November Birthstone Citrine

Citrine November Birthstone

Citrine is the transparent, pale yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz.

Citrine’s color comes from traces of iron. It’s perhaps the most popular and frequently purchased yellow gemstone and an attractive alternative for topaz as well as for yellow sapphire.

Citrine is rare in nature. In the days before modern gemology, its tawny color caused it to be confused with topaz. Today, its attractive color, plus the durability and affordability it shares with most other quartzes, makes it the top-selling yellow-to-orange gem. In the contemporary market, citrine’s most popular shade is an earthy, deep, brownish or reddish orange.


Along with topaz, citrine is a birthstone for November. It’s also recognized as the gem that commemorates the thirteenth anniversary.



Citrine Birthstone November
Photographed from the GIA Collection for the CIBJO project. Group of five cut citrines, from the top: fancy cut, carved yellow citrine, GIA collection# 31962, 26.05 ct; heart-shape brown citrine, GIA collection# 30304, 22.30 ct; orange cushion, GIA collection# 33420, 13.02 ct; yellow triangular cut citrine, GIA collection # 24204, 11.71 ct, and pear-shape yellow citrine, GIA collection# 19670, 7.35 ct.

Since natural citrine is rare, most of the citrine on the market is the result of heat treatment, which causes some amethyst to change color from undesirable pale violet to an attractive yellow. The amethyst’s original hue can determine the richness of the resulting citrine’s yellow color.

Citrine crystals occur in a wide range of sizes, and citrine sizes up to 20 carats are readily available in jewelry. Although citrine is available in standard shapes and sizes, many high-end jewelry designers and gem carvers have fashioned the warm yellow gem into unusual cuts for jewelry and carvings.

People have used quartz in jewelry for thousands of years. Egyptians gathered ornately striped agates from the shore and used them as talismans, the ancient Greeks carved rock crystal ornaments that glistened like permafrost, and the hands of Roman pontiffs bore rings set with huge purple amethysts. Natural citrine is rare, and today most citrine quartz is the result of heat treatment of amethyst quartz. Even so, gems from the Victorian era have surfaced, and it’s not hard to imagine that citrine was treasured even in earlier times.

Citrine Birthstone November
Display case in the Mikimoto Rotunda showing the GIA Celebrates Birthstones exhibit. November, citrine & topaz case.


Citrine Birthstone November
Displayed within their shipping crates are three large crystal “cathedrals” of amethyst and citrine, with owner Tina Sim shown for scale. The citrine color was created in Brazil by heating amethyst; it undoubtedly required a very large oven.



According to folklore and stories throughout history, many gemstones are thought to offer mystic healing to its wearer.  So whether shopping for a gift of fine jewelry, or considering a gift for yourself along the way, consider the healing properties of these fine gemstones. Birthday gemstones may not bake your cookies and wrap your gifts for you, but they will make you feel better while doing so.

Citrine – Considered the gemstone to provide greater or increased hearing, Citrine also promotes success, abundance, and clear thinking.