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Color: light yellow to dark yellow, gold-brown
Moh's hardness: 7
Citrine, a member of the quartz family, is a very popular gem for a number of reasons; it is affordable, durable and abundant. Named after the French word for lemon, "citron", citrine appears in a range of shades from pale yellow to warm gold to intense orange and light brown.
Natural citrines are rare and mostly come in a pale yellow hue. Most citrines used in jewelry actually started out as amethysts and were heat-treated to get their rich, fiery, golden tones. Historically, the dark orange nuance of citrine, sometimes called Madeira citrine after the color of Madeira wine, has been the most valued color. In today's fashion world many people prefer the bright lemony shades of the gem. Citrine is also available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including very large sizes.
Deposits of natural colored citrines are found in Brazil, Madagascar, and the United States, as well as in Argentina, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, Scotland and Spain.
In ancient times citrine was carried as protection against snake venom and evil thoughts.