Do you have a fondness for everything bright and shiny in the color yellow? Do you often catch yourself marveling at the exquisite allure of yellow calcite and citrine, yet face difficulty in telling them apart?
In this educational Twirl Weddings manual, we will explore these captivating yellow gemstones, uncovering their origins and characteristics, as well as unraveling their symbolic significance and common applications in the creation of jewelry.
Furthermore, I will address inquiries such as:
- Are yellow calcite and orange calcite identical?
- Is finding natural citrine a rare occurrence?
- What exactly is heat treated amethyst?
Differences Between Yellow Calcite and Citrine
Let’s explore the key distinctions between yellow calcite and citrine gemstones:
- Citrine is commonly used in jewelry, while yellow calcite is not typically recommended for jewelry purposes.
- Citrine is frequently subjected to treatments, whereas yellow calcite is seldom treated.
- Citrine belongs to the quartz family and represents the yellow/orange spectrum, while yellow calcite is a form of calcite specifically displaying a yellow color.
- Yellow calcite is predominantly found in shades of yellow, whereas citrine can exhibit various shades including yellow, orange, and even reddish-orange hues.
A Tale of Two Yellow Stones, Each with its Own Unique Mineral Composition
Yellow calcite and citrine are two distinct yellow minerals found in nature, and they possess contrasting characteristics. Interestingly, their shared feature is primarily limited to their yellow color.
Citrine gemstones are highly sought after for both adorning jewelry and harnessing their therapeutic energies in crystal healing practices. On the other hand, yellow calcite is predominantly valued for its metaphysical properties rather than its suitability for jewelry purposes.
What is Yellow Calcite?
Among the various hues of calcite, yellow calcite stands as one of its color variations. Calcite, a mineral composed of calcium carbonate, emerges through a process called precipitation. This occurs when rainwater containing dissolved calcium carbonate seeps into rocks. Gradually, other minerals mix in, causing the solution to solidify and form calcite crystals.
The diverse colors of calcite crystals arise from different impurities and elements present within their crystal structures. In the case of yellow calcite, its distinct coloration is attributed to the presence of iron and manganese within its structure. Moreover, as a birefringent gem, the structure of yellow calcite influences how we perceive the colors displayed by the calcite crystals.
Yellow Calcite vs Orange Calcite
There is often confusion between yellow calcite and orange calcite, as people mistake them for the same mineral. Technically speaking, they do belong to the same mineral, but orange calcite contains higher levels of iron and manganese.
Yellow calcite exhibits a range of colors, from light yellow to vibrant yellow, and even deep shades of brownish yellow-orange. Due to these varied hues, yellow calcite has earned several trade nicknames such as Honey Calcite, Golden Calcite, Lemon Calcite, Solar Calcite, Yellow Iceland Spar, and even the somewhat misleading name, citrine calcite.
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This comparison is drawn between the pale yellow tones of calcite and the naturally occurring pale color of citrine.
On the other hand, orange calcite displays colors ranging from peachy orange to intense, bright orange-red tones. It is known by several trade names like Sunstone (not to be confused with the mineral sunstone), Fire Calcite, Sacral Chakra Stone, Orange Iceland Spar, and Golden Calcite (referring to the orangey yellow shades of calcite).
Where Can You Find Yellow Calcite?
Honey calcite, which is composed of calcium carbonate, is a widely occurring mineral found abundantly in various locations. Some of the well-known regions where yellow calcite is commonly found are:
- Czech Republic
- United States
Physical Properties of Yellow Calcite
Yellow calcite holds a special place in the hearts of those who believe in the healing properties of gemstones, particularly in the realm of crystal healing. However, if you’re hoping to find yellow calcite jewelry at popular brick-and-mortar stores like Jared or Zales, the chances are quite slim.
The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, yellow calcite does not possess the same level of value as other gemstones highly regarded in the jewelry industry. Secondly, its durability is not suitable for everyday wear. While you might come across yellow calcite jewelry on occasion, wearing a yellow calcite engagement ring or any other piece daily would not be recommended.
The primary concern with yellow calcite jewelry lies in its low hardness rating. As you may have learned from our other informative guides, the Mohs scale measures a mineral’s resistance to scratches. Yellow calcite scores a modest 3 on this scale, while diamonds, known for their exceptional scratch resistance, secure the top spot with a rating of 10. The significant disparity between diamond and calcite ratings is evident.
Consequently, yellow calcite is highly susceptible to scratching from the dirt and dust present in the air. Simply wearing it frequently would cause gradual wear and tear, not to mention accidental bumps that could further damage the stone.
