CITRINE - November Birthstone (traditional)

Citrine is the traditional birthstone for November, and is an alternate Zodiac stone for Scorpio. Citrine jewelry is given as the gemstone gift for the 13th and 17th anniversaries. Citrine is associated with the values of hope, cheerfulness, youth, health, and fidelity.

Citrine is any quartz crystal or cluster that is yellow or orange in color. Although often cut as a gemstone, citrine is actually somewhat rare in nature. Most citrines on the market have been heat treated. Specimens of low grade, inexpensive amethyst or smoky quartz are often cooked at high temperatures to produce the more profitable orange yellow citrine. Citrines whose colors have been produced by artificial means tend to have much more of an orange or reddish cast than those found in nature, which are usually a pale yellow. Much of the natural citrine may have started out as amethyst but heat from nearby magmatic bodies may have caused the change to citrine.

Interestingly, a popular gemstone on the market is a mixture of half amethyst and half citrine and is given the name ametrine. The manufacturer takes an amethyst stone and heats it, which converts it to citrine. He then bombards a portion of the stone with beta radiation which converts citrine back to amethyst. By using a metal mask (possibly in the shape of a heart) to block a portion of the beta radiation, an unusual citrine and amethyst gem is produced.

Unfortunately for citrine it is often confused with the more expensive orange-yellow topaz and is at times sold as topaz by unscrupulous dealers. This practice has soured many potential citrine fanciers who see citrine as a fake topaz and not as a legitimate gemstone. The finest citrine gemstones have a pure yellow color that cannot be duplicated by golden topaz, which will always have hues of orange or brown to darken the gem.

For natural citrine mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists

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