Citrine is the transparent, pale yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz.
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. In the contemporary market, citrine’s most popular shade is an earthy, deep, brownish or reddish orange.
BIRTHSTONES & ANNIVERSARIES
Along with topaz, citrine is a birthstone for November. It’s also recognized as the gem that commemorates the thirteenth anniversary.
A trace of iron in citrine’s structure is responsible for its yellow-to-orange color.
Natural citrine is rare. Most citrine on the market is the result of heat treatment of amethyst.
Citrine is recognized as one of the most popular and frequently purchased yellow gemstones.
- Mineral: Quartz
- Chemical composition: SiO2
- Color: Yellow to orange to orangy red
- Refractive index: 1.544 to 1.553
- Specific gravity: 2.66 (+0.03/-0.02)
- Mohs hardness: 7
There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.
Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.
Any gem can be imitated—sometimes by manmade materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.
The following factors combine to determine a citrine’s value.
Vivid yellows, reddish oranges, and earth tones are popular with consumers.
Eye-visible inclusions are not common in citrine. If present, they decrease its value.
Citrine might be carved, custom-cut, or calibrated for jewelry use.
Citrine is available in a wide range of sizes for setting into a variety of jewelry styles.