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Citrine

Citrine is the transparent, pale yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz.

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Size

Fashioned citrines can be large. This one weighs almost twenty carats.

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Eye-clean

The lack of eye-visible inclusions is a sought-after citrine quality.

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Zoning

Yellow, reddish orange, and brown color zoning highlight this citrine.

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Reddish orange

This attractive reddish orange color is popular with consumers.

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Large crystals

This 65.50-carat rough will yield a significant faceted gem.

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Termination

This citrine crystal terminates in a well-shaped point.

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Tools

Overview

About Citrine

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.

Citrine Description Citrine History and Lore

Birthstones & Anniversaries

Along with topaz, citrine is a birthstone for November. It’s also recognized as the gem that commemorates the thirteenth anniversary.

Iron

A trace of iron in citrine’s structure is responsible for its yellow-to-orange color.


Heat

Natural citrine is rare. Most citrine on the market is the result of heat treatment of amethyst.


Popular

Citrine is recognized as one of the most popular and frequently purchased yellow gemstones.


Facts

  • 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

Where It's Found

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Treatments

There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.

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Synthetics

Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.

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Imitations

Any gem can be imitated—sometimes by manmade materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.

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Why We Love This Gemstone

1
Affordable

Even fine citrine has a modest price tag. Large gems remain affordable, as price per carat does not rise dramatically for larger sizes.

2
Geodes

Giant hollow crystal-lined amethyst geodes from areas like Brazil are often heated to become giant citrine “cathedrals.”

3
Ametrine

In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine colors can occur together in the same crystal. These unique gems are called ametrine.

Quality Factors

The following factors combine to determine a citrine’s value.

Color

quality factors

Vivid yellows, reddish oranges, and earth tones are popular with consumers.

Clarity

quality factors

Eye-visible inclusions are not common in citrine. If present, they decrease its value.

Cut

quality factors

Citrine might be carved, custom-cut, or calibrated for jewelry use.

Carat Weight

quality factors

Citrine is available in a wide range of sizes for setting into a variety of jewelry styles.

Citrine Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide

Research

Explore sources, gemological research, and the role of gems in history.

Citrine from Zambia

Donna Beaton Read Article

Using LA-ICP-MS Analysis for the Separation of Natural and Synthetic Amethyst and Citrine

Christopher M. Breeding Read Article