Friday, November 4, 2011

Rock Review: Citrine

Today’s Rock Review highlights Citrine! The birthstone of November.
Geology Buzz
Citrine is a member of the quartz family. Its name is derived from it’s lemon yellow color. However, the most valued citrines have an amber or reddish yellow tone to them. It is a very durable gem, scoring a 7 on Mohs scale of hardness. It also has relatively little cleavage, meaning it can take some impact with little likelihood of fracture.
In past decades, Citrine was marketed as “Golden Topaz”. That name has been hard to shake, since it often takes a skilled jeweler to identify the subtle differences between Citrine and Topaz. However, Topaz tends to be harder and heavier then Quartz, with a higher refractive index due to the presence of fluorine aluminum silicate. Topaz, however, has higher cleavage than Citrine and requires some care during the cutting process.
Fun Facts
Citrine historically has been found in Spain, France, Hungary and the Scottish Isle of Arran. More recently, Citrine has been discovered in Brazil, Bolivia, some African countries and parts of the Soviet Union.
The gem is thought to bring happiness, joy and optimism into its owner’s life. Gemstone healers often use the stone to increase self-esteem and open the mind to new thoughts. Tradition refers to Citrine as the “Merchant Stone”. Shop keepers often kept one in their cash boxes to maintain wealth and bring good fortune. Many shop owners still enjoy this practice today. Citrine was also worn to protect a wearer from snake venom.
Visit the Layne Designs Website to check out some of our work in Citrine!

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