Citrine History & Meaning: The Art Deco Gemstone

Citrine is a member of the quartz family of gemstones, very often confused with yellow topaz. Named after the Latin Citrina (yellow), it shares a common root with the word citron, the French word for a lemon. Citrine and Topaz are the November birthstones.

Citrine Ring

Citrine In Ancient Civilizations


The association of citrine with the sun was a recurring theme amongst ancient civilizations. The Ancient Egyptians would use citrine in their amulets and talismans, believing citrine got its color from the God of the Sun, Ra. 

To the Hellenistic era Greeks and Romans, citrine was very highly sought after, often used to decorate tools and worn as jewelry. The Greeks associated citrine with the goddess of the harvest, Demeter.

Use In The United Kingdom


In more recent history, citrine has been worn by Queen Victoria, increasing its popularity in the United Kingdom at the time. Citrine was already popular among the Scots, who fashioned brooches and "Sgian Dubh" (Daggers) from the gem. Today, Kate Middleton can often be seen wearing citrine jewelry.

Popularity During the Art Deco Period


In the 20th century, citrine found popularity with the Art Deco style that emerged at the end of the First World War and peaked during the Roaring 20s, overlapping with the Jazz Era that was similarly emerging in the United States. Citrine pendants, necklaces and jewelry in general were sported by the trendy stars of the period, remaining popular well into the Golden Age of Hollywood, with actresses such as Joan Crawford choosing to adorn the gemstone.
Citrine Pendant

The Many Meanings Of Citrine


Citrine involves good feelings, summertime energy and positive vibes. An old nickname for citrine is the "Merchant's Stone", due to a belief that citrine brings prosperity to those who wear it. In Chinese Feng Shui, citrine is placed in a household to attract wealth, success and wisdom. 


Where Does Citrine Come From?


It is difficult to find naturally occurring citrine these days, though heat-treated quartz is used in its place for most commercial uses today. 

We source our citrine rough and seek out reputable sellers to ensure we're getting the real thing. One way we can tell that our citrine is real is by the color patterns and depth of color in the rough stone. Heated quartz will look more uniform in color than the natural rough stone.

While hard to find, natural deposits of citrine can be found in the Ural Mountains, Spain, United States and Madagascar.Citrine Jewelry
If you're interested in getting your own unique piece of jewlery handmade from this rare gemstone, check out our made to order citrine jewelry here.