Citrine’s affordable autumn hues make it a great option for trendy jewelry. As the yellow to reddish orange variety of quartz, this gem is available in large sizes and is a durable choice for any jewelry setting. Recently declared a November birthstone alternative to topaz, this stone is becoming even more popular. However, few citrines come out of the ground with bright and bold colors. Often, heat treatments of other quartz varieties, such as smoky quartz, produce citrine colors.

Before your next citrine buying trip, learn the quality factors for this gemstone.

Citrine Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS citrine value listing has price guidelines for cabochons and faceted gems.


This yellow to orange variety of quartz gets its color from trace amounts of iron in its crystal lattice. Bright, bold colors hold the highest value.  Yellow and orange hues reach peak saturation at relatively light tones, about 20-30%, and these stones are the most desirable.

However, with the current popularity of earth tones, brownish orange hues are also popular. This includes gems with darker tones with less saturation.

Madeira citrines are orange-red and darker in tone than pure orange or yellow hues. Commonly the results…