We couldn’t let November get away without talking about its second birthstone, citrine. It will be your sunshine through the grey skies of winter, and the warmth you need on your coldest days!
Happy (almost) December rock gods, gem goddesses, and to all our readers and supporters who love everything that sparkles and shines! Remember how in our last blog we kept talking about what a difficult choice it was to pick between citrine and imperial topaz for our blog topic? Well, we couldn’t let it go. So, instead of writing about a whole new topic before the holiday season that December is about to bring us, we wanted to take the chance to write about November’s second birthstone, citrine! With the idea of the holidays being right around the corner, don’t forget to come pay us a visit for all of your gift-giving needs! From incredible unique pieces to custom pieces, to everything classic and beautiful, we are here to help you find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list! Don’t forget to come in and fill out your holiday wish list by November 21st to be entered to win a stunning diamond necklace, too! Also, November’s birthstones might have a little more surprise in them than you think. Due to how readily available they are and how naturally large they are found in nature, you can create and find some very impressive and affordable pieces with citrine or imperial topaz in them. Not only will you be giving the best gifts this holiday, but you will also be doing so without breaking the bank!
After a little more research we understand why citrine and imperial topaz are so closely related and used for November’s birthstones. It is common, according to AGTA, GIA, and GemSociety, for citrine to be confused with topaz. Remember, imperial topaz and the other different types of topaz that are considered November’s birthstone are those lush and beautiful fall tones; the yellows, coppers, browns, golds, and reddish colors. Citrine can also be found in similar colors. In the past, this mistake was so common that citrine was often called “topaz quartz”, “Madeira topaz” or “Brazilian Topaz”, according to GemSociety. Today, this can still be dangerous when vilified vendors take advantage of their customers and charge more money for their citrine products than they are worth, saying that they are very rare colored topaz stones. Please be very careful when purchasing your stones, and always buy from a reputable source.
Like its fellow gemstones, this sunshine beauty has its own history of being loved and adored since ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian times. According to AGTA, it has been considered a gift from the sun for hundreds of years. The stunning yellow gem got its name from the French word “citron” which means lemon. Mistaking citrine for topaz has been going on for hundreds of years, this is not a recent mix-up. Due to this fact, many believed that citrine had similar healing and mythical powers to what topaz did, according to GIA. Some of these ancient cultures believed that wearing citrine could calm the wearer and soothe heated tempers (much like topaz) while others believed that it could help protect against evil thoughts and snake venom. Thanks to how large the stone can be found naturally, it has been used to carve and fashion into huge statement jewelry pieces, and other statement statues and pieces of art throughout the ages. After it found its popularity height within the ancient cultures, it found another rise in popularity with the people of Scotland during the Victorian era. According to GIA, it was extremely popular in creating colorful jewelry pieces. This happened again in the 1940s when the golden era was roaring through fashion and life itself. It reflected the times with its golden and sunny tones, and much like the Victorian age Scotts, it was used in colorful statement pieces like brooches and bracelets. According to AGTA, it would often be paired with aquamarine, peridot, and rubies.
Citrine comes from the quartz family and is a type of transparent quartz. One of the most common ways that citrine appears is actually in the form of an amethyst first. They are commonly found together, and with the use of heat treatment, the common purple of amethyst can be turned into some of the most exquisite yellows, golds, and even the very sought after “Madeira” red color citrine gems. This heat treatment often happens right in the mine itself and not in a laboratory. It is an accepted practice in the gem world and helps create an abundance of citrine. It has also driven the cost of citrine down. According to GemSociety, mining for actual citrine yields a small amount of natural citrine. Colorless quartz stones can also be exposed to heat, and this will create a more light-yellow color citrine stone. Due to citrine being a 7 on the Mohs scale and the fact that it has no natural cleavage, it is a wonderful gem to wear daily and can easily be cleaned. However, since most citrine is created by the application of extreme heat, steaming cleaning is not recommended. It can cause the stone to crack if too much heat is applied.
Citrine and the stones used to create it are most frequently found in Bolivia, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain, Madagascar, Zambia, and Brazil. According to GemSociety, the purest and almost all naturally created citrine comes from Brazil. One of the most common places citrine is found is in a mind in Bolivia called the Anahi mine, according to GIA. History reads that it was discovered by a conquistador in the 1600s, and it was gifted to him after he married a princess from a tribe in Paraguay named Anahi. While it yielded an incredible amount of stones at the time, the mine was virtually lost to the world for over three centuries, according to GIA, until it was found in the 60s. The stones from this mine are unique. Amethyst and citrine grow side by side. The mine even creates a blend of the two, and it is called ametrine.
Tallest In Line
Similar to topaz, citrine can naturally be found in extraordinarily large sizes. Many museums who love to display these large stunning stones can have some that are thousands of carats in size. According to GemSociety, the Smithsonian has a Brazilian Citrine stone that is 2.258 carats. While normally large gems that are found naturally in the wild can catch a pretty hefty sum, that’s not always true for citrine. Since it is so commonly found in these large sizes, what makes them more valuable on the market is the artistry and intricacy of the cut of the gem, according to GemSociety. Thanks to its hardness and lack of natural cleavage, the stone can be carved into truly spectacular designs and can be used for numerous different settings and in different kinds of pieces.
The Popular One In Line
The ancient cultures, Victorian Scotts, and the 1940s all saw a huge fad of loving citrine. It wasn’t as easily accessible then as it is now, and was considered a very cherished and sought after gem. Since the 1940s citrine has seen a bit of decline in popularity, however that has all begun to change very recently. Thanks to the new fad of “earth tone” gems and TV programs on QVC that compare its colors to popular food items like “smokey” whisky and “smooth” honey, citrine is back on the upswing in popularity once again.
How do these little drops of sunshine sound to you? If you’re interested, we have some citrine pieces for you to come and take a peek at and fall in love with. We can also help create a custom piece with citrine in it. For those looking to get engaged shortly or for those who are interested in creating a stunning engagement ring, citrine might be the perfect stone for you. You can create a stunning statement ring with a large and beautifully cut piece of citrine as the centerpiece without having to rob a bank for it! Come and chat with us, we’d love to share some more sunbeams of citrine with you this holiday season. Don’t forget, for any of you who are celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary soon, citrine is the common gem given for that wonderful magic number 13. We can help you pick out the best gift for that, too! Until next time friends, remember to keep calm and rock on!
Joke Of The Day:
What did the gemologist say to the Black Friday Shoppers?
May the quartz be with you!