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Natural Citrine Gemstone Information and Properties | Quartz Citrine Gem

History and General Information - Natural Citrine Gemstone

A quartz crystal or cluster which is yellow or orange in color is known as citrine. This stone gets its name from the French word citrin which means lemon. It is a semi-precious stone and one of the most common forms of quartz after colorless quartz ( rock crystal). It is also classified by gemologists as an oxide. Citrine deposits are very rare and most of the gems sold as citrine in the market are treated amethysts. It is also known as golden topaz or smoky topaz as it resembles the topaz in color. Citrine gets its color from colloidal suspended hydrous oxide. The Madeira citrines are dark in color and are named after the Spanish wine which it resembles. Citrines get their golden color when amethyst naturally gets heated deep inside the earth. Ancient Romans used citrines to make beautiful jewelry like necklaces, rings and ear-rings. In modern times citrine is the favored stone for the budget minded women. It is usually sold as a substitute for the yellow sapphire in India.

Chemical Composition of Citrine

The chemical composition of citrine is SiO2 with colloidal iron hydrates.

Physical Properties of Citrine

The citrine has a hardness of 7on the Mohs scale. Its refractive index is 1.544- 1.553 and it has birefringence of 0.009. Its crystal system is trigonal and it shows no cleavage. Citrine is a transparent stone with a vitreous luster.

Color of Citrine Gemstone

The natural color of a citrine is pale yellow. Citrines that are got artificially from treating amethyst or smoky quartz at high temperature have more of orange and reddish shades. When citrine is heated it turns white in color and dark brown when exposed to x-ray.


The citrine crystals arefound as protruding clusters of pyramids. The typical styles for cutting Citrine are faceted, beads, carvings and cabochons.


Citrines are found in many clarity grades. Faceted stones are usually flawless or slightly included.

Price of Citrine

The price of citrine is affordable and best quality citrines gem stones can be bought for as little as US $1 - US$ 10.


These stones are found commonly in Brazil. They are also found in Uruguay, The Urals, Scotland and North Carolina.


The citrine gemstone is often mistaken for the precious gem topaz and also yellow sapphire. It is sometimes sold as topaz by unscrupulous dealers. To distinguish citrine from topaz the hardness of the two has to be taken into account. Topaz has a hardness of 8 whereas citrine has a hardness of 7. Most of the citrines available in the markets are not natural citrines but heat treated amethyst gemstones.

Interesting Trivia and Other Citrine Facts

The Citrine is the birthstone gem for those people who are born in the month of November. It is also associated as the wedding anniversary gem for the thirteenth year of marriage. Citrine is known as the ?success stone? as it is thought to bring prosperity and success in business. People in the ancient times used to carry the citrine as protection against evil thoughts and snake venom. They work on the navel and solar plexus area to keep away negativity from the wearer. This stone is considered valuable in the treatment of depression as they eliminate thoughts of self-destruction. It promotes the growth of spirituality in a wearer and improves the general well being of persons who use it for healing purposes.

Citrines are tough stones therefore they do not get scratched easily. They can be cleaned using untreated cloth, jewelry cleaners or soaps. They are also brittle. This stone is heat sensitive so it has to be protected from sunlight. Exposure to direct sunlight may lead to changes in the color of the stone.

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