November Birthstone – Citrine
November is another month that has two birthstones, Topaz and Citrine, but in the post we’ll be focusing on what has become a new favourite of mine because of it’s warm, happy colour – Citrine.
Citrine is the variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in colour. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of these lemon-inspired shades. This gem is said to support vitality and promote health and is commonly known as the healing Quartz for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. It can release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. It’s even called the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity. It is also the Zodiac sign for Sagittarius.
The yellow hues are caused by traces of iron in the quartz crystals. This occurs rarely in nature, so most citrine on the market is made by heat treating other varieties of quartz – usually the more common, less expensive purple amethyst and smoky quartz – to produce golden gems.
Brazil is the largest supplier of Citrine but other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. With the different geographies comes the different shades of yellow.
How to Buy Citrine
These gems can be evaluated by the same factors as diamonds. Because the majority of citrine gems on the market have been heat treated—and because it takes an expert to detect these enhancements—it’s wise to shop with a jeweller who can help you choose the best gem.
With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, Citrine is relatively durable against scratches and everyday wear and tear making it a lovely option for large, wearable jewellery.
Citrine is readily available in sizes up to 20 carats—and, because its price doesn’t rise exponentially with carat weight, big gems are relatively inexpensive.
Colour – The finest citrine colours are saturated, with little or no brownish component, and range from yellow to reddish orange, and even orangey red.
Clarity – Much of the faceted citrine in the market is “eye-clean,” meaning it lacks eye-visible inclusions. Stones with minor inclusions is often used for cabochons or carvings. Visible inclusions in pale-coloured gems reduce Citrine’s value greatly.
Cut – Citrine is available in a wide variety of fancy shapes, including custom cuts. Many cutting styles are calibrated in standard millimetre sizes for use in mass-market jewellery.
Carat – Larger sized Citrine’s are not priced significantly more per carat than smaller sizes, making it a good choice for bold jewellery designs. Unlike other coloured gems, smaller Citrine’s can have strong colour, making it easier to match sets of differently sized gems.