Citrine History and Lore

A brooch from the Victorian era features an oval citrine with six ruby accent stones. - GIA & Tino Hammid
People have used quartz in jewelry for thousands of years. Egyptians gathered ornately striped agates from the shore and used them as talismans, the ancient Greeks carved rock crystal ornaments that glistened like permafrost, and the hands of Roman pontiffs bore rings set with huge purple amethysts. Natural citrine is rare, and today most citrine quartz is the result of heat treatment of amethyst quartz. Even so, gems from the Victorian era have surfaced, and it’s not hard to imagine that citrine was treasured even in earlier times.

This gold pendant from the Victorian era features a citrine center stone. - GIA & Tino Hammid
This ornate Victorian citrine brooch is thought to be from the 1860s. - Robert Weldon, courtesy Linda Zorozek