The color yellow is having a kind of renaissance at the moment, which makes citrine the perfect gem for our time. As the autumn leaves fall in colors of amber and russet, we crave the warmth and sunny disposition of citrine jewelry. Whether large and sparkling in a cocktail ring, or richly hued in a pair of earrings, citrine is the perfect gem to wear at this time of year.
Citrine is the yellow to reddish orange variety of quartz. This transparent gem is also found in brownish hues of yellow and orange, and has a Mohs hardness of 7. Natural citrine is rare. Most citrine used in jewelry and sold on the market is heat-treated amethyst (the purple variety of quartz). The oxidation level of iron ions determines whether the quartz is amethyst or citrine. A popular variety of quartz is ametrine, a stone that transitions from purple (amethyst) to yellow (citrine).
Quartz has been known to be used in jewelry since ancient times, although it is not know whether natural citrine was used that far back, due to its similarity in appearance to topaz. The name citrine was used to describe yellow gems as far back as the 14th century, however it may not have been referring to quartz in particular. The earliest known piece of jewelry set with natural citrine is from the Victorian Era.
Citrine, along with topaz, is November’s birthstone. The earthy hues of the gem pair perfectly with the natural colors of autumn, making it a great time to wear citrine jewelry. Due to its cheerful color, citrine is believed to be a positivity stone with the ability to attract abundance. It’s earned the name “The Merchant’s Stone”, because many businesses will keep a citrine in their cash registers for good luck.
Citrine that is vibrant in color, especially reddish-orange with no brownish hues, is the most prized by collectors. However, the earthier shades of citrine tend to be the most popular in jewelry. Because citrine is widely available, it is possible to get larger cuts at reasonable prices. Although most people think of citrine as a yellow gem, it comes in a range of beautiful warm hues that compliment a wide variety of skin tones. Whether you wear it for luck, or for its beauty, citrine jewelry is a wonderful addition to any collection.