While hardness is just one aspect determining gemstone durability, any stone with a rating lower than 6 is vulnerable to scratches from daily dust exposure. Over time, these scratches can render the stone cloudy and discolored, often requiring replacement.
Healing Properties of Yellow Calcite
Yellow calcite possesses its own unique healing properties. In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans harnessed the soothing nature of yellow calcite by incorporating it into topical lotions to treat burns and aid in physical healing. In Hinduism, yellow calcite is closely linked to the solar plexus chakra, believed to facilitate spiritual enlightenment. Additionally, yellow calcite is associated with a range of other beneficial properties, including:
- Mental Clarity – Yellow calcite is thought to promote clear thinking and aid in concentration, making it helpful for studying or engaging in mental tasks.
- Energy Cleansing – It is believed to dispel negative energies and foster an environment of positivity and vitality.
- Confidence Boost – Yellow calcite is said to enhance self-esteem and confidence, helping individuals feel more empowered.
- Creativity Enhancement – This gemstone is associated with stimulating creativity and encouraging the emergence of fresh ideas.
- Digestive Aid – Yellow calcite is believed to support digestive health, alleviating issues such as bloating, constipation, and promoting overall stomach well-being.
Beyond its metaphysical properties, calcite has been utilized throughout history for ornamental purposes, intricate carvings, and even in the construction of magnificent structures. Notably, both the Colosseum in Rome and the Parthenon temple in Greece feature the presence of calcite within their architectural design.
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What is the Price of Yellow Calcite?
Due to its unsuitability for everyday jewelry, the price of yellow calcite tends to be relatively affordable. Interestingly, when purchasing calcite incorporated into precious metals like silver, platinum, or gold, the cost of the metal itself often surpasses that of the stone.
Smaller yellow calcite pieces can be obtained for a nominal price, sometimes just a few dollars. However, individuals seeking yellow calcite for its healing properties often opt for larger specimens such as towers, mineral specimens, or freeforms. When it comes to high-quality mineral specimens of yellow calcite, their prices typically range in the few hundred-dollar range, taking into account factors such as size, weight, and appearance.
Best Places to Buy Yellow Calcite
If you’re interested in purchasing yellow calcite, you’re unlikely to find it at your typical jewelry store. However, there are other avenues to acquire it. When it comes to crystals and freeforms, numerous sellers and platforms offer specimens for sale. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to exercise caution and choose reliable sources for your purchase.
Here are some of the best places to buy yellow calcite:
1.Local crystal and rock shops – Explore nearby stores that specialize in crystals and rocks, as they often carry yellow calcite.
2. Etsy – This online marketplace offers a wide selection of handmade calcite jewelry and specimens, providing a platform for independent artisans.
3. Live Crystal Sale shows on social media – Keep an eye out for crystal sale events held on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where vendors showcase and sell their yellow calcite specimens in real-time.
4. Gem Rock Auctions – This online auction platform allows you to bid on and purchase yellow calcite specimens from various sellers.
5. Gem Shows in your local area – Check for gem shows or mineral exhibitions taking place in your vicinity, as they offer an opportunity to browse and purchase yellow calcite directly from sellers and vendors.
Remember to research and verify the reputation and authenticity of sellers before making a purchase, ensuring a satisfactory buying experience.
What is Citrine?
Citrine, a variety of quartz, exhibits shades ranging from yellow to orange. It holds a significant place in the world of crystal healing and serves as the birthstone for November. The formation of citrine crystals occurs when minerals rich in silica, containing iron impurities, seep into igneous rocks and undergo a process of precipitation and crystallization.
Natural Citrine vs Heat Treated Amethyst
When it comes to natural citrine, it is relatively rare, despite quartz crystals accounting for approximately 12% of the Earth’s crust, making it one of the most abundant minerals worldwide.
Interestingly, the majority of citrine available in the market is actually heat-treated amethyst. This process involves subjecting smoky quartz or amethyst to irradiation, resulting in the desired orange or yellow coloration. Both amethyst and smoky quartz are alternate varieties of quartz that can be transformed into citrine.
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There is also a natural formation of citrine through heat treatment. Amethyst and citrine are often found together, formed over time due to natural exposure to heat from the sun. However, these specimens are typically enhanced to enhance their durability.
Furthermore, amethyst and citrine can be combined to create a popular bi-colored gemstone known as ametrine. Ametrine showcases its captivating beauty when expertly cut or shaped into unique fantasy-cut gemstones.
If you plan to purchase citrine from a local crystal shop, it’s important to note that the authenticity of the stone may not be guaranteed. Crystal shop owners usually aren’t gemologists. However, it is certain that the vividly bright orange citrine specimens have undergone heat treatment by scientists to achieve their vibrant appearance.
