Meet November’s Golden Birthstone Citrine

Nov 8th 2021

Meet November’s Golden Birthstone Citrine

Is there anything more comforting than the warm glow of a roaring fire on a cold, fall night? Did you know you could wear that same color in a stunning piece of jewelry? Citrine, November’s official birthstone, has long been admired for their yellow-to-orange hues, calming characteristics and affordable prices. If you know someone special with a birthday this month, this is a perfect excuse to learn more about this dazzling gem.

What is Citrine?

Citrine is a form of quartz that’s often seen as a transparent, yellow-to-orange gem. It features minimal internal imperfections (aka inclusions) and is considered one of the most popular yellow gemstones. Although quartz and topaz are completely different minerals, citrine has often been mistaken for topaz throughout history.

In addition to its striking yellow color, citrine is durable and affordable — even large, fine quality pieces — which makes it that much more appealing to shoppers. However, citrine in its natural form is rare. Therefore, the majority of citrine in the jewelry market is actually amethyst that has undergone a heat treatment to alter its color. Hints of iron contribute to citrine’s hues, and the most desired shade is a rich brownish or reddish orange.

History of Citrine

The first citrine reference was recorded in 1385. During ancient times, this yellow gemstone was associated with prosperity, calming tempers, preventing heartbreak and building confidence. To take advantage of these qualities, Egyptians carried citrine as a good luck charm; Roman priests set the gem in rings; and Greek citizens etched iconic images into the stone.

In the 1600s, a natural citrine mine, called the Ananhí mine, was discovered in Bolivia by a Spanish explorer. When he married Ananhí, a princess from Paraguay, he received the mine as a wedding gift. The mine was rediscovered in the 1960s and became known for producing stones with orange-yellow, brownish/greenish-yellow and violet-yellow hues.

Natural citrine and heat-treated amethyst are most commonly mined in Brazil, but citrine can also be found in Bolivia, Spain, Mexico, Madagascar, France and the U.S., particularly Colorado, North Carolina and California. Different locations produce different colors in the gem.

Fun Citrine Facts

  • Citrine is the official stone for celebrating a 13th wedding anniversary!
  • This gem scores a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This means it’s less durable than topaz but still strong enough for everyday wear, including larger pieces. However, it’s important to note that citrine could crack after exposure to high heat.
  • Due to its yellow color, citrine likely gets its name from “citron,” the French word for lemon.
  • According to folklore, men who owned pieces of citrine would become more handsome and intelligent. For women, citrine was believed to provide happiness and many children.
  • In Bolivia, a single citrine crystal may contain yellow-to-orange hues and violet shades of amethyst. The unique, two-tone gems are referred to as “ametrine.”
  • Citrine jewelry features stones in a variety of sizes, even as large as 20 carats!
  • One of the largest Brazilian citrine stones, located at the Smithsonian Institution, weighs more than 2,200 carats!
  • Citrine became popular during the 1920s when Hollywood stars, such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford, wore Art Deco-style jewelry that featured the jewels. Garbo even created her own Art Deco line of jewelry, from cocktail bracelets to headpieces, and citrine was a prominent stone. Although citrine is relatively affordable, these pieces have sold for hundreds and thousands of dollars!

Shop Our Favorite Citrine Jewelry

Sienna Citrine Bezel Pendant Necklace

Austin Citrine Tennis Bracelet

Calia Citrine & Diamond Straight Engagement Ring

Have a question? We can help!

Gage Diamonds is Chicago's premier jewelry showroom and online retailer of engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry. We offer a selection of dazzling citrine jewelry, from bracelets to pendants.

We’re committed to helping you find the ring of your dreams. For inspiration, browse our website or set up an appointment with a member of our trusted staff at our in-person showroom.

We offer no-credit-needed financing – apply and get your approval within 24 hours!

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