All about citrine: fun facts

If you've ever owned – or coveted – citrine jewelry, you know how stunning this gemstone is. With an unusual golden hue that strikes a perfect compromise between yellow and orange, citrine is the perfect choice for those with an eclectic style who don't mind being in the spotlight. Its appearance is not the only reason this stone attracts attention. Citrine is also one of the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the quartz group.

While you may be well aware of citrine's inherent beauty, there are many facts about the November birthstone that may surprise you – and prove useful when you're browsing the selection at Fine Jewelers.

Here's some information about one of the most popular stones on the market today.


  • There are a number of places in which citrine can be discovered. However, the top producers include Brazil – especially the Southern tip – and Uruguay. Citrine is also found in Bolivia, Spain, Argentina, Russia, Scotland and even the U.S.
  • You can thank German metallurgist Georg Bauer for re-naming this gem citrine from simply yellow quartz. According to, the "father of modern mineralogy" first coined the name in 1556. The source noted that it is likely derived from citron, the old French word for yellow.
  • When did citrine become popular? The ICGA explained that there was a big surge in these quartzes in 1930s Europe when agate cutters from Idar-Oberstein shipped mass amounts of the stone from Brazil and Uruguay along with quantities of amethyst and agate.
  • Citrine is no new trend. In fact, reported that it was a common decorative stone during the Hellenistic Age, and could often be found on dagger handles in 17th Century Scotland. Queen Victoria had such a penchant for citrine that the stone was often included in shoulder brooches and kilt pins during her reign. Later, the gem played a major role in Art Deco jewelry.
  • Citrine was also believed to protect wearers against evil thoughts and poisonous snakes in ancient times, according to the American Gem Association.


  • If you're wondering how citrine gets its remarkable color, Gemstone Education reported that the cause of its hue is small iron particles trapped inside the mineral. 
  • Not all citrine is bright orangey yellow. The stone can range from pale yellow to having a reddish or brownish tinge. Madeira citrine, for example, boasts a deeper mahogany hue.
  • As the International Colored Gem Association noted that citrine has nearly non-existent cleavage properties and falls at No. 7 on the Mohs scale, it is highly scratch-resistant and durable. That's why it's such an ideal choice for jewelry such as rings and bracelets – it's difficult to damage even by knocking it into or scraping it with other objects.
  • When it comes to cleaning citrine, the best way to keep it sparkling is to use a soft bristled brush and warm soapy water. The source warned against using steam cleaners to avoid color loss, but noted that most ultrasonic cleaners work fine.

Best qualities

  • Every gem carries a different meaning, and citrine's is pretty powerful. Robyn A Harton Creative explained that the stone symbolizes good fortune, abundance and good luck. It's even been deemed the "Success Stone," and is believed to promote prosperity and generate positive energy while absorbing negative vibes in the wearer's surroundings.
  • Need some inspiration? Robyn A Harton Creative also linked citrine to mental clarity, increased creativity, meditation and psychic awareness.
  • If you're on a budget, citrine is one of the best gemstones you can find. The American Gem Association revealed that it has the lowest price tag of all earth-tones gemstones.