Birthstone Guide: Citrine for Those Born in November

As we enter the darker winter months, November's birthstone citrine offers a ray of sunshine. Here, Gemmology Tutor, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG, explores the properties and folklore around this sunny gemstone.  

Citrine is a type of crystalline quartz that comes in many different hues of yellow, from a pale shade to a stronger orangey or even brown-tinged yellow. Prized for its sunny appearance, citrine has maintained popularity in the gem trade, especially in cocktail jewellery.

Citrine in Light Weaver™ cut. Image Courtesy of John Dyer and Co. Photo Credit Lydia Dyer.

Said to hold the power of the sun, citrine is believed by many to counteract depression and phobias. It is known as a gemstone that can help you remain calm in stressful situations, attract good things and positivity into one’s life, and to cleanse the negative energy from one’s home.
A little known fact is that citrine that is offered on the market is most often amethyst that has been heat-treated to promote that golden colour. Natural citrine can be difficult to find, despite quartz being one of the most abundant gem materials in the earth’s crust. It is found worldwide, but some more important localities of note are Brazil, India, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

Crystals and Inclusions

Citrine can be found as stand-alone crystals or as a geode containing multiple crystals within a rocky pocket. If sold as an individual crystal, citrine will have a hexagonally shaped prism with a pyramidal termination and slightly thicker base. There may be fractures within the crystal that cause iridescence, and the surface may feature striations that run horizontally across the prism faces (if the surfaces have not been polished).


Citrine, cut by John Dyer & Co. Image © John Dyer & Co.

Inclusions in citrine can be highly variable. However, it mostly has similar inclusions to those in amethyst, such as tiger stripes, straight colour-zoning, incipient fractures (mentioned above), crystals and two-phase inclusions consisting of a liquid and a gas, or a solid crystal and a liquid.

Care and Caution

Quartz is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, endowing it with the ability to be set into any piece of jewellery, whether it is a ring, necklace or earrings. Considered hard, citrine will resist scratches and abrasions, but it is not impervious to these attacks and care should still be taken when wearing it in everyday life.

Citrine in Dreamscape™ cut. Courtesy of John Dyer & Co. Photo Credit: Lydia Dyer. 

Whether you like the appearance or the meanings behind it, citrine is a fantastic gem that can hold a high polish while bestowing anyone’s jewels with a kiss of sunshine. Lucky are those who were born in November and can lay to claim such a lovely gem as their birthstone.

Interested in finding out more about gemmology? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's courses or workshops.

If you would like to subscribe to Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image: Cognac Citrine Dreamscape™ 33.71 cts. Image Courtesy of John Dyer & Co.  Photo Credit: Lydia Dyer.


Birthstone Guide: Opal for Those Born in October

Birthstone Guide: Opal for Those Born in October

The captivating opal is the birthstone for all those born in October. Here, Gem-A tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG explores the history and properties of this iridescent and rainbow coloured gemstone.

Read more


Gem Highlights of Goldsmiths' Fair 2019

Gem Highlights of Goldsmiths' Fair 2019

Hosted in the majestic Goldsmiths' Hall, Goldsmiths' Fair is always an annual highlight for those working the gold, silver and jewellery industries. Gem-A Communications Assistant, Olivia Gillespie, reports on some of the key jewellery trends and gem highlights our team enjoyed at this year's Fair.

Read more


Exploring the Varieties of Quartz

Exploring the Varieties of Quartz

At Gem-A we are fascinated by quartz. Here, Gem-A Tutor Pat Daly takes us through a whistle-stop tour of some of the most distinctive varieties of quartz and the interesting inclusions and optical effects that can be seen in them.

Read more


Gem-A Confirms Oldest Known Carved Tourmaline

Gem-A Confirms Oldest Known Carved Tourmaline

In July 2019 Gem-A tutor Pat Daly FGA and operations manager Charles Evans FGA DGA visited Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum to study a unique and highly significant carved tourmaline.

Read more


An Exploration of Amethyst in Antique Jewellery

An Exploration of Amethyst in Antique Jewellery

In his second of a series of Gemstone Conversations columns for Gems&Jewellery, jewellery historian and valuer John Benjamin FGA DGA FIRV considers how amethyst has been used by jewellery designers throughout history.

Read more


Getting to Grips with Multi-Coloured Gemstones

Getting to Grips with Multi-Coloured Gemstones

Many of us marvel at the feat of nature that is the multi-coloured gemstone. Here, Gem-A Gemmology Tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG takes us through the basics of three popular multi-coloured gemstones and explains how they can be identified.

Read more