The name citrine comes from the old French word citrin which means yellow. Citrine is the birthstone for the month of November. Due to the similarities in color to some topaz, citrine was often confused with it and given the name topaz quartz, but today is only known as citrine. During the 1940’s, citrine was a very popular gemstone to use in retro jewelry.
Citrine, like amethyst is in the quartz family, and it ranges in colors of yellow, yellow-brown, orange, reddish-brown, and dark orange-brown. Citrine will sometimes combine with amethyst quartz naturally to form the bi-colored quartz ametrine.
Citrine is a variety of quartz, so the composition is Silicon and Oxygen, the only difference between it and amethyst being the oxidation state of the iron impurities found in the minerals. Amethyst can be heated and the color will fade from a purple to a yellow or reddish-orange (citrine). This process is often done since amethyst is found more abundantly than citrine. There is no way to determine whether the stone was heat treated or irradiated by nature or in a lab.
The vast majority of citrine is mined in Brazil. This material is most often heat treated Amethyst. Citrine deposits can also be found in other areas of the world such as Madagascar and Russia.
Properties, Treatments & Lab Created
Citrine is rated a 7 on the Mohs scale.
Since amethyst is more abundant in nature, most citrine is actually amethyst that has been irradiated (heat treated).
Scientists have accomplished manufacturing a lab created form of citrine, which is identical to the natural mineral in composition.