Citrine
 
13th Anniversary Gemstone.
 
Gold Topaz
 
Many people have come to know and love this stone under the name Gold, Madeira or Spanish Topaz, although in fact it has very little in common with the higher-quality gemstone Topaz - except for a few nuances of color.
 
Thus the history of the Citrine is closely interwoven with that of the Topaz.   However, the Citrine is a member of the Quartz family which includes a wide range of colors and structures from clear rock to Black Onyx.
 
The name Citrine is derived from its color, lemon yellow.    The most popular Citrines have a clear, radiant yellowish to brownish red.   Like all crystal Quartz, the Citrine has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale with no cleavage properties.   Even with its low refractive index, Citrine has a mellow, warm tone that seems to have captured the last glow of Autumn.
 
Citrine is one of the few yellow gemstones in the world.   A DiamondSapphire, Beryl, or pure Topaz may be yellow, or occasionally a yellow tourmaline or chrysoberyl which will have a greenish hue.   However, the Citrine fulfils everyone's golden color wishes, ranging from lemon yellow to reddish brown.
 
This rare yellow is found where there are traces of iron in silicon dioxide.   Historically, Citrine has been found in Spain, Scotland, France, Hungary and in several mines overseas.   Perhaps yellow crystals would not have become popular if it had not been for the 18th century discovery that Amethysts and Smoky Quartz may also be rendered yellow with heat-treatment.   Heat is applied at temperatures between 4700F and 5600F and has to be carried out carefully, requiring a great deal of experience.   Over the course of the last 200+ years, this application has become so common that most of the stones available in the market today are, in fact, burnt Amethyst or Smoky Quartz.   Only a trained specialist can recognize the signs of heat treatment.   The burnt stones will have subtle stripes while the yellow of the natural ones is cloudy.
 
In the 1930's Europe experienced a boom in yellow crystals.   Idar-Oberstein stone-cutters sent large quantities of Citrine back home, along with Amethyst and Agate from the Brazil and Uruguay stone-cutters.   Thus, the golden-yellow quartzes made a contribution to Idar-Oberstein's becoming one of the world's great gemstone centers.   Just as they had been used to doing with Agate and other kinds of Quartz, the cutters faceted the Citrine using large, rotating sandstones.   The raw stone was actually held in the cutter's hand during this process.   If you give that a little thought, it will occur to you just how skilled the cutters from the Hunsr├╝ck really were.
 
This raw material supply into Europe came at just the right moment in time.   As, the bourgeoisie grew in strength, the demand for jewelry across a broader spectrum of social strata also grew, and the Citrine found a permanent niche for itself.   Until then, it was only the Topaz which was known and used as a gold-colored gemstone.   The yellow and brown crystal Quartz quickly became popular among the ladies, becoming known as Gold or Smoky Topaz, or by the double-barreled names that proclaimed their origin.   However, they were also found in the evening wardrobe of fine gentlemen  as step-cut and table-cut cuff links and rings.   There has been no other stone to which the wrong name has so doggedly clung as the Citrine.   Even now, jewelry enthusiasts without specialist knowledge may be astounded when you tell them that their 'Gold Topaz' is a Citrine (Quartz).
 
So, what is it that constitutes the difference between the real Topaz and the Citrine?   A fluorine aluminium silicate in chemical terms, the Topaz is considerably harder and heavier than Quartz  Also, it has a higher refractive index, which endows it with more fire when the color is good.   The Citrine does have one weakness: its good cleavage qualities, which must be taken into account when it is being worked on.   
 
Quartz can be found in all the colors of the rainbow and has been known to man for at least 2,000 years.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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GB Jewelers, Inc.
Under the Clock Tower
675 SE Marlin Avenue, Suite 1  /  PO Box 999
Warrenton, OR 97146
800-869-1481

Latitude:  46.159033 / Longitude: -123.9055280
 
 
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