The sultry citrine: Celebrating November’s birthstone

citrine1As the days of autumn get shorter, November’s birthstone, citrine, brings a warm range of tones of, according to the GIA, “earthy, deep, brownish or reddish orange.”

Citrine shares the birthstone honors along with topaz (a stone that it’s often confused with). However, in recent years, the citrine has come into its own. It’s an affordable gemstone, a fact that works in its favor. The stone’s reasonable cost allows designers to use it in big, bold forms, so you can get lots of brilliance without taking out a loan. As a result, the citrine is currently one of the most popular yellow gemstones.

Citrines: What, where, and how

What: The citrine, which gets its yellow color from iron, is a member of the quartz family, very similar to the amethyst. In fact, according to the GIA, it can sometimes grow in the same crystal as an amethyst—when it’s called an “ametrine.” Citrines rate a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, so they’re pretty durable.

Beautiful citrine ring

Beautiful citrine ring

Where: Most natural citrine comes from Southern Brazil. There are also U.S. sources, including Colorado, North Carolina, and California.

How: Natural citrine is actually pretty rare. In truth, most of the stones you’ll find in jewelry are actually amethysts that have been heat treated to turn them to a golden color. That’s one reason you should be careful to keep the stone from a lot of heat or light. Its hardness makes it durable for all kinds of jewelry, from rings to brooches. You can clean your citrine with warm, soapy water.

The lore of citrines

Ancient healers believed that the citrine could help heal blood diseases and strengthen the nerves. And this warm, energizing gem supposedly helps its wearer have a more optimistic outlook. (I know I have a more optimistic outlook when I wear beautiful jewelry!)

citrine3What makes a desirable citrine

According to the GIA, “vivid yellows, reddish oranges, and earth tones are most popular.” A clear stone with few inclusions also increases its value.

So, November birthday girls and boys, we raise a glass of warm cider to you and toast your beautiful gemstone, the citrine. May it energize your autumn days and brighten your evenings.

If I can help you appraise your citrines, topazes, or any other birthstone, let me know.

Brilliantly yours, Aimee

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