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The Citrine

by Julie MIALET 22 Apr 2022

The word "citrine" comes from the Latin "citrus" which means lemon, in reference to its color.

Citrine belongs to the family of monocrystalline quartz. Its color, from light yellow, to orange to ochre brown, is quite characteristic, it is due to the presence of iron oxide.
There are several varieties of citrine: multicolored citrine, mandarin citrine, lemon yellow citrine… Madeira citrine is the most famous and most prized of them, appreciated for its orange-red tones.
Madeira citrine
Citrine is very rare in its natural state. Most of the citrine on the market is heat-treated amethyst. The amethyst will therefore change from purple to yellow.
Citrine is found in the same deposits as amethyst, so these two stones have many similarities such as their composition and their hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale.
This is why we find ametrine: a stone that combines amethyst and citrine.

Citrine is found in all four corners of the world: Australia, Madagascar, Uruguay, Spain, Germany … But the main producer of citrine is Brazil, which is known to have the most beautiful in the world.

Identity card of citrine :

Group: Silicate
Crystal system: Hexagonal / triclinic
Composition: SiO2
Density: 2,7
Hardness: 7/10 on the Mohs scale
Transparency: Translucent to almost opaque
Refraction : 1.54 – 1.55

Citrine is very often confused with yellow topaz, which has quite similar hues
Here is a list of prohibited names for citrine:

Bahia topaz
Topaz quartz
Spanish topaz
Golden topaz
Madeira topaz
Salamanca topaz

Citrine has been known since ancient times
The Romans cut it into cabochons and used it as a seal and to seal documents.

This stone is often seen as a good luck charm that would ward off the evil eye and snakes and even protect against venom.

In the 19th century, it adorned the combs and tiaras of ladies.

Yellow gold and citrine parure


The most famous historical ornament is certainly that of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg: Stephanie de Lannoy. Composed of citrine and pearl.

Grand Duchess of Luxembourg’s parure with citrine and pearl

Citrine is still widely used in jewelry and even in high jewelry. Here are some pieces of citrine jewelry:

Dior’s ring from Diorette collection with a citrine

Boucheron’s earring from Serpent Bohème collection set with citrines and diamonds


Alvéole ring by Chaumet set with a citrine and diamonds

Cartier’s Panther necklace with a citrine


Yellow gold, citrines and diamonds tiara, made by Cartier London in 1937 for Georges’ VI coronation. The center element can be worn as a brooch.


If you are interested in citrine, don’t hesitate to discover what Les Pierres de Julie has to offer in store…

We are also available for any free expertise of your citrine jewelry, for that you can send an email with your pictures to

Whether you're interested in buying a piece of jewellery or a stone, a free jewelry appraisal or jewelry resale, Pierres de Julie welcomes you to its Parisian boutique in the Village Suisse, a stone's throw from the Ecole Militaire and the Esplanade des Invalides.

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