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Sell With a Story: Citrine Gemstones

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See what Elizabeth has to say about November's beautiful birthstone

Affordable and fashionable, Citrine’s warm yellow shades captivate the viewer. The color reminds us of aspen trees in the fall — a vivid orange-yellow so intense it takes your breath away. This is the brilliant, energizing shade of Citrine we love, as do many other fans of this mesmerizing gemstone. What better way to celebrate November birthdays than with a spot of the sun? Citrine gemstones also celebrate the 11th and 13th wedding anniversaries and anyone born under the Gemini sign.


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Fall for Citrine Gemstones

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we celebrate such radiance at a time of year when the sun grows pale and is often obscured. Or, perhaps you’d like a reminder of rich fall foliage? Choose Madeira Citrine in shades of deep earthy red — a perfect complement to neutrals.

Shades of Meaning

The intense orange-yellow of Citrine gemstones remind us of saffron, a shade holding great meaning in the Eastern traditions. It has long been associated with spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. Buddhist and Hindu monks wear robes this color as part of their spiritual practice. I’m definitely pursuing inner peace, but I’d rather wear a ring, pendant, and earrings set with Citrine!

Yellow citrine gemstonesActually . . .

Citrine is quartz, the second-most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust, and it’s not usually considered rare. Yet, natural Citrine is indeed rare. Today, most Citrine is Amethyst heat-treated to achieve Citrine’s sunny hues. Because Amethyst and Citrine are both quartz, they can grow together in the same bi-color crystal we know as Ametrine.

What’s in a name?

For centuries, Citrine was called Topaz because the colors are similar and they were both found on Topazios, an island in the Red Sea, off the Egyptian coast. In 1556, German metallurgist and father of modern mineralogy, Georg Bauer, published an article referring to Yellow Quartz as “Citrine.” The name comes from the French word “citron,” which many think means lemon. At that time, it actually referred to a large fragrant citrus fruit that was one of the four original citrus fruits. (The others are pommelo, mandarin, and papeda.) Though “citron” is not lemon as we know it, its thick bumpy rind boasts a beautiful rich yellow. While researching, I came across several alternative names for Citrine. One is the imaginative “Bohemian Topaz” and the other, “Cairngorm,” is an ancient Celtic name used in Scotland.

To the point

Thousands of years before it became “Citrine,” these gems adorned tools, weapons, and jewelry. It was popular during the Hellenistic period in ancient Greece and can be traced back further to Egypt and other parts of ancient Europe where it was often associated with burials. Its popularity grew through the ages. By the 17th century, it was discovered in Scotland and quickly found favor with Scottish weapon makers who used it to adorn dagger handles. Some were so enamored of its qualities they made the dagger blade from a single large Citrine crystal.

The Queen and Citrine Gemstones

From the early days of her long reign, Queen Victoria had a passion for gems found within her realm, and she had the means to make them her own. Considering that her kingdom included India, she could choose to her heart’s content. Yet of all these treasures, her favorite was Citrine with its sunny exuberance.

Perhaps this was because she loved Scotland, and Citrine deposits had been found there. In 1852, she and her beloved consort, Prince Albert, built Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands. She commanded that all visitors to Balmoral wear full Highland plaid attire that included kilt pins and other jewelry. And what was the finishing touch? The jewelry had to be adorned with Citrine, her favorite gemstone.

Emotional Pull

We all know emotion plays a major role in buying jewelry. We see the beauty and we want it. Yet sometimes we need an extra impetus to buy. For instance, I already have a lot of jewelry, but I can come up with amazing justification to buy the next piece. On more than one occasion, simply hearing about a gem’s power has tipped the scales to make the purchase. This is ironic because I’m scientifically oriented and may not actually believe it. But I believe in the gem’s beauty and the promise of more is too tantalizing to resist.

Radiant Power

We attribute many gifts to Citrine. Here are a few.

  • It protects against a variety of evils from snake venom to wicked thoughts. This encouraged people to wear or carry it.
  • It helps heal the heart, kidney, digestive tract, liver and muscles.
  • It imparts joyfulness, youth, and vitality. Are you kidding? We all want this.
  • It promotes creativity and enhances personal clarity. This is another winner.
  • And it eliminates self-destructive tendencies.

In other words, this is one purpose-driven gemstone.

How popular are citrine gemstones in your store? Tell us what your customers want in the comments section.


Elizabeth Raffel

I've been with Stuller since 2013 • Primarily read books on physics and other sciences • Was blown away by 'Breaking Bad' • I believe no woman can have too many boots or too much jewelry • Been writing professionally longer than I care to admit • Studied tailoring after college.