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Birthstones
Michael Schweska
Physical Geology
Spring 2005
 

                                      November Birthstone-Citrine

 
Citrine is the official birthstone for the month of November as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also the Planetary stone for the Sun Sign of Virgo and the accepted gem for the 13th and 17th wedding anniversaries. Citrine is 7.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Citrine Citrine is mined in Brazil, but almost all of the Brazilian material is heat-treated Amethyst. Natural Citrine can also be found in the Ural Mountains of Russia, in Dauphine, France, and in Madagascar. Citrine may be mistaken for the more expensive orangish-yellow Topaz and, at times, may be sold as Yellow Topaz by dishonest gemstone vendors. Due to this, Citrine buyers are sometimes suspicious of any Citrine and think it may actually be fake Topaz. Click here for a picture in natural form. Click here for more faceted and natural specimens.

Description:

Citrine is one of the most affordable gemstones, thanks to the durability and availability of this golden quartz. Inexpensive low grade Amethyst is heated at high temperatures to produce the popular orange, reddish and sherry colored Citrine. Darker colors are considered more valuable, including the medium golden orange and dark sherry-colors. Since most Citrine on the market started its life as Amethyst which was heated to turn its color to gold, Citrine jewelry, as well as Amethyst jewelry, should be kept away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat. With this precaution, Citrine jewelry will last for many generations. Citrine gets its name from the French name for lemon, "citron".

Chemistry:

The formula for Citrine is a variety of Quartz, SiO2, Quartz-Silicon Oxide. Citrine is a variety of Quartz ranging in colors of yellow, yellow-brown, orange, dark orange-brown, reddish-brown. Citrine crystals can form together with Amethyst or Smoky Quartz to form a bi-colored Quartz called Ametrine. Almost all Citrine that is available on the market today is heat-treated Amethyst. Natural Citrine is pale yellow to pale orange, much lighter than the heat-treated material which is dark orange-brown to reddish-brown. Much of the natural Citrines may have started out as Amethyst but heat from nearby magmatic bodies may have caused the change to Citrine. All of the heat-treated material has a red tint, while natural Citrine does not.

Legends, Myths and Healing Properties:

CitrineIn ancient times, Citrine was carried as a protection against snake venom and evil thoughts. Citrine is believed to help the heart, kidney, digestive tract, liver and muscles. It promotes creativity, helps personal clarity and eliminates self-destructive tendencies.

 

 



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All rights are reserved by original sources.
Smithsonian Institute 1998-2005 Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry. 1999-2004 Jewelry Central, JC Store.
2004 Amethyst Galleries, Inc. 1995-2005 Loretta Elaine's Gems for Friends.