Classified as a semi-precious gem, citrine is the yellow to orange variety of the Quartz mineral. Its name comes from the citron fruit, a fruit similar to lemon. It is believed that the gemstone was named after the fruit as it shares a similar color with it. Citrine is the most popular Quartz variety after amethyst. Citrine, or the quartz mineral in general, occurs in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in many different climates and regions of the earth.
Natural citrine is very scarce in nature. Due to this rarity, most citrines on the marketplace are created by heat treating other varieties of the quartz mineral, mainly amethyst.
In the ancient times, people believed that citrine would provide richness and wealth. Because of this, citrine was a very popular gem among merchants and traders. Citrine was also called “The Merchant Stone”. Another name for citrine is stone of the mind because it was associated with mental clarity and lucidity, and presumed that it would disperse negative energies.
The largest producer of citrine is the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. The largest gem-quality citrine ever unearthed was also mined in that region. This magnificent gem was named “Malaga”, and it is currently on display at Art Natura Galicia in Spain. This enormous gemstone weighed over 4 kgs.
Citrine has a hardness rating of 7 on the Mohs scale, which makes it a durable enough gemstone to be used in rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. However, the wearer should be careful and take precautions so that it does not get scratched by harder substances or damaged.
The color of citrine ranges from a light yellow to a dark, brownish orange.
While there is no globally accepted citrine grading system, they may be classified according to their external and internal features, mainly their color. The internal clarity of the gem also plays an important role while determining the value.
Citrine gemstones in this category are the most common ones, and they make up for around 60% of all the Citrine of the earth's disposal. "A" quality citrines display a light yellow color, and they possess medium inclusions.
About 30% of all the Citrine gemstones in the world fall into this category. "AA" quality Citrine gemstones show a yellow color. Citrine gemstones of this category have small inclusions.
Citrine gemstones of this category are considered as rare as they make up for 10% of all the Citrine gemstones of the earth's disposal. These captivating "AAA" quality Citrine gemstones reveal a goldish yellow color and have an eye-clean property, which means that they do not possess any inclusions which may be seen with a naked eye.
The most seductive and precious Citrine gemstones belong to this category. A prodigious Citrine gemstone diverges from the rest with its intense golden color. "AAAA" quality Citrines do not have any visible inclusions.