This unique gemstone is commonly confused with topaz and erroneously referred to as gold topaz. The truth is they are completely different and the only thing they share is a similar yellow hue.

What exactly is citrine then?

While natural stones are rare, they do exist when iron mixes in to the silicon dioxide composition. However, a majority of the market grade gemstones began their lives as amethyst or smoky quartz. In the mid-1700s, it was discovered that heating these stones produced a yellow color and depending on the level of heat, different shades were created.

The origins of the gemstone

The biggest supply of natural stone comes from Brazil. But Spain, Scotland, Argentina, Namibia and Myanmar also have natural deposits. Since amethyst and smoky quartz are a source for citrine jewelry, anywhere these are mined are also a supply source.

Stone quality

The most valuable color is burnt-orange and the most popular is a slightly lighter yellow with a hint of orange. It should be easy to find a citrine necklace free of inclusions. Typically, only the clear stones are cut into facets. If there are inclusions, they are used in different cuts that reduce their visibility.

Facets should be cut to maximize the sunny brilliance of the stone. If the center appears hazy or dull, the light is passing through instead of reflected off the cuts and back to you. Stones of a large size are also easy to come by. Of course, like any stone, the larger the carat the more expensive it is.

History and Healing

Affordability as well as the enticing color may have played a role in its popularity during the 40s. These were tough times and a little bit of beauty went a long way. Citrine jewelry was very popular either alone in clustered with other colored gemstones like peridot. Brooches and rings were particularly common and are now retro-trendy.

As for mystical or healing properties, it is believed that the stone will protect the wearer from negativity. It is also supposed to bring about prosperity and hope. As for health, it aids in correcting stomach problems as well as circulatory issues. An interesting benefit a citrine pendant is supposed to provide is protection against snake venom.

Caring for citrine gemstones

On the Mohs scale of hardness, these stones, like all quartz, rank a 7. This means they are quite durable and are great for every day wear. Cleaning them is also fairly simply. Soak them in warm water with a gentle cleaner and scrub with a toothbrush. Because extreme temperatures cause color changes, avoid exposure to high heat. Do not clean in an ultrasonic machine or use a steamer. These use hot water and agitation that could damage the stone.