“Behind the Gems” is a long-running monthly series that takes you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of our signature collections.
This week, we’re focusing on citrine, one of the several colourful gemstones we use here at McFarlane Fine Jewellery.
Did you know that citrine is actually a colour variation of quartz?
Citrine: Composition And Origins
Pure quartz is in itself colourless and translucent. But citrine has iron particles trapped in its structure. And when those particles are exposed to heat during the formation of the stone, they oxidise, creating the signature yellow tint.
Natural citrine is sourced mainly from Brazil, with further deposits in Argentina, Myanmar, Spain, Zambia, Madagascar, Scotland and Russia. But it is rarely used in jewellery pieces directly as it comes. Instead, citrine is often exposed to additional intense heat in order to accentuate its colour. This transforms the stone from an “undesirable” smoky quartz to a saturated yellow citrine.
Citrine: A Short History
The top-selling yellow gemstone, citrine is very popular in the jewellery industry thanks to its relatively wide availability and attractive colour range. The ancient Greeks were the first to start valuing its warm golden hues between 300 to 150BC. And citrine has been highly sought after ever since.
The name itself is derived from the Latin word “citrina” meaning “yellow”.
Known as the “merchant stone” or “money stone”, citrine was thought to attract riches, good luck and prosperity.
Our Citrine Pieces: The Backstory
From an aesthetic point of view, citrine pairs exceptionally well with yellow gold. The similarities in hue make the gemstones blend in with their settings, allowing the finished item to be perceived as a single, uniform piece. We used this effect to the fullest in the Duet ring and in the simple Citrine Earrings:
And, since the gold and citrine pairing is so cohesive, we felt that it could become a strong enough background for some bright white diamond inserts: