Citrine is one of my favorite gemstones for obvious reasons but there's more to it than a name. The energy is purely uplifting, all stones are, but natural Citrine has something incredible about it. It's said that gloom and negativity do not exist around it. Citrine will assist you with concentration and manifestation of your intentions. Citrine attracts luck, prosperity, success, wealth, abundance and encourages you to share this with others. The stone inspires creativity, promotes self-expression, and helps resolve conflicts within a group. Citrine protects your aura and cleanses your chakras. It's no wonder this stone is so widely available and sought after by many.
Citrine is golden yellow or orange-brown in color. The color range of Citrine is often imitated by heating amethyst. This variant is less potent than naturally occurring citrine. Smokey citrine is a naturally occurring combination of citrine and smokey quartz uniting the properties of both stones. Ametrine is a another naturally occurring mixture of amethyst and citrine also uniting the properties of both stones. How can you tell if your Citrine is heated? It's pretty easy to tell if you ask me! The color is just too dark of an orange or too bright of a yellow with crackles within the crystal. More than likely the 'Citrine' in your collection is an imitation. While it's not completely worthless, it's not the same energy! It bothers me that people aren't informed about this heating process of amethyst because you're not getting the full truth. When it comes to energy, that's not good energy!
Sure we can chuck it up to the seller not knowing but they should know this about their products! When you dive into gemstones you can easily buy one stone under the guise of another. It happened to me a few times when first getting into crystals and gemstone beads. For example I was once sold a strand of Yellow Calcite marked as Citrine but quickly realized the hardness of the beads were not at quartz levels. SMH WHY? Natural Citrine is not hard to find when you're really looking for it.
So how can you tell if your stone is actually Citrine, not heated, or some other yellow stone?
Experience! First off - Know that any rock shop selling Citrine is often selling Heated Citrine not Natural Citrine, especially if their labels don't clearly indicate 'heated' or 'natural'. Don't be afraid to ask staff. If they don't know, take that as a good indication they've got no idea about this phenomenon and are likely selling Heated Citrine.
Coloration is the most obvious indication of heated or natural Citrine. Coloration is the first identification of its authenticity. Heated Citrine is a deeply saturated vibrant yellow often next to clear and/or white quartz. Heated Citrine is also Bright Orange to Deep Orange in hue. If the base of the crystal is white, it's likely heated Amethyst. There is some times a crackled texture within the crystal as well. Certain types of crackles within the crystal are indications of heat treatment. *Please note that color is not always fool proof. I've been collecting Citrine for several years and some of my African Citrine are almost as Orange as heated Citrine but not modified in any way. The color differentiation is subtle but you can still tell between the two!*
Crystal Formation is another indication of natural verses heated Citrine. I've yet to see a Citrine Geode. Sure you'll see a cascade formation or even a small cluster but a geode? Never. If you see a crystal labeled as Citrine but it's part of a geode, I can almost guarantee that's a heat treated Amethyst! Most Citrine in my collection are single points or chunks.
Locality is a huge topic the gem world is tackling right now. Does the shop you're purchasing from know what country, region, or continent your Citrine is from? My personal collection of Citrine is sourced from different localities in Africa. Not all places produce Citrine from their regional mines. If they don't know where their Citrine is from I'd bet it's heated more often than not.
Elements within Citrine and Amethyst are slightly different. Both Citrine and Amethyst are Quartz varieties. What gives them their color are slightly different mineral compositions. Citrine features Iron within the mix. Amethyst features Iron and Aluminum. Amethyst is also purple from natural or applied irradiation. Heating amethyst, turning it orange or yellow doesn't ruin the stone but it is obviously different and still is amethyst deep down. Crystals are used to incredible geothermal temperatures. The heating process added to the stone definitely creates a different vibration and energy within the stone. I mean, you're turning a purple stone into its opposite color! Amethyst and Natural Citrine also have different healing properties. Heated Citrine is not the same as Natural Citrine when you get into the chemistry of it all.
Can you spot the heated Citrine?
The heated Citrine is farthest left with white on the bottom. This piece of Citrine I was given as a little girl the first time I panned for gems in North Carolina. I am fairly certain its country of origin is Brazil. This crystal the reason I call myself Citrine. BUT As you can see the color of the three other Citrine sourced from Tanzania are similar in color and one is even more orange than the heated Citrine. This is why I say experience is most important when identifying Heated Citrine. It's also important to source Citrine, or any crystal really, from a trusted source.
Imitation Citrine is widely available and probably most common. Heated Citrine doesn't have the same energy of Natural Citrine, but it has its own properties. While I don't prefer heated Citrine, it's pretty incredible that a purple stone can be heated into its complementary (opposite) color on the color wheel. It's impossible when mixing paint pigments to turn purple into yellow and vice versa. This is a mysterious process of its own. Pretty interesting don't you think?
About the Author & Artist
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.