CITRINE: November Birthstone
This November birthstone is the transparent yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz, which has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Today, most of the citrine in the marketplace results from the heat treatment of amethyst quartz. With its ready availability in a broad range of sizes, citrine birthstone is one of the most affordable and desired yellow gemstones. Citrine has been a popular gemstone since ancient times and has shared a history of mistaken identities with the other November birthstone, topaz. As a result, people thought citrine had the same powers as topaz. They believed the citrine birthstone could soothe tempers and calm the wearer.
WHERE IS CITRINE FOUND?
Deep in the world’s largest freshwater wetland lies Bolivia’s Anahí mine. This mine is an important source for natural, unheated citrine. Discovered by a Spanish conquistador in the 1600s, it was given to him as dowry when he married Anahí, a princess from the Ayoreos tribe of Paraguay. The mine was lost for three centuries until it was rediscovered in the 1960s.
Citrine Quality Factors
- COLOR. Citrine’s attractive color, plus the durability and affordability it shares with most other quartzes, makes it the top-selling yellow-to-orange gem. A saturated yellow to reddish orange color free of brownish tints is prized in citrine, although in the contemporary market, citrine’s most popular shade is a deep brownish or reddish orange. Since natural citrine is rare, most of the citrine on the market is the result of heat treatment, which causes some amethyst to change color from undesirable pale violet to attractive yellow. The amethyst’s original hue can determine the richness of the resulting citrine’s yellow.
- CLARITY. Much of the faceted citrine in the market is eye-clean, meaning it lacks eye-visible inclusions. Citrine that contains minor inclusions is often used for cabochons or carvings. Visible inclusions in pale-colored gems reduce citrine’s value greatly.
- CUT. Although citrine is available in standard shapes and sizes, in recent years many high-end jewelry designers and gem carvers have fashioned the warm yellow gem into unusual cuts for jewelry and carvings.
- CARAT WEIGHT. Citrine crystals occur in a wide range of sizes, and citrines of up to 20 carats are readily available in jewelry. Large-size citrine is not priced significantly more per carat than smaller sizes, making it a good choice for bold jewelry designs. Unlike other colored gems, smaller citrines can have strong color, making it easier to match sets of differently sized gems.
Citrine Care & Cleaning
At 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness with good toughness, your citrine birthstone is usually durable enough for normal wear and care. It can be safely cleaned with warm, soapy water. While it is usually okay to clean your November birthstone in an ultrasonic machine, steam cleaning is risky since high heat could cause the stone to crack. Stop by our jewelry store in Boca Raton to get your citrine jewelry cleaned by professionals.
Citrine Jewelry in Boca Raton
Now that you know a little bit more about the history of this November birthstone and where it can be found, you just might be inspired to add some citrine jewelry to your collection. Stop by our jewelry store in Boca Raton to view our beautiful selection of citrine jewelry.