Citrine, a name derived from the French word citron meaning yellow, starts life as amethyst or smoky quartz before being heated to attain the lemon, gold and russet shades for which it is known.
Because of its low, low price and super-abundance, this quartz commonly serves as a poor man’s topaz and golden sapphire. But it wasn’t always like that. Until citrine’s appearance in quantity starting in the 1830s, it was rare and expensive. Indeed, its widespread use in jewelry dates from the late 19th century.
Because citrine comes clean and large and lovely for practically no money at all, it was a pet rock of many celebrities in the 1930s and 40s, including Greta Garbo. Actress Joan Crawford wore a cuff bracelet and necklace designed by Raymond Yard that featured several 100-carat-plus stones. Citrine offered glamorous girth for very little money. Of course it will never compare to the sheer beauty of ideal and superideal diamonds!
Citrine is the birthstone for November and is listed as the official gem to be given for 13th wedding anniversaries. That’s probably the luckiest thing to happen to this unlucky number in several centuries.
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