November’s birthstone and the sunny golden child of the gem world, Citrine is a transparent Yellow to Brownish-Orange variety of Quartz. Some might consider it the peppy little sister of the most prized variety of Quartz, Amethyst. However, its lively and attractive colour make it highly sought-after all its own, like a refreshing splash of lemonade on a hot Summer afternoon. The top-selling Yellow gem, Citrine can be an excellent alternative to both Topaz and Yellow Sapphire.
Citrine gets its trademark hue from traces of Iron. The most prized colour is a highly saturated Yellow, however, its earthy shades of cognac brown and fire orange are equally popular in today’s jewellery market. Pale shades of Citrine, which sometimes have a tint of green, are also sometimes referred to as “Lemon Quartz.”
Citrine is mined in several places around the world, including Brazil, Bolivia, Spain, Madagascar and Mexico. In eastern Bolivia, close to the Brazilian border, you can find naturally bicoloured stones with colour zones of both Amethyst Purple and Citrine Yellow, which is appropriately called Ametrine.
Since Citrine is available in large sizes with little to no eye-visible inclusions, it remains reasonably priced even in eye-widening carat weight. This, combined with its excellent durability make it fantastic for use in head-turning cocktail rings and other statement pieces such as pendants and bracelets. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is also known to have a large Citrine ring (thought to be from her personal collection, pre-marriage), which she still wears on occasion, including to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Also a gift to celebrate thirteenth anniversaries, Citrine’s jovial hue and generous sizes symbolize joy and abundance. It became particularly popular during the second World War and in the years following with luxury houses such as Cartier, when gems such as Sapphire and Emerald became too difficult and expensive to source and transport. This certainly adds to their symbolism of being a ‘feel-good’ gem meant to embody optimism and an overall cheerful approach. They’ve also been known as the ‘Merchant’s Stone,’ since they represent prosperity and have been thought to increase business, profits and overall wealth. (Yes, please!)
Like turning your face to a warm spot of sunshine, Citrines are like an instant hit of vitamin D, jolting you (or your outfit!) with dynamic energy, delight and positivity.