Where Can You Find Citrine?
Varieties of citrine from different regions offer varying qualities and intensities. If you’re looking for top-notch citrine, consider these notable sources:
- Brazil – Renowned for its high-quality natural citrine, Brazil produces exceptional specimens.
- Madagascar – This country is another excellent location to find citrine with desirable attributes.
- Zambia – Known for its golden brown color, Zambia often yields citrine that is found alongside amethyst.
- Spain – Citrine from Spain is highly regarded for its quality and appeal.
- Russia – Russian citrine is valued for its unique characteristics and beauty.
- United States – Citrine can also be found in certain regions of the United States, offering a local sourcing option.
Physical Properties of Citrine
When selecting a high-quality citrine stone, there are important factors to consider. Citrine is generally considered durable enough for everyday wear and can be used in various types of jewelry, including engagement rings featuring citrine.
However, it’s crucial to take precautions when wearing citrine jewelry. As citrine is susceptible to heat alteration, it is advisable to avoid wearing it during outdoor summer weddings or in situations where excessive heat exposure may occur. Otherwise, the stone may become discolored and require replacement.
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Citrine possesses a decent hardness rating of 7 on the Mohs scale, but it falls short of the perfect 10 achieved by diamonds. Consequently, even with proper care, citrine stones worn daily are prone to scratching over time.
By taking great care and following proper cleaning methods, you can maintain the appearance of a citrine engagement ring for years. However, if you prefer a low-maintenance option, you may need to consider replacing the stone once it becomes cloudy or loses its luster.
When selecting a citrine stone, it’s advisable to avoid those with noticeable inclusions. Faceted citrines commonly exhibit eye-clean clarity, meaning they are free from visible natural inclusions.
The most prized color for citrine is a natural and untreated rich yellow, without any hints of orange or brown. Finding such a pure and vibrant shade can be quite challenging.
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Healing Properties of Citrine
In addition to its significance as the birthstone for November, citrine holds great appeal for individuals practicing crystal healing. Many of the healing properties attributed to citrine today are rooted in its historical uses from ancient times.
Citrine held great significance in ancient cultures, being revered for its protective qualities. In Egypt, it was closely associated with Ra, the sun god. Traditional Chinese medicine even utilized gem elixirs containing citrine for its believed digestive healing properties.
Alongside its protective nature, citrine is also believed to bring luck and fortune, earning it the nickname “merchant’s stone.” It is said to have physical healing properties for hair and skin and acts as a balancing stone for the solar plexus chakras. Furthermore, it is utilized for deep meditative practices and promotes inner peace by releasing any patters of negative energy.
What Is the Price of Citrine?
Similar to other precious gemstones, the cost of citrine stones and crystals is influenced by various factors. You can commonly find heat-treated amethyst citrine healing crystals in crystal shops, and they are quite abundant. In fact, the majority of citrine available in these stores are either amethysts or smoky quartz that have undergone heat treatment, making them affordable.
If you’re considering purchasing faceted citrine for fine jewelry, its price will primarily depend on its quality. Factors such as the way it’s cut, its clarity, and carat weight play a significant role. Nevertheless, the color of citrine, known as its shade, holds the utmost importance when it comes to determining its price.
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Natural, unheated citrine is considered more valuable compared to treated citrine. The most expensive citrines have a shade called Madeira, which exhibits a deep orange hue with flashes of red. These Madeira citrines typically cost around $100 per carat for the highest quality, assuming they have a natural color. However, it’s worth noting that most Madeira citrines undergo the process of heating.
Best Places to Buy Citrine
Finding citrine in upscale jewelry stores like Kays, Jared, and Zales is quite rare. These places usually offer lab-created citrine instead.
If you’re interested in purchasing natural citrine, it might be a good idea to visit a local private jeweler. However, Brilliant Earth also stocks a limited range of loose citrine stones and citrine jewelry. While they don’t typically have a wide variety, there’s a chance you might stumble upon the ideal gemstone for your citrine ring.
Final Thoughts – Yellow Calcite vs Citrine
Yellow calcite and citrine, like other yellow gemstones, are believed to possess vibrant energies and offer numerous positive transformational benefits.
While yellow calcite is not suitable for everyday wear due to its softness, citrine stones are highly versatile and can be used in various types of jewelry.
In the market, it is relatively easier to come across citrine jewelry compared to yellow calcite. Although citrine may not be the most popular colored stone, its heated form is frequently available.
I trust that you now have a better understanding of the distinctions between yellow calcite and citrine, and I wish you the best of luck on your journey exploring these gems!