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 of heat treatment, these gems hold higher values.

Natural, untreated stones often exhibit color zoning, which reduces their price. On the other hand, multi-colored stones that exhibit two distinct colors will sell at a premium. Ametrine, a gem with zones of amethyst and citrine, is quite popular, even though neither color…