For centuries, gemstones have been sought after as tokens of beauty, wealth, and protection. In recent years, heat treatment has become a popular way of enhancing the color and clarity of different stones.
Heat-treated amethyst and citrine are stones that are often confused with one another due to their similar hues. So how can you tell them apart? Let’s look at the differences between these two beautiful gems.
Citrine and amethyst are both members of the quartz family and share many similarities in color.
This gemstone has a yellowish-orange hue that ranges from pale yellow to deep golden orange. The color can also have a more greenish or brownish tone, depending on where it was mined. For example, citrine from Congo often has a greenish hue, while citrine from Zambia can appear more brownish. When light is shone through the stone, it may have a hint of yellow or orange. The quality of citrine is determined by how light or dark the gemstone appears.
Amethyst is a deep, rich purple hue with a hint of reddish-brown and blue tones. This gemstone can range from pale lavender to intense violet and has more muted hues, such as grayish-purple or brownish-purple. The color of amethyst is determined by the amount of iron and other trace elements in its chemical composition. Amethyst can reveal beautiful blue and red hues depending on light exposure, yet these colors may diminish due to heat or light overexposure.
Pattern and Clarity
Amethyst and citrine are strikingly similar, as they originate from quartz crystals. Citrine has a hexagonal shape with prism-like facets and a vitreous or glass-like luster. The clarity of citrine can range from slightly included to eye clean depending on where it was mined and how it was cut.
Amethyst has a hexagonal shape and prism-like facets but with an adamantine or diamond-like luster. The clarity of amethyst can also range from slightly included to eye clean, depending on the quality of the stone.
Citrine and amethyst have a similar Mohs hardness scale, measuring 7 in scratch resistance. This is below the diamond’s 10 rating but far above most other gemstones, making them suitable for everyday wear. They are both relatively durable and resistant to scratches, making them good for rings or other jewelry pieces. However, it’s important to note that these gemstones can still chip or break if handled too roughly. In addition, both stones can take a good polish, allowing them to retain their shine.
Citrine is composed of silicon dioxide, with trace amounts of iron that give it its yellowish-orange color. Amethyst is also composed of silicon dioxide but with different trace elements, such as iron and manganese, which are responsible for its deep purple hue. Due to this slight variation in compositions, they have different refractive indices (RIs), which measure how much light scatters when passed through the stones. When it comes to optical properties, Citrine has a higher RI than Amethyst which means it emits more sparkle than its amethyst counterpart. These differences can make a huge statement in jewelry, with the right gems finding themselves perfectly suited for each wearer’s tastes.
Dichroism is another optical property that can help you distinguish between citrine and amethyst. This is the ability of a crystal to show two very different colors under specific types of light. In the case of citrine and amethyst, this means that one color appears when seen from above, while an entirely different one appears when viewed from below. This phenomenon is caused by the crystalline structure in these quartz gems, which allows them to refract light in fascinating ways depending on the direction from which it is viewed. Different qualities and sizes of dichroic citrine or amethyst will also display varying levels of color shift.
Form and Shape
Citrine and amethyst come in various shapes, sizes, and cuts. Citrine is part of the family of quartz stones known as macrocrystalline quartz. This type of quartz has large, well-formed crystals that grow together over time into an aggregate structure. These aggregates can form shapes such as cubes, pyramids, rods, and even spheres. Citrine is often found in clusters or “beds” of small interlocking crystals that can form intricate patterns. This is why you often see citrine with its characteristic yellow-orange color appearing in geodes and other decorative pieces. When the stone is in geode form, it is heat-treated, meaning it was originally an Amethyst stone that has been transformed.
Amethyst is classified as cryptocrystalline quartz due to its smaller individual crystals that grow into dense masses or fibrous shapes like needles or plates. Amethyst has long been sought after for its beautiful purple hue—which comes from trace amounts of iron within the crystal structure—and can be cut into cabochons for use in jewelry and artworks. In nature, these cryptocrystalline structures often appear as points or drusy formations on rocks and cliffsides where they are visible to the naked eye.
The unique appearance of citrine and amethyst is largely due to their crystalline structures. Macrocrystalline quartz forms larger aggregates, while cryptocrystalline forms denser masses with much smaller crystals. These gorgeous metaphysical stones contribute quiet beauty wherever they appear, readily adding delicate touches to any interior design scheme.
Origin and Location
Citrine can be found worldwide but is especially abundant in Brazil and Uruguay. The best quality citrines are found in Russia’s Ural Mountains and parts of Africa, including Madagascar.
Amethyst is also quite abundant, especially in Brazil, where the largest deposits are located. Bolivia is another major source of amethyst, as well as Uruguay and Zambia. The finest quality amethyst is said to come from Sri Lanka, but gem-quality stones can also be found in Mexico.
Citrine begins its formation process within Earth’s mantle. Most gemstones begin to form in this layer of Earth. As molten rock moves through the mantle, it causes turbulence that creates pressure-filled pockets where gems can begin to take shape. It is within these pockets that quartz crystals initially form before any coloration occurs. When the quartz crystals are exposed to high temperatures and aqueous fluids, their iron content may oxidize, leading to citrine’s yellow or orange coloration.
Heat Treated Amethyst
Humans create Amethyst in lab or factory environments. The amethyst is subjected to extreme heat, usually in the range of 1750-1800 degrees Fahrenheit. This process causes a reaction between the trace amounts of iron within the quartz and oxygen in the atmosphere. This process imitates that which occurs naturally in nature, but the results are much more intense and vibrant. The natural color of amethyst is usually a light mauve or lavender. After heat treatment, it can become a deep purple or even a bright violet.
