Treated Citrine vs. Natural Citrine

Citrine is one of the most popular healing crystals. It is a stone of light, joy, success, and positive energy...What’s not to love?!

Unfortunately, it is also one of the most widely misunderstood crystals, mainly because there are two different types of Citrine that are sold which are Natural Citrine and Heated Citrine. We’ll do our best to clarify some of the elements that are commonly misunderstood in this article.

Citrine is a member of the quartz family (just like Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz and Amethyst). Citrine is only found naturally in a few places around the world. Natural Citrine is formed when amethyst or smoky quartz get superheated by the earth’s mantle. Over time, the amethyst or the smoky quartz become citrine. Natural citrine is relatively rare, but there are ways to identify it compared to Heated Citrine.

Heated Citrine is when a piece of amethyst or smoky quartz heated up to around 900 degrees in a kiln, and therefore it is not "natural", but rather mimicking what the Earth does by "creating" citrine in a lab.

Typically, you can tell the difference between the two types of citrine by its color. Natural citrine colors range from a very pale yellow to brown to a brownish-gray which almost resembles smoky quartz. It could be described as a smoky, white wine, or honey color.

Heat-treated citrine, on the other hand, can have a bright, almost neon yellow hue or an orange coloring which can range from a bright orangish-yellow to deep burnt orange. It can even be so dark orange that it takes on a reddish-brown-orange tone.

Raw Heat Treated Citrine Raw Natural Citrine

There is a lot of debate over which citrine is "better" based on its metaphysical properties. Some argue that since heat-treated citrine is manipulated that it does not contain similar metaphysical properties to natural citrine.

However, that is not necessarily true depending on how you look at it. One way of looking at it is to acknowledge that all citrine is heat-treated citrine. The only difference is that natural citrine gets heated in the earth and heated citrine gets heated in a lab. Mother Earth creates natural citrine out of amethyst and smoky quartz, and so does man. It is the same process.

Furthermore, the chemical make-up of the stone does not undergo any changes in either of these processes. Amethyst and smoky quartz both have the chemical formula of SiO2 because they are in the quartz family. Citrine, whether it is formed naturally or in a lab, also has this same chemical formula, SiO2. On a structural level, there is no difference between the two.

Since the makeup of the two variations of Citrine is the same, as well as the process of creating the citrine, the metaphysical properties and energy of the stone are very similar.

An important factor to the properties of a crystal is its color. The two types of citrine may be different shades, and therefore they both radiate the energy of that frequency. Energies in the yellow frequency include many of citrine’s qualities: prosperity, success, joy, and optimism.

Another common thought is that natural citrine is more powerful than heat-treated. In most cases this is a matter of personal preference. If you find yourself gravitating towards citrine, be open to either possibility. Just because heat-treated citrine was manipulated does not mean it will not be useful for your prosperity, success, and positive energy work. Many people prefer it because it is cheaper and more accessible. The colors also appeal to many more than natural citrine because they are brighter, and the bright yellow/orange color aligns with the color commonly associated with the solar plexus chakra, which Citrine is known to help balance.


Citrine: Mineral information, data and localities.

Is Your Citrine Real or Fake Citrine & Does it Matter? "Fakes" Series: Part 4