Did you know that this month’s lucky babies get to call citrines their birthstone? Citrines are a lovely gemstone featuring a range of shades from light champagne yellow, to a soft brown, all the way to a deep, fiery orange. And, they have some surprising qualities that make them extra special…
Citrine gemstones are a variety of quartz that display yellowish or orange hues. Quartz is an incredibly diverse mineral that, like corundum (remember our lesson about sapphires?), changes different colors due to trace “impurities” entering the mineral composition. Citrines owe their sunny hue to trace amounts of iron, while amethyst — another variety of quartz — turns purple when this trace amount of iron is irradiated in its natural environment or within a lab. In fact, ametrine — a distinctive gemstone mined exclusively from a single source in Bolivia — is quartz that has been partially irradiated and therefore features both yellow and purple hues within the same gemstone.
Quartz is a relatively durable mineral and therefore is recommended for even daily-wear jewelry. While topaz, sapphires, rubies, and diamonds are harder than quartz, emeralds, morganite, opals, and tanzanite are softer by varying degrees and, therefore, should be treated with more caution. As noted, citrines come in a variety of shades including soft brown, sunny yellow, fiery orange, and muted lemony pastel.
Even better, its atomic composition commonly results in large, unincluded mineral formations, meaning that citrines can be readily cut into large facets and set into striking settings while remaining relatively affordable (compared to yellow sapphires or yellow diamonds). They can also be cut into smaller sizes to provide a warming accent tone to other gemstone palates. It’s this adaptability that renders the citrine one of the most popular gemstones available.
If you have a November birthday to shop for, you may want to consider some of the unique citrine options we have in our showroom right now. And, if any of our pre-set items don’t sing to you, we can always opt for a more custom route. Our Open Circle Necklace and Open Circle Earrings can each be customized with citrines and are available in your choice of 14k gold or platinum.
Or, you can never go wrong with a beautifully simple bezel-set slider featuring a citrine of your chosen hue. We can source citrines in a range of shades, so don’t be shy about asking. The photo here shows loose stones in two shades of citrine — deep honey yellow and light lemon custard — along with a Swiss blue topaz. We can walk you through everything from the size of the citrine to which type of gold would complement it best.
Make an appointment to talk about a custom piece of your own, or stop by our showroom to see the citrine options shown here. We would love to see you!
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.