Real vs Fake Citrine: How To Tell the Difference

Real vs Fake Citrine: How To Tell the Difference

You’re at the right place if you want to know the difference between real and fake citrine. Keep scrolling!

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about citrine and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about them including:

  • Where can you find natural citrine?
  • Is there any difference between treated citrine and natural citrine?
  • What’s fake citrine?

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

How to Tell the Difference between Real and Fake Citrine

What is Natural Citrine?

Natural citrine either refers to heat treated smoky quartz/amethyst or untreated stone. The quartz family includes amethyst, smoky quartz and citrine. One of the most common minerals in the world that crystalizes frequently is quartz. However, natural rarely occurs.

Around 1835, not long after the invention of written English, the first natural citrine was discovered. Some people believe that it was discovered hundreds of years ago before its inception into the market. However, citrine and topaz were often confused in reports.

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It’s quite understandable why most people mistake topaz for natural citrine.  Natural citrine and topaz have different chemical structures but are both birthstones for those born in November. They have different metaphysical properties as well.

natural citrine

Solar plexus chakra is usually linked to citrine. It’s said to be a powerful crystal with the ability to absorb energy from the sun given its bright yellow hue. Genuine citrine is not only powerful stone for protection but also helps enhance your freedom of expression and wards off negativity.

When it comes to crystals and their characteristics, heat treated citrine is usually regarded as authentic citrine. Even if you don’t think that crystal forms have different metaphysical properties, you’ll probably agree that it’s a lovely crystal.

Even though it doesn’t occur frequently, genuine citrine still exists. Brazil has the majority of the world’s natural citrine.

Heat Treated Amethyst Vs Real Citrine

Here’s where things start to get a little bit murky.

The color of most gemstones can be enhanced through color treatment. Its value will either go down or the cost remain unchanged depending on the gemstone in question. The majority of citrine isn’t directly mined. Instead, smoky quartz or amethyst is subjected to heat treatment.

Heat treated amethyst color tends to go from its typical purple hue to an orangish shade similar to citrine’s orange hues. This is usually done by baking amethyst stone until it changes color. It’s not easy to tell apart natural citrine from baked amethyst.

It might have labels for both genuine citrine and imitation citrine. Every vendor of citrine should be required to specify how it was heated. Citrine that has been heated keeps its color. Irradiated citrines may lose some of their color over time.

What’s Fake Citrine?

Fake citrine is typically another gemstone or substance that resembles real citrine. But, as was already indicated, heat-treated amethyst or smokey quartz can also be mistaken for citrine. And that’s what accounts for the majority of the vibrant tints and colors of citrine on the market.

In addition, since the bulk of citrine on the market is not from mines, many vendors claim it to be genuine citrine. You are responsible for outlining any treatments with sellers. If there have been any treatments, they should always disclose them to you. If they don’t, be sure to inquire about how important that is before purchasing your citrine specimen.

Glass is the most prevalent fake citrine on the market. Glass can be faceted to resemble natural gemstones whether it is man-made or natural.

What’s the Difference Between Real Citrine and Fake Citrine

There are a few techniques to distinguish between genuine citrine and imitation citrine. The only other method to tell if something is real citrine is to properly examine it.

Here are some of the main differences between genuine and imitation citrine:

  • In contrast to more saturated gemstones and their lime-colored counterparts, real or natural citrine is typically pale yellow or light orange.
  • Genuine citrine often has a high degree of transparency and clarity, although it can also contain bubbles or other impurities.

Patterns and Colors

The majority of citrine found in nature ranges between light orange and pale-yellow hues. Bright orange colors are uncommon. A natural citrine is worth more when it is more saturated. The most desirable color is a bright orange shade with red flashes. It’s known as Madeira hue but it’s usually as a result of subjecting amethyst to heat treatment. Madeira colors can fetch as high as $112 per carat.

Color zoning is one of the significant indicators of genuine citrine. Looking for and actually finding naturally occurring saturated citrine in nature is quite challenging. The majority of naturally occurring citrine crystals tend to have subtle variations in terms of saturation.

Indicators and Colors of Heat Treated Quartz

Based on hue, gemologists can distinguish between heat-treated quartz and natural citrine. Smoky quartz that has been heated produces citrine stones that are a bright lime yellow tint.

A pristine white foundation is frequently produced when amethyst is baked. It becomes increasingly challenging to distinguish between stones that have been cut. While examining a cluster or specimen of raw citrine crystals, the white base is usually more noticeable.

An earth-mined citrine gemstone will have uniform coloration and no visible fault lines. Inauthenticity is indicated by blotchy colors.


The majority of quartz family members have excellent clarity. The gemstone has no visible flaws and is equally transparent. Citrine stones with bubbles are imitation gemstones. Bubbles typically indicate the presence of glass.

Citrine crystals that appear to have flaws and spindly inclusions are not real. They cannot be made of glass. A different gem can.

Mohs Scale of Hardness

The mineral hardness scale is a well-known method that helps determine whether the crystal is real or fake. However, you won’t be able to determine whether your citrine is heat-treated citrine or amethyst using the Mohs scale.

mohs hardness scale

It will reveal whether your citrine is glass or another colored stone. The hardness rating of citrine and amethyst the same. In terms of hardness, topaz, glass, cubic zirconia and yellow beryl vary.


In actuality, distinguishing between an authentic and imitation citrine gemstone can be quite challenging. The difference between heat-treated amethyst and mined citrine crystals is equally an uphill task.

If you’re set on purchasing genuine citrine crystals, then you should be very specific in your search criteria. When doing it online, be sure to thoroughly read all titles and descriptions. In the title of an Etsy or Amazon store, “genuine citrine” is frequently mentioned. Simulated citrine is mentioned in the text when you scroll to read the description.

You shouldn’t rely on the crystal shop in your locality to help you distinguish between treated crystals and untreated citrine. Both are beautiful gemstones. For the most part, crystal shops lack gemologists or other specialists in the field of crystallography. They know more about their properties as opposed to their genuineness.

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