Citrine is a stone as bright as its energy. Everything about this stone emanates positivity and joy. Even its name, which is derived from the French word for lemon, carries a sense of sun and joy attached to it. Found naturally in Brazil, Africa, Madagascar, Spain, Russia, France, Scotland and USA, this gemstone has been an ornamental gem for civilizations as early as 300 B.C., and a favorite with jewelry makers since the ancient Greeks and Romans. Even in first century A.D., citrine was being fashioned into cabochon rings and used in intaglio work. Later in the 17th century, Queen Victoria would become fascinated by the beauty of the stone, and as a result it would be used by Scottish men in kilt pins, shoulder broaches, and to adorn their swords and the handles of their daggers. The stone’s popularity resurged again during the Art Deco era, as early Hollywood stars boasted citrine jewelry like elaborate broaches, grand necklaces and other pieces where large faceted citrine was the center piece.
Pale yellow to a brownish hue, citrine is a transparent quartz composed of silicon dioxide. While its crystal system gives citrine its trigonal cellular shape, its yellow tint comes from iron. It is often found in large quantities, unlike many other gemstones, and subsequently cut down to other shapes and sizes. Citrine is found in igneous rocks, as the result of intense heat, and metamorphic rocks, such as granite. Much of the citrine on the market today is heat treated amethyst, which turns golden brown when heated at an excess of 1,000ºF. While not rare, citrine is much less abundant than amethyst. Only a highly trained gemologist can tell the difference. Though a popular stone among jewelers, it is still relatively cheap compared to other gemstones. It is also popular among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts because it is easy to maintain. So long as the it is kept out of heat, citrine can last forever. Derived from heat, it is easily affected by the sun. Leaving it in the sun can result in changes of color, so it imperative not to leave it out for too long.