Birthstones can be a great way to celebrate a special month or commemorate any special occasion, and in November, that means the lustrous yellow glow of citrine. But what exactly is this semiprecious gemstone, where is it found and what type of symbolism is associated with its sunny hues?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW---
• About Citrine
Citrine is a rare type of quartz with a natural yellow shade and remarkable clarity that typically lacks any visible inclusions. The yellow coloration comes from iron compounds that subtly alter the quartz crystal structure and can range from a very pale yellow wash to a lemony color or even as deep as rich yellow-brown that may feature hints of red.
The most productive source of citrines in the world is found in Brazil, but these stones are mined in many different countries, including Bolivia, Uruguay, Spain, France, Russia, Argentina, Madagascar, South Africa, Namibia and Myanmar. In the United States, citrines are mined in Colorado, North Carolina and California.
Natural citrines are quite rare, but purple amethyst and brown smoky quartz can be heat-treated to change to a yellow color, creating an enhanced citrine. In general, lighter shades are more likely to be natural citrines, while heat-treated stones exhibit the darker hues.
Depending on where citrine is mined or how the stones may be treated, it can be called by different names. Gold topaz, burnt amethyst, Madeira topaz, Spanish topaz and safranite are all alternative names for citrine, and these stones are also called money stone or merchant's stone as well.
• Citrine Symbolism
Citrine has many great symbolic connections. Some ancient cultures believed citrines could be protective against snake venom or similar toxins, helping keep one's body pure. These stones are believed to attract wealth, abundance and prosperity, as well as spark creativity and imagination. Citrines also help focus healing energies and promote vitality. Their sunny color is believed to be a gift from the sun, and citrines can enhance mental clarity, as well as exude positive energy for a calm, soothing nature.
In addition to being the November birthstone, citrines are also a traditional gemstone for the thirteenth wedding anniversary, and an alternative gemstone selection for the eleventh wedding anniversary.
• Citrine Rings and Jewelry
With their rich colors, citrines have been popular in jewelry and ornaments for centuries. They were used in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece as early as 300 BC, and were very popular during the 1800s in Scottish weapon handles, kilt pins and shoulder brooches. During the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s, citrine was a very popular choice not only for its bold color, but also because larger stones with hefty carat weights are surprisingly affordable and make powerful statements in bold jewelry. Art Deco rings featuring citrines cut in bold, geometric shapes are popular even today, not only for their beauty, but because the hardness of citrine makes it durable against scratches and scuffs so it can easily be worn daily.
Other November Birthstones
Despite its beauty, citrine isn't always the right birthstone for everyone to celebrate. Fortunately, November birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions have several gemstones to choose from in addition to citrine. Topaz, pearl and cat's eye are also associated with November, and they are all beautiful choices for stunning rings and other jewelry.
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