Although both minerals are quite durable, proper handling can help maintain their natural energy flow and keep them vibrant for years. Both should be kept out of direct sunlight when not in use as this can cause bleaching of the natural tones. For cleaning, a soft cloth or brush should be used with mild soap and warm water – never use extreme temperatures or harsh chemicals. When storing, keep them away from materials that may damage their surface. To recharge, put the stones out in direct moonlight.
Citrine is often used to treat digestive disorders and fatigue. Its purifying energy can help balance the body’s metabolism and improve digestion.
This stone can be used to help foster positive thinking and improve communication.
Citrine can help to alleviate depression and anxiety, encouraging optimism, joy, and happiness.
Amethyst is known for its calming properties, making it beneficial for reducing stress, headaches, or insomnia. It can also stimulate natural immunity and detoxify the body from impurities.
Amethyst is said to help one think more clearly and rationally, aiding in problem-solving and decision-making. It can also be used to encourage creativity and spiritual awareness.
Amethyst helps to discourage feelings of depression, sadness, and grief. It can also help bring peace and balance when emotions run high.
These are energy points within the body associated with specific elements and colors. They are believed to be connected to the metaphysical properties of gemstones and minerals.
Citrine is often linked with the Solar Plexus Chakra, situated at the center of your abdomen. It’s believed to help clear energy blockages, aid digestion, stimulate creativity, and aid in manifestation. The Solar Plexus Chakra is connected to your power and self-confidence, so working with citrine can help you to tap into these qualities.
Amethyst is mostly linked with the Third Eye Chakra, situated at the center of your forehead. It’s believed to help open up this chakra, which deals with intuition and higher states of consciousness. Working with amethyst can boost clarity and insight, allowing you to tap into your intuition. It’s also believed to be connected to past life recall and dream work.
Every gemstone uniquely connects to Earth, Water, Fire, and Air.
Citrine is linked with the element of fire. Fire is a transformational element, helping to bring about positive change in one’s life. Its vibrant energy is believed to be invigorating and inspiring, promoting an active lifestyle. It’s also said to help bring abundance and prosperity into your life.
Amethyst is symbiotically linked with the element of water. Water is a calming and nurturing element that brings healing and balance. Its gentle and calming energy can help reduce stress and anxiety and help one become more open and accepting of others. It’s also believed to help strengthen intuition and psychic abilities.
Planetary associations are believed to be connected to the metaphysical properties of gemstones and minerals.
Citrine is correlated with the planet Jupiter and the sun. Jupiter is a planet that deals with luck, abundance, and fortune. Working with citrine can help bring about these positive influences in your life. It’s also said to be connected to the sun, which can help increase self-confidence and courage.
Amethyst is related to the planets Neptune and Jupiter. Neptune is a planet that deals with intuition, psychic abilities, and dream work. Working with amethyst may help open up your third eye chakra, aiding in these areas of spiritual growth. Jupiter is also a planet of abundance and adventure, and amethyst can assist to bring these qualities into your life.
Birthstone and Zodiac Association
Gemstones and minerals can also be associated with certain zodiac signs and birthstones.
This gemstone is the birthstone of November and is associated with the star sign Sagittarius. It’s also said to be connected to Scorpios and 13th wedding anniversary stones. Citrine is said to bring about optimism, improved confidence and communication, and increased motivation.
Amethyst is the birthstone of February and is associated with the star signs Pisces and Aquarius. The stone is also connected to the 6th wedding anniversary stones. Pisces people are said to benefit from amethyst’s calming, healing energy, while Aquarians often find it helps with stability and curbing negative tendencies. The stone is also said to help bring about spiritual awareness and understanding.
Gemstones are also believed to have unique numerical vibrations that correspond with their physical properties. These vibrations can also be associated with certain meanings.
Citrine is said to have a numerical vibration of 8. The spiritual number 8 is symbolic of accomplishment and having material possessions. If you consistently see this figure, be prepared for some financial outbreak! It also stands for emotional steadiness as well as power and balance.
Amethyst is said to have a numerical vibration of 7. This number is a symbol of liberation, signifying freedom from any limitations. Those that feel a connection to this number, are truth-seekers and knowledge enthusiasts, possessing an ideal balance between the spiritual realm and reality.
Heat Treated Amethyst vs. Citrine: Price and Value
There’s no clear winner when it comes to price and value. Heat-treated amethyst is typically more affordable than citrine due to its abundance in the market, but this doesn’t necessarily make it a better gemstone. It all depends on what you’re looking for and what qualities are important to you.
You need to know about its origin and treatment when making a purchase. A heat-treated amethyst may look more intense in color, but it will not have the same metaphysical properties as a natural citrine or untreated amethyst. On the other hand, citrine is usually more expensive than heat-treated amethysts due to its rarity and unique healing qualities. So, it may be your best option if you want something special and spiritual significance.
Main Differences between Heat Treated Amethyst and Citrine
The main differences between heat-treated amethyst and citrine are their origins, price, and metaphysical qualities. Heat-treated amethyst is created through an artificial process that intensifies the stone’s color, whereas citrine is a natural gemstone that is usually quite rare. Unlike real citrine, heated amethyst geodes and clusters have a white base.