October 2016 Newsletter: Fine Madeira Citrine

 Citrine is the most popular gemstone in the golden to orange color range, and one of the most affordable of the harder gem materials. A variety of crystalline quartz, citrine has excellent transparency and can be found in very large sizes, with gems over 20 carats not uncommon.

Though there is a lot of citrine in the market, natural untreated citrine is in fact fairly rare, especially in the more saturated colors, since much of the low-cost citrine sold in the market is actually treated or synthetic material. 

Most natural citrine is a pale golden-yellow in color and the color derives from traces of iron. Many commercial grade citrines in the market have been produced by heat-treating weakly colored amethyst, which will turn yellow at relatively low temperatures, and golden to reddish-brown at higher temperatures. Heat-treated citrine typically has a reddish tint. There is also synthetic quartz, produced by the hydrothermal method. The synthetic stones are characterized by very large sizes, perfect clarity, absence of color zoning and very low prices.

Deposits of naturally colored citrine are found mainly in Brazil, Uruguay, Madgascar and Burma. In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine colors can occur together in the same crystal. These unique gems are called ametrine.

Madeira Citrine 35.26 ct Madeira Citrine 9.18 ct Madeira Citrine

The most valuable citrines are the natural gems in the saturated colors, known in the trade as Madeira Citrine. The name derives a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands. The color of Madeira ranges from golden to golden-orange to reddish-brown to brown.

Citrine's attractions are many. The earthy color is frequently a fashion favorite, while the affordability and large sizes are always popular. High quality citrine tends to be very clean, with no eye visible inclusions. Transparency is excellent, and the material takes a very good polish with a vitreous luster. 

You will find citrine in a wide variety of shapes and cuts, including oval, round, rectangular, cushion, pear and trillion. Many citrines are given a portuguese cut for added brilliance, but even a simple emerald cut will show off the color and luster very well.

Citrine, along with topaz, is a birthstone for November.

See our collection of Fine Madeira Citrine



Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature some of the top quartz gems from our collection, including citrine, gem silica, amethyst, ametrine and chrysoprase.

Click on a photo to see the details for the item.

35.60 ct Madeira Citrine Matched Pair, Uruguay
35.58 ct Matched Pair of Madeira Citrine from Uruguay  [SOLD]
An impressively large pair of high quality citrines in the rich Madeira color. Beautifully cut and perfectly matched, these fine citrines are completely clean with outstanding brilliance. These elegant pears will make a gorgeous set of drop earrings. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

7.58 ct Gem Silica, Inspiration Mine, Arizona

7.58 ct Gem Silica from Inspiration Mine, Arizona  [SOLD]
The finest Gem Silica comes from the Inspiration mine in Arizona. The best of this material is an intense turquoise color with very good translucency. This lovely blue trillion cab is an excellent example with a top color. This fine gem silica will make a superb pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.
24.80 ct Ametrine, Bolivia
24.80 ct Ametrine from Bolivia  [SOLD]

A very fine gem Ametrine from Bolivia. This is clean and transparent material with excellent color separation, with nearly equal regions of saturated amethyst and citrine. At over 24 carats, this is a first rate specimen for the collector, at a very affordable price. Guaranteed natural and untreated.


16.34 ct Chrysoprase from Australia

16.34 ct Chrysoprase from Australia [SOLD]

A top grade gem chyrsoprase from Australia with a delicious apple-green color and excellent translucency. This gem displays the wonderful luminosity that is characteristic of the very best chrysoprase. Guaranteed natural and untreated

16.61 ct Amethyst, Uruguay

16.61 ct Amethyst from Uruguay [SOLD]

A top deep purple Amethyst from Uruguay. This impressive gem displays excellent brilliance, with flashes of blue and pink. The elegant cushion shape is fashioned in a radiant cut and the material is exceptionally clean. This fine amethyst will make a superb ring or pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

25.38 ct Citrine from Uruguay

25.38 ct Madeira Citrine from Uruguay  [SOLD]

An outstanding large citrine oval in the saturated Madeira color. Expertly fashioned in a portuguese cut for added brilliance, this very clean material will set up beautifully in your jewelry design. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

News from AJS and the Gems World

  • Obama Pledges to Lift Remaining Burma Sanctions

In the very near future, it will once again be possible to import Burma ruby and jadeite to the United States. On Sept. 14, President Obama announced that the US would lift all remaining sanctions against Myanmar, in recognition of the country's successful move towards democracy after decades of respressive military rule. The US has banned the importation of Burmese ruby and jadeite since 2003. 

The US issued the announcement during a visit by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s leader, whose victory in democratic elections last year was viewed by the Obama administration as a triumph in the president’s strategy of engaging with countries the United States had long shunned.


  • October Promotion: Special Prices on Selected Gems

This month we have a new selection of gems from our regular collection offered at special prices. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy a fine gem of AJS quality at a very attractive price!



Ask the Gem Experts

Each month we answer questions from our customers. We welcome your questions and you can submit a question from our contact page.

Thanks for your informative article on tanzanite in your newsletter. I was wondering about tanzanite grades like AAA, you didn't mention these grades in your article. TP, Australia

There is actually no industry standard for tanzanite grading. The terms AAA and AA, in particular, are poorly defined. The Tanzanite Foundation has proposed a different grading scheme altogether, using terms like vBE (violetish blue exceptional) and bVV (blueish violet intense). If these terms don't look familiar to you, it's because the industry hasn't adopted this grading scheme either. But tanzanite grading is no great secret to those who work in the trade -- there are basically two principles of color. In general, we can say that a tanzanite is more valuable if the color is more blue than violet, and when the color is deeper or more saturated. Though some buyers may prefer a more violet color, or a lighter tone, the deep blue tanzanites will sell at the highest prices in the market.


I'm interested in London Blue Topaz but I didn't find it on your website. Can I purchase a blue topaz with a lab certificate? RH, USA

I'm sorry we don't deal in blue topaz. The reason is that it is not a natural gem -- the blue color is produced by irradiating white topaz in a linear accelerator or nuclear reactor. These gems are produced in the millions of carats, mainly for cheap commercial jewelry. This is not a gem that is worth spending money on for a gemological certificate. For natural gems in a light to medium blue you might want to consider aquamarine or blue zircon or tanzanite.





All the best in gems,

Arnold, Rung & Ron