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

Hibiscus Moon amethyst, citrine, Crystal Healing, Crystals, energy work, science 47 Comments

citrine sphere3

Crystals are remarkable & glorious gifts from Mother Earth. Aren’t they?

And we all love citrine. But do you know if your citrine is real or fake citrine…and should you care?

Some crystal peeps prefer their crystals to be all natural; as they were found in Mother Nature, in the raw.

citrine real fakeOthers may be drawn to the beauty of crystals that have been enhanced in some way but they may be totally unaware that they have been artificially altered. Maybe the crystals have been molecularly bonded, irradiated, tumbled, cut, polished or even heat treated in a lab. Now, I’m saying “lab” in this post for ease & flow but often times the heating we’re talking about here isn’t done in a lab at all. It’s usually done in a dusty warehouse by the miners themselves; no lab coats or anything. Just keepin’ it real for ya. 😉

Lab-heated citrine seems to be a soar spot with many. So much so that over the years as I received many questions about it I’ve created a few videos to talk about the topic & show some examples. (See below for vids).

Sometimes when people find out that much of the citrine on the market isn’t an Mama Earth Creation, they may go into  a mini-panic, thinking that they’ve been duped or that their heat-treated citrine is totally  useless. Not so…IMHO. But more about that in a bit.

How to tell the difference

It’s not always an easy task but let me give you a few pointers. If its heat-treated citrine, the color will be most  concentrated at the tips but white at the bottom (see photos below).  Also heat-treated citrine will be sort of crumbly & break apart easily since heating the stones at the temps necessary does seem to weaken the stability of the crystals.

Natural Citrine

natural citrine

Natural citrine points from the Congo. Notice their generally uniform smokey, champagne or honey color to them. Congo natural citrine usually comes in these nice elongated points & often have babies & hematite around its base where it was attached to the rock matrix.

This is a natural citrine with a classic point shape and light tea color.

This is a natural citrine with a classic point shape and light tea color throughout the crystal.

This piece is an amazing feat of geology! Here you see a Double Terminated Penetrator Twin that got fractured during its growth process & self healed while turning into golden citrine only above the fracture! AMAZING & have never seen anything like it!

This piece is an amazing feat of geology! Here you see a double terminated penetrator twin that got fractured during its growth process & self healed while turning into a natural golden citrine only above the fracture! AMAZING & have never seen anything like it!

Heat-Treated Citrine

heat treated citrine

Heat-treated citrine from Brazil is usually amethyst (sometimes smokey quartz) that’s been baked. This piece was broken off of a large amethyst geode then heated to get this tell-tale baked orange color at the tip with white bottom.

baked citrine druse

This photo demos another common baked citrine formation, the druse. This darker deep honey-colored ice tea hue is known as Madeira citrine. Then you can see a sharp border which then goes white.

How do They Do It?

Earth-crust-cutaway-english.svgMother Earth naturally creates citrine with her geo-thermal heat source; from within the mantle (her deluxe gourmet geo-kitchen!) by heating amethyst or smoky quartz (both are SiO2 (quartz), just as citrine is).

The Earth can also produce the deep brown citrine, aka Madeira citrine. This is more rare than your usual lighter honey or white wine colored natural citrine. Actually, all types of natural citrine are considered relatively rare. They’re no where near as bountiful as amethyst so they can get be hard to find & a bit pricey. Be prepared.

When we lab-heat citrine we’re simply mimicking what Mama Earth does. You usually begin with a poorly or lightly colored Brazilian amethyst. Then you heat it in a kiln to over 900°F (482°C). If you want it to go dark yellow or to red-brown (Madeira color) then you go up to 1022-1040°F (550-560°C). Some smoky quartz can turn citrine color as cool as 390°F (199°C).


Ain’t this the interactive classroom?? My favorite kind. Crystal Hottie Shayla read this blog post w/i hours of it posting & got to experimenting in her lab kitchen & showed us how it’s done. Thank you Prof. Shayla for sharing this with us & your quick work! *bowing down* Check out her results:

amethyst before and after

Is it Still Citrine?

Yep, yep, yep & I feel that heated/baked crystals & stones can be worked with very effectively. Heating the stone at these temperatures simply changes the color but doesn’t change its molecular structure & again, IMHO, as long as a crystal’s molecular structure hasn’t been altered, I feel that the crystal will still have the effective healing qualities.In addition, the stone’s color (light vibrational frequency) has now been changes to that of natural citrine’s. Its no longer of the violet frequency, its now in the orange or yellow frequency. So its going to resonate that energy now.

