Citrine Birthstone Jewellery

Wednesday, 1 November 2023
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Citrine Birthstone

Citrine Birthstone Jewellery

Citrine birthstone jewellery is available in a wide array of sunny colours that gleam with energy and warmth all year round. And as yellow is considered a universally flattering hue, you do not have to be born in November to appreciate the beauty of this versatile gem.

For those born in the month of November, and perhaps looking for a November birthstone ring to denote that, the citrine is one of two choices of birthstone you have to choose from (the other being the topaz) and what a beautiful choice it is.

What is Citrine Anyway?

The translucent, light yellow to brownish orange form of quartz is called citrine. Quartz itself is one of the most common minerals found in the Earth’s core, comprised as it is from two of the most commonly found elements: oxygen and silica.

The form of quartz that makes up citrine is crystalized, and that crystal is very complex, made up of millions of tetrahedrons – three sided pyramids – in just a single crystal. Crystalized quartz is inherently clear, with other minerals trapped within it as it forms adding colour. In the case of citrines, gemmologists believe that it is the inclusion of iron in varying quantities that produces the beautiful yellow hues it is famed for.

As a gem, citrine usually ranks a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale – making it softer than a diamond (which rates a 10) or a ruby (which merits a 9) but harder than a pearl or an opal.

When properly cut, citrine is quite durable and citrine birthstone jewellery is not so delicate that it cannot be worn on a daily basis, as, for example, a November birthstone ring.

What Colours Are Citrines?

A variety of hues, including pale yellow, canary yellow, orangey yellow, yellowish orange, and brownish orange are included within the citrine gemstone label. Citrine, which is used to describe lemon in many languages, fits this gem’s citrus-coloured hue well. In terms of value there is no set colour scale, in the way there is for some other gemstones, but it is usually the darker, richer stones that are sold for the highest prices.

Like many of the most beautiful gemstones, any of the individual citrine’s colour is never flat, so it will appear to change slightly in different lights. However, the one thing that every fine example of citrine birthstone jewellery shares is its cheerful, bright energy, the reason that these pretty gems are also sometimes referred to as sunstones!

Where are Citrines Found?

The pegmatites of eastern Brazil are the most significant commercial source of citrine with a pure yellow to orange tint. It is found in lesser quantities in Mexico, Spain and Argentina as well as Madagascar and Russia.

As citrine is one of the rare forms of crystalline quartz not all of the gems labelled are in fact natural citrine. In some instances, amethyst is heated to produce a citrine like colour that is equally as beautiful, but not technically ‘the real thing’. These heated gems are still very durable however, as amethysts are also rated at a 7 on hardness scale, and the heat treatment adds to its durability.

Citrines in Legend and Myth

These days, as we have mentioned, citrines are best known as the birthstone for November, or, alternately, as an appropriate gift for a 13th wedding anniversary. However, these sunny gemstones have been prized for thousands of years, and often for very different reasons.

Citrine gemstones were thought to have magical powers in antiquity, including the ability to soothe rage and manifest wishes. Citrine gemstones were employed by the Ancient Egyptians as protective talismans, the ancient Greeks engraved famous scenes into them, and Ancient Roman priests made rings out of them to harness their powers.

According to both Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman legend, the wearing of citrine jewellery enhanced men’s intelligence and good looks. Additionally, it was thought that it would make women happier and enable them to bear more, and healthier children. At a similar time in antiquity the Celts, over in Scotland and Ireland, added citrines to their swords to increase their chances of success in battle.

By mediaeval times, a new meaning had been attached to citrine, as a sign of new wealth. It became known as the ‘merchant’s stone’ and was worn by those who wanted to demonstrate their business success to the world.

As someone known for always being interested in anything that might make him – and his kingdom – richer, King Henry VIII became very fond of citrine as well, adding it to both jewellery and his very ornate clothing. This meant that, as the monarch was certainly a big ‘fashion influencer’ , citrine jewellery quickly became popular among the rich and fashionable across Europe.

The citrine also has an important place in Chinese legend. Citrine is referred to as ‘The Stone of Success’ in Chinese mythology and those myths state it should only be presented to ‘kindhearted’ people who want to enhance their minds in a positive way.

Ancient Chinese emperors valued citrine jewellery highly because of this supposed capacity to boost intelligence and broaden the mind. And that is something that remains in popular superstition today, as modern Chinese students often wear some form of citrine jewellery to help them perform better on exams and many Chinese professors and educators wear it when lecturing.

The Popularity of Citrines Today

Staying in the closer present, citrine is also closely associated with ‘Old Hollywood’ and all of the glamour that came along with that era. Both Joan Crawford and Bette Davis loved the gem, with the latter amassing a citrine jewellery collection that was auctioned off for more than $56,000 after her death. More recent fans of the yellow gem include Emma Watson, Kylie Jenner and the new Princess of Wales, the former Kate Middleton.

One of the largest, and most impressive, pieces of modern citrine jewellery is the Jolie Citrine Necklace, which these days resides in the Smithsonian Institute, but was donated to them by (as you might have guessed) actress Angelina Jolie, and it is dominated by a stunning 177.11-carat pear-shaped citrine drop that has a dark, almost amber hue.

Citrines For Energy and Healing?

In addition to making a marvellous choice for a November birthstone ring, or for citrine birthstone jewellery in general, those who like to attach meanings to gemstones, as a form of healing, are also often very fond of these yellow beauties.

Wearing citrine can supposedly boost energy and promote greater happiness, while also helping to repel ‘negative energy’. How much of that you believe is up to you, but we do know that a sunny, bright citrine, whether chosen as citrine birthstone jewellery, worn as a November birthstone ring or simply for its beauty, is a lovely choice that will brighten up your day – and your outfit – whatever time of year it is!

Author Bio

Jill Hansen runs Anastasia’s Of Broome and is a highly recognised expert in both the fields of South Sea Pearls and Diamonds. Jill trained in seeding pearls in the Cook Islands by Japanese Pearl Technicians, and established a wholesale pearl business selling pearls all over the world. She pioneered the combination of pearls and diamonds to create Lust™ Pearls, a unique fusion of these two beautiful gemstones. Jill holds the prestigious recognition of being an Antwerp Diamond Broker for selecting and sourcing Diamonds direct from the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp. She is a diamond expert and is happy to use and impart her knowledge to help customers make informed decisions.

Not sure what your birthstone is check out our article on all monthly gemstones here.

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