking pieces to suit a wide range of budgets. From ovals, cushions, squares to any shapes desired, citrine is the “Goldilocks” stone —of just right.