Citrine, along with golden topaz, is the official birthstone for the month of November. In recent decades citrine has gained popularity in the jewelry industry and has become a yellow gemstone staple in the marketplace. Its name is derived for the Latin word citrina which means “yellow”. Citrine’s durability, affordability and attractive color make it one of the most sought after varieties of quartz. Its color also makes its an affordable alternative to golden topaz and yellow sapphire. Everything you have ever wanted to know about this golden gem and how Knox Jewelers can help you to create the perfect birthstone jewelry will be revealed below.
1. Citrine is a gemstone variety of the mineral quartz.
Quartz is one of the most common minerals on earth. Its physical form can range anywhere from sand grains on a beach to large gemstone crystals of amethyst or citrine. Though they look very different, all quartz varieties are composed of the same chemical elements, silicon and oxygen. The size and color of their crystal formation is the largest difference between quartz species. Citrine is the pale yellow to brownish orange, transparent variety of this mineral. Other popular quartz gemstones include amethyst, smokey quartz and rock crystal. Gem varieties of quartz usually form in large crystals with exceptional clarity.
2. Citrine’s most popular colors are a deep yellow and a reddish orange.
Citrine is available in varying hues ranging from pale yellows to deep orange browns. Though the most sought after hues of citrine in the marketplace are vibrant and free of brown tints.
3. Citrine crystals found in nature are extremely rare.
The exact elements and environment needed for citrine quartz crystals to form is rare. Some natural citrine is mined in Bolivia, but the supply is incredibly scarce. Most citrine gems on the market today are produced by heat treating amethyst, which is also a quartz variety. Most of amethyst heated to become golden is found in huge geodes mined in Brazil.
4. Citrine owes its yellow and orange colors to trace amounts of iron in its crystal structure.
All varieties of quartz are mixtures of silicon and oxygen. Iron is the trace element that give citrine its golden color.
5. Fine quality and large citrine gemstones remain affordable.
Citrine is one of the most popular and frequently purchased yellow gemstones because of its availability and fair cost. Even fine graded citrine has an economical price. Sizable citrines remain modestly priced, as price per carat does not rise dramatically for larger sizes.
6. Quartz varieties, like citrine, have been used in jewelry for centuries.
Quartz in any form was commonly used in Europe and the Middle East as gemstones for carving. Citrine exclusively has been found as an ornament going back thousands of years. It was a popular decorative gem in Ancient Greece, and adorned weaponry in 17th century Scotland. More recently, citrine was a go-to gem in the Art Deco era where the gemstones large sizes lead to over-sized and elaborate pieces.
7. Before modern technology, citrine was often mistake for topaz.
It is nearly impossible to visually tell the difference between a faceted citrine gemstone and another of yellow topaz. The largest difference between the two is their hardness. A citrine has a Mohs Hardness rating of 7, well topaz is slightly harder with a rating of 8.
8. Gemstone quality quartz can be found all over the world.
Natural citrine, though rare, can be found in Bolivia, Spain, Madagascar, Mexico and Uruguay. Most of the amethyst that is suitable for heat treatment to become citrine is mined in Brazil.
Create the Perfect Jewelry with Citrine
If you are looking for a special piece of jewelry that will be cherished for a lifetime, we are here to help. Knox Jewelers specializes in unique custom jewelry designs and engagement rings. Citrine in any shape or size can add color to one of our custom created jewelry designs for a one-of-a-kind look!
Contact Knox Jewelers to find out more about our products or services, including our custom jewelry design service. We look forward to hearing from you.