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Gemstone Facts and Folklore: Citrine

Michelle Gruben crystals

Bright and cheery Citrine is a member of the Quartz family. Citrine comes in shades of honey, amber, and deep gold--sometimes with tiny rainbows inside.  It's one of the best stones for attracting positivity, dispelling stale energy, and lifting the mood. 

History

Some say that Citrine is mentioned in the Bible, but the "golden stone" in Genesis was probably Topaz.  The Romans likely acquired Citrine in trade with the East.  Their jewelers were among the first to regard it as as a precious stone.  Medieval Celts prized Citrine as a health-bringing amulet, and it was thought to ward off poison and disease.  Later on, it became a popular choice to set within the pommel of a Scottish dagger.  Queen Victoria favored the yellow gem, especially in Scottish-inspired settings.

Magickal Use 

Crystal lore states that Citrine is one of the only stones that doesn't retain negative energy, but instead deflects it.  As such, it is excellent in charms against lethargy and depression.  Citrine is said to boost willpower and determination, but be careful--it can have an adverse effect on people prone to agitation or aggression.

Citrine has a secondary reputation as a money-drawing stone, probably due to its gold color.  Placing a piece of Citrine in a cash register drawer is supposed to ensure that the riches never stop flowing.

Correspondences

Citrine's element is Fire, its planet is the Sun (with a hint of Mercury), and it corresponds to the Solar Plexus Chakra.

The Zodiacal correspondences of Citrine are a bit messier: As a stone of Midsummer, Citrine may be attributed to the star sign of Cancer.  However, Citrine is sometimes substituted or mistaken for Topaz (November birthstone), so some folks make an argument for Scorpio.  But perhaps it is the sign of Leo that best aligns with Citrine's summery, solar energy.

Buying Citrine

Citrine is widely available in clusters (small and large), points, and tumbled form.  It's rarely carved into complex shapes, but sometimes one or more surfaces have been smoothed to make it easier to display.  Small-ish wands and spheres are also to be found.

Most of the Citrine on the market is actually lower-grade Brazilian Amethyst that has been heat-treated.  How can you tell the difference?  Natural Citrine is usually comes in shades of pale lemon, honey, or olive.  It doesn't have the dramatic color or contrast of heat-treated Citrine, and it rarely forms points and clusters. It also tends to be quite expensive. If your Citrine is a vibrant gold or orange and didn't cost an arm and a leg, chances are it began its life as an Amethyst.  A reputable crystal seller should be able to help you determine if their Citrine has been heat-treated or not.

Does it matter?  It depends.  Some people prefer to buy "natural" crystals, ones that haven't been altered by radiation or heat. High temperatures also weaken the structure of the crystal, making it more prone to crumble and break.  (Witness the basket of Citrine shards at nearly any large crystal shop!)

On the other hand, our Earth does produce Citrine naturally. (Just not very often.) The appearance and energy of Citrine--even heat-treated stuff--is much different from that of Amethyst.  And besides, it makes sense for a Solar/Mercurial stone to be created in a furnace and be capable of changing color.

Wherever your Citrine comes from, we hope it indeed brings a smile to your face and riches to your door!

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