What Is Citrine? | Bixler’s Gemstone Guide
Citrine is a popular gemstone that has been around for centuries. It is a highly sought after gem that presents a vivid yellow color that is beautiful to the naked eye. In some cases, citrine may have a red-orange appearance. It is a variety of crystalline quartz that makes beautiful and affordable jewelry. In ancient times, the gem was extremely rare and that has changed with time. For this reason, the stone has less value and little to do with affluence and luxury.
Also referred to as the Light Maker due to its yellow hue, citrine is a gemstone that reflects dynamic energy and positive vibes. Apart from making beautiful jewels, the gem is also the birthstone for people born in November. They say citrine features silicon dioxide, which is the same mineral in the human body, to reverberate with our natural energy.
What Color Is It?
Citrine gets its name from the citron fruit which is usually yellow. However, citrine comes in various colors with yellow hues including greenish-yellow, yellow-orange, dark-orange, gold, brownish-yellow, and reddish-brown. What causes the color of citrine is often associated with several impurities within the crystal. Oftentimes, raw citrine features a pale to colorless appearance but the presence of iron gives it its yellow color. Citrine that has a deep brownish-yellow color looks exactly like topaz and most people confuse the two. The most desirable and valuable color is one with a rich brownish-orange color that is semi-transparent. This one resembles the color of amber, yellow topaz or yellow diamond. It’s difficult to find natural occurring citrine and because of this, most citrine specimens are heat treated to provide an appealing color. Once heated, citrine shows some hints of red.
What Does It Look Like?
Citrine, like almost all gems, have a crystalline structure. The difference comes about with the number of axes, length, and angle to one another. These attributes help in determining the system in which the crystal belongs to. Citrine, however, is in the hexagonal crystal system category. It contains an asymmetrical superposition of substitute lamellae in the right and left-handed quartz. This structure is unique and comes about due to the pressure exerted during its formation. The composite formation of this gemstone shows rippled fractures. Citrine has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale meaning it is durable. However, one should observe care when handling the gem as it has plenty of fractures which makes it susceptible to breaking. Generally, citrine features a yellow appearance.
How Much Is Citrine Worth?
The value of a gemstone is determined by how rare it is, the color, clarity, cut and carat weight. Citrine’s color is what a major aspect in identifying its worth. The specimen with rich golden-orange color and appears semi-transparent holds more value. However, the one that comes in brighter and lemon shades similar to citrine is gaining popularity and value on the market today. In simple terms, the more intense the color is, the more value the citrine holds.
The cut of citrine also determines its worth since they appear in different shapes and sizes. Faceted oval and emerald are the most popular and valuable cuts. If the cut doesn’t affect the color-intensity, then it becomes more valuable. Also, the custom cutting of citrine increases its value due to the skillfulness applied. The carat weight of citrine doesn’t have much on the value it holds since there are large sizes readily available. Generally, natural citrine is rare, however, you should be careful not to get the imitations. Citrine is used to produce inexpensive jewelry. Due to its rarity, natural citrine is more expensive.
Is Citrine Quartz the Same as Citrine?
Citrine quartz is a hard-edged crystalline mineral that contains silicon and oxygen atoms to form a chemical formula SiO2. Citrine, however, is a variety of quartz that features a yellow color. Natural citrine is formed in large quantities of Quartz. However, most people refer to citrine as yellow Quartz. The most specimen found on the market are heat treated and passed as real citrine. Amethyst or smoky quartz are heated at extreme temperatures so that they can produce a more orange-yellow type of citrine. This type of citrine holds more reddish or orange color compared to naturally occurring citrine. The difference between quartz and citrine is that the latter features coloration due to the presence of iron impurities whereas quartz is clear. But since it occurs in the same place as smoky quartz, it is considered by most to be citrine quartz.
How Can You Tell If Citrine Is Real?
As mentioned, natural citrine is quite uncommon and difficult to find. This becomes difficult to identify the real from fakes or imitations. Fortunately, you are in the right place. We have gathered a few attributes that are only found in natural citrine and are the exact opposite of the imitations on the market. Natural citrine presents a pale yellow-orange appearance that is similar to that of white wine. The crystals are generally clear with light or deep golden brown appearance if they are smoky. Looking at the raw crystal, the points have straight and almost equal sides. The points are usually long and resemble quartz crystals. On the market, natural citrine is extremely expensive.
Heat-treated citrine, however, usually presents an extremely bright yellow-orange color and has plenty of clear or white sections within. You can also notice that the cluster presents an orange-brown appearance. The crystal’s points are fat with serrated shape. These points have a white base and are easily and readily available.
Can You Sleep Wearing Citrine Jewelry?
Sleeping with any type of jewelry is not advisable because it might be dangerous. The sharp and pointed pieces of jewelry can inflict pain and even harm you while you sleep. However, safer jewelry has flat and blunt edges. Sleeping with citrine jewelry has its advantages. For starters, it improves the quality of sleep you get by reducing stress levels and easing your mind. It is said to alleviate nightmares and promote sweet dreams. With citrine, it is quite easy to recall all your dreams.
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