Natural and Treated Citrine: What’s the Diff?

Natural and treated Citrine

Feeling a little squeezed for cash these days? Well citrine just may be the crystal for you. Referred to as the “merchant’s stone” or “money stone”, citrine is believed to bring prosperity. It was first sought after as a gemstone in Greece between 300 and 150 BC, and is experiencing a resurgence in popularity today.

Natural citrine is a variety of quartz whose color ranges from a pale yellow to brown due to impurities. Natural citrine is rare and primarily comes from Zambia and the Congo. These crystals are expensive because of the difficulty my friends in the Congo go through to get them!  The region is very remote, the terrain difficult, and for half of the year is completely flooded. There are many seasons they find nothing and then try again next season, hoping to find another pocket. Sometimes there are many crystals and sometimes they go for a few years finding nothing. A natural citrine can be cloudy or smokey in appearance.

Most commercial citrines are heat-treated amethysts or smoky quartzes. Heat-treated amethyst will have small lines in the crystal. Brazil is the leading producer of treated citrine. The treated citrine we sell is natural amethyst that is placed in a kiln at 600 to 1000 degrees F to produce its colour. If its heat-treated citrine, the colour will be most concentrated at the tips but white at the bottom (see picture B below). Also heat-treated citrine is sort of crumbly and may break apart easily since heating the stones at the temperature necessary will weaken the stability of the crystals.

There has been a lot of talk about how to tell the difference between natural and treated citrine. Although I’m focused on providing natural African crystals, I do sell both and see different benefits (mainly financial and aesthetic) for each type. I’d like to help you be able to tell the difference.

“Natural citrine” is the colour it is found in nature and “treated citrine” is heated to change the colour. Additionally, the citrine you buy is either “raw” (as found) or “polished” (buffed on a wheel or in a tumbler to make it shiny).

Therefore, there are actually four types of citrine we sell: 


A. raw/natural

B. raw/treated

C. polished/natural 

D. polished/treated 

Category: A. raw/natural

Origin: Congo

Category:  B. raw/treated

Origin: Brazil

Category:  C. polished/natural

Origin: Zambia

Category:  D. polished/treated

Origin: Brazil

You can buy our citrine on etsy or through this website.  Sending wealth and prosperity to you all. 💜🌎🌱-Rachel