All You Need To Know About The Mesmerizing Citrine

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Citrine was a relatively obscure gemstone until old Hollywood film stars, like Gloria Swanson, brought public awareness to it in the 1930’s. Up until then, the golden topaz had been favored as the yellow stone of choice. At the time, citrine was thought to be rare. Coupled with the fact that most jewelers didn’t have a very good supply of it, it ended up being extremely expensive. Thank goodness that isn’t the case in today’s market!

The name is derived from the French word citron which means “lemon”.

What is it?

Citrine belongs to the quartz family. Quartz is the most abundant of all minerals; being found in almost every location and under almost every condition. Like all quartz, it ranks a tough 7 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, making it ideal for use in jewelry that can be worn every day.


Most stones on the market today are actually heat-treated amethyst (another type of quartz). However, some does occur naturally. The natural mineral ranges in color from pale yellow to pale orange. The color of natural gem material is much lighter than color found in heat-treated stones. In addition to this, heat-treatment produces red tones in the gemstone that aren’t found in the natural material.

All You Need To Know About The Mesmerizing Citrine

A gorgeous reddish-orange type is commonly known as Madeira. While Madeira is natural citrine, as opposed to heat-treated amethyst, it is still routinely heat-treated to improve depth of color. Its hues range from orange to deep reddish-brown. Some Madeira does occur naturally, but is much lighter in color than heat-treated material. It gets the name from the Madeira dessert wine served on the island of Madeira in Portugal.


Most of the world’s supply of gem material comes from Brazil, however most of that is actually heat-treated amethyst. Natural rough is found in Russia, France and Madagascar. The rough with deep coloration is considered to be the most valuable. The natural material is rarer, and therefore more expensive, than the heat-treated variety.


Citrine is considered by many to be a happy stone, most likely due to its sunny coloration. It has been nicknamed “the success stone” or “the happy merchant’s stone” because it’s rumored to bring success and wealth to business entrepreneurs.

In ancient times, people often carried citrine with them because they believed it would offer protection from snake venom and ward off evil thoughts.

Routine Treatments

As mentioned above, most stones on the market today have been heat-treated to improve their color and clarity. This treatment is considered permanent and should not fade over time. Unless otherwise specified, you should assume that all stones found in jewelry have been heat-treated.


Using luke-warm water, a soft cloth and a mild soap should be all that you need to clean your citrine jewelry. (I’ve heard that you may use Ultrasonic cleaners, but I never like to take my chances with those unless I’m cleaning my diamond jewelry.) Never expose your stones to harsh chemicals, as it may cause erosion to occur. Much like amethyst, it is very susceptible to heat and light and one should avoid prolonged exposure or else your stone might change colors. As with all gemstones, it shouldn’t be put in your jewelry box with harder gemstones or scratching could occur.