History and Origin: Properties of the Citrus Quartz

Citrine Quartz was named by mineralogist Georgius Agricola, inspired by the French word citron, meaning lemon, and the Latin word citrus. Before this, Citrine was commonly referred to as yellow quartz. As its name suggests, citrus fruits are often referenced for this stone’s appearance. Citrine is a transparent, yellow to orangish or brownish hued variety of quartz. It can also include fractures and inclusions that produce a smoky color. The highest quality Citrine crystals are yellow, orangish or reddish. Amber and honey browns are also of a higher grade.

Citrine Jewelry Photographed with Farm Fresh Produce Delivery

Amethyst and naturally occurring Citrine only have one primary difference in their chemical makeup: the oxidized state of iron impurities within the stone. Often times this gemstone can be created from Amethyst (purple) or Smoky Quartz after it has endured high temperatures over a long period of time, changing the stone’s color  from purple or smoky to yellow. This method of heat treating Citrine was discovered by mineralogists in the mid-18th century. The heating can happen naturally underneath the earth’s surface or by simulation in a laboratory. Most of today’s Citrine is created using the heat treating process of quartz minerals. Today, it is quite rare to find Citrine which is naturally yellow.

Quartz is common worldwide, and areas that produce amethyst will often generate citrine as well. Brazil has the most commonly found amount of citrine, but Uruguay, Bolivia, Madagascar, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Argentina, Myanmar, Namibia, and the United States also produce natural stones. 

Not only does citrine vary in color, it also comes in many shapes, sizes and qualities and or grades. Finished stones may be faceted or shaped and polished. Typically, in our collections, we prefer to use the most natural looking stones we can source. We love a good gem in it’s natural, untouched state.

It is not known exactly when Citrine was first discovered but it has been used in jewelry for centuries. In ancient Greece, this stone was used for decorations and ornaments during the Hellenistic period. Citrine was discovered in a mountain range in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland, close to the home of Queen Victoria, Balmoral Castle in the 16th century. After this finding, Queen Victoria began to wear jewelry decorated with Citrine stones. Following Queen Victoria’s style, the public began wearing Citrine as well.  Scottish men of the 17th century used it to embellish their swords and Romans wore both Citrine and Amethyst set in their rings. 

The demand for Citrine sharply rose during the Art Deco era, an architecture and design movement that first emerged in France in the 1920’s, where people began embellishing their clothing, home decor and furniture with the amber hued stone.

Art Deco Era Fashion by McGill Library from Unsplash

Legends and Mythology: The Stone of Success

Various ancient civilizations believed that Citrine carried the power of the sun. Ancient Romans and Greeks referred to Citrine as the stone of Mercury. It was also once known as a merchant’s stone for its alleged power to attract good fortune. Some cultures used the stone as a totem of protection against snake venom.

Wearing Citrine has been believed to give one more energy and to foster achievement of one’s goals. It is believed to align one’s thoughts with their hopes for success, unleashing creativity. Citrine has been called the “stone of success” for its supposed ability to attract prosperity, and is also known as the “sunshine stone” for its bright yellow color and its reputed positive and joyous energy.

It is said to provide anyone who wears it with the strength to manifest success, the ability to focus on one’s dreams, and the confidence to be creative.

Luna Norte incorporates Citrine in our designs because of its refreshing brilliant colors, and we love the story of its good vibes and energy.

Dream in Citrine: What It’s Beauty Means to Us

Not only is Citrine one of the birthstones for the month of November, it’s also one of our favorite gemstones to design with year-round. No matter what season, there’s always a shade of Citrine that is just right to set a mood, ranging from yellow to orange to brown. Lighter shades of Citrine play on the notion of happiness, reminding wearers of summer and the sun, giving our designs energy and light. Darker shades of Citrine give a sense of antiquity and intensity.

Every color of the rainbow elicits a different and unique emotional response in both the viewer and wearer. When designing with yellow, perhaps the most energetic of the warm colors, we feel optimistic and spontaneous. It is a joyful color and pushes us to act on our creativity. Here at Luna Norte, we believe that it’s not about what people think wearing a certain stone can do for you, it’s about what you can do when you wear your beautiful stones with confidence.

More from our journal...

Gemstone Anniversary Blog

Celebrate Life’s Milestones

Every anniversary deserves celebrating! Whether it's a wedding anniversary, a friendiversary, or…
Luna Norte Necklace Cowboy Boot with Anklet
Styles and Looks

Style Journal: Alternative Ways to Style Your Versatile Jewelry

As jewelry lovers and designers, we are no stranger to the unopened…


Energy, Strength, Vitality Not all that glitters is gold, sometimes it's Pyrite,…