Is citrine topaz?

By Yves Lemay Jun 10, 20

Is citrine topaz?

Chemistry: SiO2

Crystallography: Hexagonal

Refractive index: 1.544 - 1.553

Hardness: 7

Specific gravity: 2.651

Cleavage: None

Heat sensitive: No

Wearability: Very Good

Special care instructions: None

Enhancements: Amethyst can be heat treated to change it to citrine. Not common. "Madeira Citrine" with red flashes is a result of heat treatment.

is citrine topaz gem yves lemay jewelry

Citrine, yellow to red-orange quartz, was once the Rodney Dangerfield of the gem world; its sheer abundance being responsible for this "no respect" treatment. 

That has begun to turn around somewhat in the last couple of decades as fashions have repeatedly emphasized that earth tones and home shopping networks have aggressively marketed the various shades of citrine with catchy adjectives like "butterscotch" and "whiskey."

is citrine topaz gem yves lemay jewelry

Actually, very little of the quartz, which is mined, is citrine. 

Natural stones tend to be pale yellow, often with smoky tones. 

The vast majority of citrine, which is marketed, is produced by heating smoky quartz (which produces light to medium yellows) and amethyst (which produces stronger yellows and orange-red to orangey brown shades.) 

The treatment is usually done right at the mine, is stable, and entirely accepted within the gem trade. 

Recently, colorless quartz from some mines has been irradiated and heated to produce a neon, slightly greenish-yellow, usually called Lemon Quartz.

is citrine topaz gem  yves lemay jewelry

In the past, it was commonplace for citrine to be given misnomers such as "Brazilian topaz," "Madeira topaz," etc. 

So, citrine is not topaz, as these two types of gemstones are two entirely different chrystals.

This gem is a fine jewelry stone, with no cleavage and a hardness of 7. Furthermore, its availability in large sizes enables cutters to use it for dramatic and intricate custom cuts. It is also used for gem carvings. 

Stable in light and not very sensitive to chemicals, this stone requires no special care and can be used for any jewelry application. 

Virtually all citrine comes from Brazil.


At the top end of the scale are prime specimens of the most saturated yellows, oranges, and reddish tones. 

Those with less intense color fall into lower value ranges with pale or smoky stones at the bottom. 

As with any gem material, custom cutting increases value, and inclusions decrease it. 

There is no exponential increase in value per carat with an increase in size as larger sizes are readily available. 

In many fancy cut or carved specimens, the majority of the value is due to the artistry of the fashioning.

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