Citrine is a yellow version of quartz, also known as gold topaz or Spanish topaz. It is not, however, true topaz. It is found in much greater quantity, and is much less expensive to produce and cut into gemstones. Heating other forms of quartz, like amethyst, commercially produces much of today’s citrine. Such a stone is usually betrayed by its orange color with red undertones, instead of the yellow color that marks naturally occurring ones.
This stone is often associated with the more brownish topaz because both are November birthstones. Citrine stones are generally much less expensive, however, and are often the birthstone of choice for those without deep pockets. The gem wears extremely well, with a hardness of about 7 on the Mohs Scale. Still, the gems should be removed when performing any heavy labor.
The principal lodes of citrine exist in Brazil and Uruguay. From excavations in the 1930s, it quickly became a popular gemstone. Citrine can be found in numerous example pieces of lady’s jewelry from the 1930s onward, and was also a popular decorative choice in shirt buttons and cufflinks for men.
Since use of this stone was far less common than other gemstones in the past, fewer myths and lore surround it. Today, it is associated with light-heartedness, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Citrine’s colors are also thought to be a natural cure to depression in some alternative medicine lore.
It certainly can decrease a bout of the blues to receive citrine jewelry. Its golden tones, which reflect beautifully, make for an impressive display in rings, bracelets, earrings, or necklaces. The stone can also be purchased in loose form to be made into one’s own personalized jewelry.
Citrine is often measured in millimeters instead of in carats. A stone with a 6.5-millimeter diameter is equal to about a one-carat stone. One carat stones can range in price dramatically, from about $40 US Dollars (USD) to about $100 USD. The more expensive stones are those that are called natural citrine. There are other forms of quartz that are heated to produce a similar color.
This stone’s closeness in appearance to topaz means that some jewelers may substitute it, without informing customers, for topaz. One should definitely verify one is purchasing true topaz or true citrine so that one pays the appropriate price.