The birthstone for November, The sun kissed hue of citrine warmly welcomes the winter. The beauty, luster and significance with sun god add a bounty of luscious reasons to enjoy citrine jewelry. This birthstone of November and the gift for 13th anniversary, is not new to the humankind. It was historically associated with Greeks and Romans, and was a popular gemstone of Art Deco era. Many such legends and facts make this gem more interesting and demanding.
Citrine since antiquity
• German metallurgist Georg Bauer who realized the value of a name in marketing first used the term citrine 450 years ago. He was known as ‘the father of modern mineralogy’. Bauer used the new name of yellow quartz in his 1556 publication on gemstones and jewelry. The word citrine was originated from an old French word ‘citron’, meaning citrus. This naming was probably a result of the stone’s citrusy look.
• In ancient Greece, citrines gained the popularity as a decorative piece during the Hellenistic Age that is between 300 and 150 B.C.
• Citrines were largely used for engraving intaglio, and as decorative. They were a prime choice for decorating tools and jewelry for thousands of years.
• The gem was used to adorn dagger handles or sometimes carved as a handle by Scottish weapon makers during the 17th century.
• It was one of the twelve stones on the breastplate of High Priest Aaron as described in Exodus. The gem is associated with health, prosperity, creativity, protection, truth, generosity and comfort. It is known as the ‘Merchant’s Stone’ and ‘the stone of the mind’.
• The gem is believed to have great mystical and healing powers. It is considered as a tonic for detoxifying and purifying the body. Carrying the warmth of the sun, citrine is thought to burn out all the negative energy, fears and phobias while increasing the emotional and intellectual balance.
• Citrine was called chrysolitus, meaning ‘golden stone’, in both Latin and Roman Catholic versions of the Old Testament.
• This member of quartz with a relative hardness of seven on moh’s scale and its magnificent array of yellow hues was highly demanded in Victorian era for its statement worthy beauty.
• According to historians, Queen Victoria loves Scotland and therefore builds the Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands after her marriage with Prince Albert. She often organizes parties in the castle, and wants her guests to dress in complete Highland style. She was a great lover of art and fashion. Her admiration for gemstone jewelry is world famous as it was the Victorian period when the glamor of gemstone jewelry was on its highest peak. The parties at the Balmoral Castle gave her a chance to share her gemstone love with others. Citrine was one of her favorite stones and received great acknowledgment by the Queen and her guests. Since those parties, citrine became a part of shoulder brooches and kilt pins in traditional Highland attire. Now, it is an essential part of the tradition.
• Other few notable citrine jewels include
? The Luxembourg Royal family citrine and pearls tiara, and earrings,
? 27 Citrine and diamond Art Deco tiaras made by Cartier for the coronation ceremony of King George VI in 1937,
? A traditional Thai style tiara made in the Edwardian style with citrine and diamond, belonging to Queen Sikirit of Thailand,
? In addition, the most modern citrine jewel – Kate Middleton’s citrine drop earrings.
• Although, the yellow rock was quite popular among the royals, the world’s affair with citrines started in 1930’s when expatriate agate cutters from Idar-Oberstein in Germany sent home huge amount of citrine from Brazil and Uruguay, along with agate and amethyst.
• The rise of Art Deco with this overseas discovery of citrine made the gemstone all the more desirable. Large stones were used for bold statement rings while the smaller ones were embellished in earrings, pendants, bracelets and tiaras.
• The rise of Art Deco and citrine also had an impact on the showbiz. Hollywood stars such as Greta Garbo and Joan Gawford were few famous citrine art deco jewelry fans.