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Citrine is part of the quartz family of stones, and the color ranges from a pale yellow to a deep, almost sherry color. Citrine is usually found inside geodes, and more rarely in larger formations which can weigh several pounds although most are not of gem quality. Most good crystals are found as gauge minerals in mineral veins. Citrine is often found in association with amethyst, but it is much more rare. The largest source of natural citrine is the Rio Grande do Sol state in Southern Brazil. Citrine mines in the US are found in Colorado, North Carolina and California. The gemstone is also found all over the world, in Spain, Brazil, Africa, South Africa, France, Britain, Madagascar and the Soviet Union.
Citrine has been popular for thousands of years. During the ancient times, Citrine was carried by travelers and nomads because it is believed to carry a protection against snake venom, evil and impure thoughts. It is even nicknamed as the “success stone” because it was thought to attract prosperity and success.
The ancient Romans used it for beautiful jewelry and intaglio work. It was also very popular for jewelry in the 19th century. During the Art Deco period between World Wars I and II, large Citrines were set in many beautiful pieces made for Hollywood stars such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford.
Almost all Citrine that is available on the market today is heat-treated Amethyst. Natural Citrine is pale yellow, much lighter than the heat-treated material which is a darker orange to reddish-brown. All of the heat-treated material has a red tint, while natural Citrine does not.