Like many months of the year, November is associated with two birthstones: Citrine and Topaz. Citrine is said to be “a gift from the sun,” and the gem’s name is derived from the French word Citron, or lemon.
Like it’s citrus namesake, the gem’s color ranges from juicy yellow to bright orange-brown, with the most sought-after gemstones having a transparent, radiant yellow-to-brown-red color. Citrine is both popular and affordable because the gem is plentiful and available in a large range of cuts and sizes, making it an easy gemstone to acquire and work with for stone cutters and designers to create stunning works of jewelry art.
Citrine on the Market
The top sources for Citrine are Bolivia, Madagascar, Mexico, Spain, and Uruguay. Bolivia’s Anahí mine is an important source for natural, unheated citrine. Originally discovered in the 1600s, the mine was lost for three centuries until it was rediscovered in the 1960s. Citrine is also found in the gemstone Ametrine, a crystalline marriage of two colored quartzes: Amethyst and Citrine. Like other members of the colored Quartz family, faceted Citrine gemstones, uncut Citrine rough and Citrine cabochons are readily available at most gem and mineral shows.
Metaphysical Properties of Citrine
Citrine was once carried as protection against snake venom and evil thoughts, and was thought to soothe bad tempers and generate calm feelings. Citrine is sometimes called the “merchant’s stone” and its rich golden hue is thought to bring wealth, success and prosperity to the wearer.
Today, practitioners believe that Citrine cleanses the chakras and opens intuition to impart delight, enthusiasm, self-esteem and self-confidence. The energy of Citrine is thought to stimulate the intellect to promote motivation, creativity and self-expression.
Treatments and Enhancements
Heat-treated Amethyst changes to a Citrine color, and this treatment is typically found in gemstones mined in Brazil. Today, much of the citrine on the market originated as heat treated Amethyst.
Citrine Gems and Jewelry
Citrine birthstones are durable enough for everyday wear and care and rate at about 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Citrine gems and jewelry can be cleaned in warm, soapy water or in an ultrasonic machine, but steam cleaning is to be avoided because high heat could crack a stone.