Is Your Citrine Fake or Natural? Part 1

That being said, I do think that heat treating or enhancing a crystal can reduce this frequency & effectiveness since it does weaken the stone some, but it doesn’t totally burn out its potential healing effects. So, no need to replace your citrine at all.

Citrine – Fake or Natural, Part 2

Whether citrine is heated artificially or naturally, it’s still often commercially classified as citrine. Remember, this artificial or natural heating is not enough to change the molecular structure of the crystal so it’s still SiO2. I feel the healing properties are still those of citrine, but on a lighter scale.

To me, lab heated citrine’s properties are not similar to amethyst’s or smoky quartz’ at all. Through much experimenting of my own as well as that of my student’s & clients, baked citrine’s properties align perfectly to my solar plexus chakra; its energetically stimulating, it helps with financial issues & it helps us to be more confident. Now, if you’re looking for a piece that’s just going to go BAMMM!  in these precise areas, then I’d advise you to go with a natural citrine, for sure….its energies will be much more powerful.

Types of Citrine for Crystal Healing

Let me end by saying that I feel that your intuition should always be your first guide. If a stone or crystal works for you for a particular purpose then don’t let anyone or anything that you read or hear change that for you. For certain people, certain stones may work very well while not work for others no matter what is said or written about them. Keep on truckin’, Crystal Hottie!

Just as in quantum physics, the scientist doing the observing actually influences the outcome & properties of the subatomic particles being observed. So, basically, if you believe it to be so, it simply is, on a subatomic level. Why should it be any different on a super atomic level? As below, so it is above, right? Let the crystals that you know work for you continue to do so…if you believe it to be true, it simply is. No panicking over heat-treated citrine, OK? If it worked for you before, it’s still going to continue to do so…unless you think it won’t.

Continue to enjoy your crystals and stones, heat-treated or not.

Ooodles of Crystal Blessings!


Oooodles of Crystal Blessings!!P

P.S. What do you think of heat-treated citrine? Like it, hate it, who cares? Let me know in the comments below!

BTW…like this sort of stuff? Then grab your FREE handy downloadable Crystal Fakes 40 page Reference eBook!thinpaperback_795x1003-237x300

This is the EXACT eBook you need in order to navigate the gem shows, crystal shops & eBay, get the REAL thing & get what you pay for. Don’t get scammed or duped into buying FAKES!

Click here now to download your free copy!

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Comments 47

  1. My first piece of citrine looks exactly like your 5th pic down, and knowing that it has been “created” is disappointing, but doesn’t change the stone’s personal vibration or energy for my work with it. Have been lucky to find a reputable dealer where I found a really nice natural citrine cluster, so happy to know I have both & since I use them for different energy work, don’t feel the need for comparison. The only issue I would have is that it should be disclosed whether it has been treated, so that there is no dishonesty. I pick my stones based on their energy, so not blindly picking stones based on the name. Take care! Been following you/your site/comments and enjoy greatly. Crystal on! :0)

  2. After reading this post I decided to do a little research of my own. I had several pieces of amethyst laying around my house that weren’t what you could call “good color”. I don’t have a kiln or torch or anything like that. But I have a self-cleaning oven and I decided to try it out for myself. I’m a little shocked that it worked. And am now trying it with a few other pieces that I have around here. The original pieces are back in the oven to see if they get any darker than they already are.

    Here are my initial results –

    1. Post

      Wow Shayla!! I can’t believe it. First, let me applaud your inquiring mind! I really admire that in someone. I never tried this myself & have even told people that the temps in your oven wouldn’t go high enough but hadn’t thought about the self-cleaning setting. YOU GO GRRRRRRL! Can I use your photo here on the blog & in my class? I’m so uber-impressed by you. 🙂

      1. Of course! I’m so very excited by the whole thing and am working on my second batch. I have figured out that I need to heat up the crystals a little more slowly before I put the oven on the cleaning mode. One of the small spheres that I put in cracked (at least I am pretty sure it was a sphere, the oven is still locked so I can’t see them clearly yet). My thought is that I’ll heat it up 100-deg at a time over the span of a couple hours, then turn on the cleaning mode. There is a small batch in there right now and I’m waiting to see how they turned out.

        With summer coming up, I won’t be able to do this very much… but winter isn’t really that far away, right?

        1. Post
          1. I will! My camera is small, but it’s pretty clear. I’ll be trying this again tomorrow, with the slow heating up. I can’t wait to test this out further!

  3. Well I have a tumbled citrine that looks like one in your video, and a ring that looks exactly like the cut jewel you have, which I am told was purchased by the former owner when she was on vacation in Italy, so heat treated or not, it’s still my special baby. =) I love the stone and I appreciate all the knowledge you have shared with us via your site & the videos. Thank you! =) You sure know your stuff!

