What Color is Citrine?

pair of starfish citrine earrings

Citrine is a variety of transparent quartz. Its name is derived from the Latin word citrina meaning “yellow”. Its color ranges from a juicy lemon yellow to a dark rich honey gold, but it’s always found in some shade of yellow. In all of its glorious golden colors it lights up your jewelry. Let’s learn more about Citrine. 

What Color is Citrine?

Citrine is the most rare variety of Quartz which is available in more colors than any other mineral: Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, Aventurine and Praseolite are among other varieties used in jewelry all identifiable by their color. Pure quartz doesn’t have any color; it’s trace elements that give the stones their individual hues. Citrines get their yellow tinge from the presence of iron. 

Depending on the concentration of iron you can find this gemstone in hues from pale yellow to a reddish-brown, but it’s the golden yellow shade that is most prized by collectors. Naturally occurring yellow Citrines are very rare and therefore most stones available today are actually amethysts that have been heat-treated to get the coveted hue. This treatment is a stable one and is generally used for permanent color change.

In ancient times Citrine was carried to protect against snake venom, evil thoughts and heartache. Today it’s often referred to as the Merchant’s Stone, is thought to carry the power and energy of the sun and is associated with success and prosperity. In addition to being the birthstone for November (along with Topaz a similarly colored stone), it’s also the gemstone for a 13th wedding anniversary.

Citrine in Jewelry

Citrine is easy to love thanks to its affordability and lovely golden shades. It matches yellow gold beautifully and also stands out against white gold and sterling silver. Citrine was particularly popular in retro jewelry of the 1940s. Its sunny color and dramatic proportions suited the streamlined style and bold gold of the era. It was often set with ruby, peridot and aquamarine in colorful brooches, necklaces and bracelets. 

Although some varieties of diamond and sapphire can be yellow, Citrine is one of the few gemstones that is always this color making it an increasingly popular choice for jewelry. Citrine is a fairly durable gemstone with a hardness of 7 on Mohs scale. Its facets will slowly wear down over generations because dust in the air is also quartz, but it’s scratch resistant enough to be set into rings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry for daily wear..

A popular Citrine engagement ring style is a halo ring with a pave band. Large citrine solitaires are bold and beautiful, and three stone Citrine engagement rings most often have a round, emerald cut or or oval Citrine in the center and pear or round diamonds on the side. Citrine is also complemented by all three colors of gold: white, yellow and rose gold.

Whether you want Citrine on its own or with a combination of other gems, we can help you create the perfect custom piece of jewelry. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment!