past & present

D*S Gem Handbook: Citrine

by Grace Bonney

Design*Sponge / Gemstone Handbook: Citrine

I remember – in the early 2000s – when all of the young Hollywood celebrities suddenly became interested in yellow diamonds. I didn’t know diamonds came in any other color than well, colorless, so my mind was blown by all the different shades I was able to Google online. It was during one of those searches that I discovered Citrine, a beautiful yellow gemstone that is actually a variety of quartz.

Ranging from yellow to brown, naturally occurring citrine gemstones are rare and often hard to tell apart from yellow topaz. Their primary difference is in hardness and these days, most citrine is actually heat-treated to achieve a golden yellow color. Heat-treated or not, citrine and its color is said to promote creativity, happiness and optimism – qualities that make it popular for anniversaries and other marriage celebrations. I personally love seeing the way citrine pops up in antique jewelry. Erie Basin often finds some beautiful examples from the early 1900s that let the color really shine against gold settings. I can’t imagine a warmer or sunnier stone to have in your collection, if you’re lucky enough. For now, I’ll keep admiring them from the web and bookmarking them for color inspiration. xo, grace

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