  4. Hi,

    I think this is really useful for some of us that take everything literally that is said about crystal energies as it draws attention to the “whatever is working for you” and I think this is the most important thing to realise about crystals. Sometimes I buy a crystal purely from what is written about it and find I am sometimes disappointed with how I feel about it when I receive it and at other times I buy something purely on feeling an am never disappointed with that particular crystal. Self trust is a big issue in my life and I just wanted to say that this has helped me here. As for natural and heat treated Citrine, I have both and must say I prefer the natural to the heat treated, although I have recently bought a piece of heat treated Citrine purely for the way it makes me feel when I look at it and have it on my desk at work, so my conclusion would be that it is all a matter of how we feel about a particular crystal. Love the blogs and the science behind crystals too. Gail

  5. I agree completely about how a crystal resonates with you is more important than how it became a certain colour!! That’s one of the reasons I like to be able to see/touch a crystal in the flesh (as it were!) to see how we respond to each other 🙂
    Love reading your blogs,

  6. My husband and I just bought 2 pieces of Citrine for pendants, 2 pieces of Amethysts, 2 Pieces of Tektite, and 6 very small pieces (nugget chips) of Load stone at The Jewelry and Mineral of Las Vegas shop in person…
    My questions is I put these in my bra yesterday 1 piece of Amethyst, 1 Piece of Citrine, 1 Tektite stone, and 3 nuggets of Loadstone, I forgot about them when I woke up this morning my Citrine is Purple like the Amethyst and my Amethyst turned extremely dark??? Does anyone know what might have happened ??? I probably shouldn’t have mixed them all and put them in my bra I know! But I didn’t want to lose them and didn’t have pockets on my dress…. Any help would be greatly appreciated… Many Thanks…

  7. Hello Hibiscus! I notice you never speak of INTENT! when using a stone with proper or healing intent, the stone’s spirit will respond in kind. We use intent a lot in our Reiki and it seems to make it more powerful. The objective is to use the Stone or Reiki for healing with the intention that the energy will be used at the highest possible level of good for that person. Just saying… I generally love working with the raw stone, and if it not the stone for me, I feel it and choose something else. Get your intuition working out there-she’s right!

    1. Post

      That’s certainly one way to do it but I personally don’t subscribe to that with individual crystals. I feel the crystals have a very specific vibrational frequency of their own that we cannot alter. However, I do speak of intent when working with Crystal Grids and have written about that in my book. 🙂

  8. If there is no effect to the healing qualities then I guess it just depends on what you prefer aaesthetically…. Kinda like the natural tho’!

  9. Hi, thank you for this post.
    I have a question, since you mention Congo Citrine quite a bit. Do you ensure that your stones are ethically sourced? Is that even possible?
    I ask because there is such conflict due to mineral mining, especially in the Congo. Thank you

  10. I have a necklace i made with amethyst on it and its turned almost black! What could Have caused this,??? Someone with a negative energy wore it for a while (he stole it until my boyfriend noticed and got it back) ive smudged it since then. Any ideas if this happened from obsorbing negative energy?

  11. Pingback: How to Pick Out Crystal Fakes: part 3 - Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy | Crystal Healing | Crystal Healer | Crystal Therapy | Certified Crystal Healer | Crystal Grids | Crystal Healing Course

  12. I bought a citrine cluster today for chakra clearing at a very good price. Then I decided to google citrine and discovered I bought a heat treated amethyst. I wish the real citrine was more common. I might now seek some tumble stones of real citrine to compare the energy. I definitely feel differently about all my citrine but at least now I know what to look for in the future to avoid the fakes. Knowing that real citrine is quartz cooked in the earth is interesting. The cooks who bake ‘citrine’ overcook it almost to brown, plus the points are the wrong shape.

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  14. Is it possible the citrine ring I bought at the fair yesterday is glass and not citrine at all? How can I tell?

    1. If the tips posted here don’t help, you’ll need to bring it to someone to have a look at or find someone who can do some testing for you. Good luck!

    2. If you’ve got a loupe or microscope, you can have a good look at it. Natural stones commonly have inclusions of some kind: a band of a slightly different color where the available chemistry changed as it was growing, foreign material that got caught in the matrix, random unevenness of color. These are difficult to deliberately create in glass, and when it is done, tends to be more regular and predictable in appearance. Fine bubbles, on the other hand, are common to glass, but virtually nonexistent (if air is included, it’s usually an irregular shape, not nice and round) in natural crystals.

      Though a ring doesn’t give you much to look at. You might want to try looking at larger stones and broken bottles to train your eye first.

