Natural citrines are mostly pale yellow to golden. Much of the citrine in the market is heat-treated amethyst, which nearly always has a reddish tint.
The chief determinants of value are color, clarity and luster. Natural citrine is much preferred over the citrine produced by heat-treating amethyst.
Since quartz is an abundant material, look out for transparent stones with excellent clarity.
Citrines come in a wide range of calibrated shapes and sizes, and include both faceted stones and cabochons. Portuguese cuts have become popular due to the brilliance added by the extra facets.
Citrine location and deposits
The most important deposits of natural citrine are in Brazil. Other locations include Argentina, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia Russia, Scotland and Spain.
Common Citrine treatments
Natural citrine is untreated and will typically exhibit some color zoning. Many of the citrine in the market have been produced by heat-treating amethyst. The heat-treated stones will usually exhibit a reddish tint.
Color: Light to dark yellow, gold-brown
Chemical composition: SiO, silicon dioxide
Crystal system: Hexagonal (trigonal), hexagonal prisms with pyramids
Hardness: 7 (Mohs scale)
Specific gravity: 2.65
Refractive index: 1.544 – 1.553
Color of streak: White
Absorption spectrum: Not diagnostic
The Citrine zodiac, myth & legend
Citrine is often used as a birthstone of November along with topaz.
In Antiquity, as well as in the Middle Ages people believed that the cosmos is reflected in gemstones. Citrine is assigned to planet Mercury. The esoteric movement revived the ancient belief and the gem industry made it another marketing tool to promote certain gems.
The healing powers of gems remain a controversial issue, but are mentioned for centuries by healers, shamans and medicine men. Whether its factual or a placebo effect doesn’t matter, if it helps. The safest approach is to wear the gemstone in skin contact to the troubled part of the body. Citrine is said to be of help for backache.