Can You Tell the Difference Between Natural Citrine and Treated Citrine?
Citrine is one of the most commonly faked crystals. Yes, it is a real crystal, but most of the time it is heat-treated amethyst. When I first learned my first piece of “citrine” was heat-treated amethyst, I was very disappointed. I sought out citrine for its purpose of manifesting abundance and high vibrations, whereas amethyst is more of a calming crystal.
In the picture, you can see three different forms of citrine. The top crystal is a Kundalini Candle Quartz from Congo, the bottom right is Smoky Citrine from Brazil, and the bottom left is heat-treated amethyst. Read on to learn the difference between all three.
How to Tell the Difference
The main difference between amethyst and citrine are the crystal formations and the color. Amethyst comes in cluster formations and ranges from light purple to deep purple, and when heated over 300-400 degrees celsius it turns the purple to yellow or orange.
Citrine has finely distributed iron minerals (mostly hematite and goethite) which creates the yellow color within quartz. Mindat.org is a wonderful site to learn about the scientific side of crystals and where they are sourced.
Natural citrine will very rarely ever grow in clusters like amethyst, so when you see a yellow, orange, or burnt orange-hued crystal in a cluster formation, it is most likely a form of heat-treated amethyst. Another way to tell is if the root of the crystal is white but the tip is an orange or yellow color. That is a dead giveaway for an altered crystal.
Natural Citrine grows in points like a normal clear quartz variety and has a very slight transparent yellow to olive green tint and is very rare to find. Both crystals still contain metaphysical properties, but treated amethyst will not contain the same properties of citrine.
Smoky citrine is an amazing crystal commonly grown in Brazil which has the presence of smoky quartz and really brings out the olive green color to citrine. Some varieties are lighter in color than others, depending on the amount of smoky quartz included. Although still rare, they are easier to find than a natural citrine without the smoky quartz inclusions.
Kundalini Candle Quartz
My all-time favorite variety of citrine comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is called Kundalini Candle Quartz or Candle Quartz for short. This natural form of citrine comes in different qualities such as clear with the light yellow tint, creamy yellow like butter, or smoky yellow, which is a form of smoky citrine. Kundalini Candle Quartz will grow in clusters, but very different than amethyst. As shown in the picture, the Candle Quartz has large points with tiny points at the base. Finding an ethically sourced crystal from Congo is also an important factor when shopping for crystals.
I hope this helps you in knowing the difference when shopping for citrine, the true test is if you vibe with your crystal whether it is heat-treated or not. Crystals can be beautiful decor to your home bringing positive energy and they can also be useful as spiritual tools with a variety of uses. To learn more about how to pick out crystals you can check out this blog post.
To shop for ethically sourced crystals you can check out my wonderful selection here or if you are looking for citrine in particular, you can find our selection here. Follow me on Instagram and join the fun on my live sales weekly for the best-priced crystals online.