The citrine is a beautiful yellow/gold/orange transparent gemstone. It is usually has no inclusions. It is a member of the quartz family, along with amethyst, and rates 7 on the Mohs hardness scale which means it is durable enough for use in rings. Brazil is the main source of citrines but it can be found in the Ural Mountains of Russia and in Madagascar. It takes its name from the French for lemon which is citron.
Citrine is quite rare in nature and much of the citrine we see in jewellery is heat treated amethyst or smokey quartz. The treatment is stable and permanent. There some gemmological tests that can assist determine whether the stone is natural or not.
Citrine has been used in jewellery for centuries. It was often confused with topaz, which used to be known for its yellow and pink colours. It is only in the 20th century that blue topaz has become so common. Dark orange citrine was inaccurately described as ‘Madeira topaz’. Other stones that might be mistaken for citrine are golden beryl, yellow sapphire and scapolite.
Citrines are lovely stones, heat treated or not. They are suited to settings in gold and pair well with pearls.