The gemstone Citrine is a precious little sun under the gemstones. It is the birthstone of November and who does not need a little sunbeam when daylight is diminishing (Northern Hemisphere)? You feel great with this bright and yellow gemstone that brightens up every dark day.
Citrine is a great anti-depressant cure: the yellow gemstone makes you happy, enlarges your concentration, gives a lot of confidence, and makes determent. And it is the gemstone of the 17th anniversary. A lot of reasons to get to know this gemstone better!
What’s in a name?
The name comes from the word ‘citrin’, which means in the old French language ‘lemon’. It sounds like a very suitable name since the color of this gem is mostly yellow, like lemon. But at the time that the gemstone got its name, that name didn’t refer to the lemon as we know it, but to the large fragrant citrus fruit, which is one of the four original citrus fruits available. It is very rare quartz, that ranges in color from pale yellow to dark amber.
What does this gemstone look like?
Citrine is quartz and is transparent with a yellow color, caused by traces of iron and sometimes aluminum. Because it is so rare people find it worthwhile to make a fake version of it. Most of the time they heat amethyst or smokey quartz. When you heat those gemstones above 200 grades the purple and grey colors disappear and become yellow. This forgery goes so far that most of this gem you can buy on the marketplace (90%) is a fraud (heated amethyst or smokey quartz). They call it Bahia- or Madeira citrine.
Beautiful, but confusing
Although this gemstone has been known and appreciated since Ancient Times, there was a long time of mix-up about what was this gemstone actually. In 1385 the word ‘citrine’ was seen for the first time in English, but not as a word for this special gemstone, but as the name for all yellow gemstones.
Citrine was mixed up with the golden topaz and both gemstones were known by different names. Citrine was often called gold topaz, Madeira, or Spanish topaz. And when both gemstones were declared as the gemstones of November the confusion was all around.
Things got more complicated in the 18th century. Mineralogists discovered that if you give amethyst or smoky quartz a heat treatment, the color of those quartzes, which was purple and brown, would change into a lemon or honey kind of hue of the citrine. Since amethyst and smoky quartz were less expensive than the originally yellow-colored gemstone, a lot of citrine-like quartzes came on the market.
After the mineralogists could distinguish the citrine from the topaz, the popularity of this yellow beauty started to rise.
But as stated before there are so many fake copies on the market that the price collapses since people don’t know whether they buy a fake or a genuine one and keep away from it. Nowadays there is a kind of revival for the citrine. Women don’t mind wearing fake one when it is big and shiny. Besides that, the color yellow is getting more popular and there are not many gemstones in that color.
Citrine: a multifunctional gemstone
Thousands of years ago, when people didn’t know this beautiful yellow stone was a gemstone, this beauty was used to decorate tools, weapons, and jewelry. Archeologists find it in Hellenistic graves in Greece, in ancient Egypt, and from the 17th century, they discovered this gemstone at decorated dagger handles in Scotland. They find out that it was kept as a piece of jewelry to prevent getting poisoned.
Loving it goes far
Citrine is one of the most popular yellow gemstones. And its popularity goes back to about 300 BC. Especially the Greeks adored this gem. People believed that this gem could calm down a bad temper, suppress anger, and give you prosperity or fulfill another wish you might have.
To use the power of this gemstone the Egyptian people wore it in pendants as an amulet, the Greeks in Ancient Times carved (mostly) mythological images in the stone, while the Romans, especially the Roman priests, used this quartz in rings.
The appreciation for the citrine changed over time. In Ancient Roman Times, this lovely gemstone is very popular amongst wealthy people, because it is so beautiful and rare. Again in the 19th Century and during the Art Deco period (1918-1940) it became very popular and great film divas like Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford wear this gem with grace.
The people in the Roman Times consider it as a piece of the sun. The Romans thought that the stone absorbs a sunbeam and has the ability to keep that sunbeam in the stone. When you are depressed you have a citrine with you and to avoid disaster the soldiers have citrine on their weapon outfits.
And that feeling of avoiding a disaster by wearing a citrine survived until at least the 17th century. We have data that say that Scottish soldiers decorated their weapons with citrine. And there must have been a reason for that!
The biggest fan
One of the biggest fans of this yellow gemstone is Queen Victoria of England. There are more gemstones she likes a lot, especially when that gemstone is found in her kingdom. But her favorite is the citrine, because of its sunny exuberance. And because you find them in her beloved Scotland. When the Balmoral Castle was built in 1852 in Scotland she ordered that all the visitors have to wear quilts and the full Highland plaid attire, including the quilt jewelry… that has to be decorated with the citrine.
The gemstone Citrine is great for your health.
Citrine has so many great qualities for your health/body and mind, that I will summarize a few and will not be complete:
- The citrine improves concentration and avoids transpiration.
- It cleans your body and repairs what is wrong
- You attract wealth, prosperity, success, and all the other good things you need/want. But it also stimulates sharing what you owe. This gemstone does not like quarrels and conflicts and helps to solve those problems.
- It enlarges your self-respect and confidence. Stimulates your creativity and makes you optimistic.
- This gem cures you of depression, fears, and phobics. It makes you calm so that the wisdom in you can get a chance to work.
- And it solves problems with the liver, bladder, kidneys, diabetes mellitus, nerves, and bones.
- You get relaxed wearing a citrine and when you have burnout (not worn it!) it shows you everything in perspective again.
Nice to know
- Since 1912 this gemstone has been declared the official birthstone of November by the American National Association of Jewelers. It is the planetary gemstone for the zodiac sign of Virgo and a popular gift gem for a 13th or 17th wedding anniversary.
- It is sad to say but nearly all the so-called ‘citrine’ on the market is heat-treated smoky quartz or amethyst. You can recognize the difference since the natural stone is a pale yellow to pale orange and so much lighter than the treated copies that are dark yellow to dark orange. Besides that… the treated stones have a kind of reddish hue, that is not there in the natural stone.
- But it is also possible that the natural amethyst was naturally heated and the color changed into a kind of brown citrine.
- The natural stones can be found in the Ural Mountains in Russia, France, and in Madagascar. There is a lot of citrine coming from Brazil, but these are mostly the heat-treated amethyst copies in the colors, orange, and sherry or reddish.
How to take care of a citrine?
The hardness on the scale of Moh’s of this yellow beauty is 7. That is not too soft, but you have to take care not to scratch your citrine. But in everyday life and everyday use, your citrine will survive!
Don’t leave your citrine in the sun or go sunbathing with it. The gemstone does not like the sun and changes in color (getting lighter). You can clean the gemstone with a jeweler cleaner, soft cloth or plain soap, and warm water. Dry it properly afterward.
Are you a November birthday girl? You are lucky to have this gemstone as a birthstone. But also the other sun-loving ladies will love this beauty. That reminds me that I bought a ring with this gem from my first earned money when I was 15 years old or so. Anyway, if you love birthstones and other gemstones, you better ask for this present from FlorenceJewelshop. It is an e-book about all birthstones. Also, a great gift to add to a birthstone present. It is free of charge. Just let me know to whom I can send it.
Hug, Florence from FlorenceJewelshop