November’s gemstone, Citrine, is as warm as a Van Gogh painting of sunflowers. The name Citrine comes from an old French word, “citrin”, meaning lemon. One of the more rare forms of quartz, this gemstone ranges in color from the palest yellow to a dark amber named Madeira because of its resemblance to the red wine.
Perhaps because of its scarcity, there is little mention of Citrine used as a gemstone prior to the first century B.C. The Romans were thought to be the first to wear the yellow quartz, crafting it into cabochon, or highly polished but unfaceted cuts of stone set into jewelry. Citrine became more popular during the Romantic Period, when artisans often favored these warm colored gems to enhance gold jewelry. Citrine, like all forms of quartz, was believed to have magical powers and was worn as a talisman against evil thoughts and snake venom. It was also considered to have medicinal properties and was commonly used as a remedy for urinary and kidney ailments.
Sister stone to the purple quartz known as Amethyst, Citrine crystals are found in igneous metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. It is believed that some Citrine may have actually begun as Amethyst, but heat from nearby molten rock changed it to the yellow form of quartz. Citrine is known to change color when subjected to heat and is routinely heated in the jewelry-making process to intensify its color. For this same reason, though, this gemstone should not be left in direct sunlight for a long time because it will permanently alter the color. Most Citrine is mined in Brazil, but other sources of the quartz are Bolivia and Madagascar.
A gift of Citrine is symbolic for hope and strength. With its sunny brightness, this gemstone is ideal for helping anyone to get through the tough times in life!