  15. I appreciate your blog and view on this matter. I personally think the only thing that is effective after an amethyst has been baked is the color of the stone. I had a few heat treated citrines, courtesy of my daughter who is drawn to them. I then decided to purchase a real citrine point (much smaller, totally see through and light honey colored). I have to say the difference in energy is amazing in my opinion. The natural citrine has a strong but soothing vibration. Kind of like basking in the sun on a nice warm day. The treated citrine really has a *different* vibration. It doesn’t feel like amethyst OR natural citrine. The only credit I really have to give to the treated citrine is that it is definitely an eye catcher, and a pretty looking stone.
    But obviously if someone feels drawn to it there is a reason. I just think it’s a little misleading to say they have the same vibration, is there any link or research done on the molecular changes when heating amethyst into citrine in a lab? Also the molecular difference between heat treated citrine and natural citrine? I’d be interested to see.

    1. The article states the molecular composition of quartz, including amethyst and citrine, is still SiO2, and does not change with heat. Maybe it’s just in my mind, but I also feel differently about anything that is “treated.” I often enjoy the aesthetics, but don’t choose to purchase or use those types of crystals in intent grids or meditations.

  16. Hello I really enjoyed your videos on this topic!!:) I always wear a tumbled citrine in my right side of my bra for luck and on the other side I wear a hemotie for grounding. I was told it would help me if I did this does this seem strange to you or is this a common practice for people??

    1. I think a lot of crystal loving ladies tuck their crystals into their bras! For me it started with an outfit with no pockets 🙂

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  18. Thanks to your helpful guide, you saved me a good 15$!!! I was at a craft fair type place today, and let me say that this wonderful guide really helped me out. This woman was at a table selling a few crystal specimens and some crystal jewelry and it looked very nice. I saw a few of the ‘citrine’ pieces she had, they were white with little peaks of deep brown crystals at the top, very obviously they were some fake citrines. She starts talking to me and I ask her about the price of the citrine ppieces.

    And she says, that is NATURAL citrine, putting emphasis on the word ‘natural’. It was 80% white matrix, shaped like an amethyst geode and that deep tea color. I said, “oh, thats cool” and walked away but on the inside I was thinking, “lady, I may look young, but I am not a fool!”. It was a nice specimen, but I passed it up, since well, I just don’t feel right buying from someone who would try to pass off artifical citrine as the real deal to a customer.

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  21. Thanks for all the info on fake crystals..
    Some details on how to differentiate between a real and a fake blue obsidian would help immensely please! Thanks..<3

  22. Hello I run an online store and recently purchased some citrine and wanted to tell if it was real. I wanted to know if you bake natural citrine at 900-1050* F will it change color???
    Also if it is natural citrine will it get darker when it is baked. It looks real but I want to be sure!

  23. Sorry I typed that wrong

    Hello I run an online store and recently purchased some citrine and wanted to tell if it was real. I wanted to know if you bake natural citrine at 900-1050* F will it change color???
    Also if it is NOT natural citrine will it get darker when it is baked. It looks real but I want to be sure!

  24. WHAT A LOAD OF TOSS! Do you even know anything you claim to? to start to bake Amethyst at the Temps shown is IMPOSSIBLE! Citrine if baked or natural is still CITRINE! you can not change the geology of a rock even if it is heat treated! Citrine can be found in many forms and exactly the same as heat treated Amethyst………………. Hence it is only Amethyst but hotter.. Stop trying to panic people into thinking they have a fake piece of Citrine this is impossible.

    1. Leave her alone you ogar (Load of Toss). Just look at her. She’s a Citrine Goddess, and as far as I am concerned, she can tell me that if I rub poo on amethyst it will turn into wine. Get it? Water into wine. I didn’t think so. Rock on you Hibiscus cutie.

  25. Citrine and amethyst are both quartz BUT citrine is created by aluminum and lithium being in the quartz crystal lattice (and so is smoky quartz – but with different Li:Al ratios). Amethyst is created by iron being in the lattice – making them COMPLETELY DIFFERENT at a molecular level.

    1. You are sooooo right Regina!! Natural citrine is in my opinion a rare variety of smoky quartz, and has nothing to do with amethyst. I’m happy I’m not the only one who thinks this way 🙂

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  27. Perhaps I’m too judgmental, but I dislike heat or chemical treated crystals to change their color.
    Even though it doesn’t always change the molecular structure, it seems to me that the heat would at least weaken them a bit.
    Mother Earth has given us so many beautiful and powerful crystals, fossils and more, why change what is already perfection?
    Sometimes I find myself annoyed with changing a piece by cutting, grinding and shaping it. Though I must admit that I do wear some items that have been cut and polished. 🙂
    I like the crystals that are all-natural.
    I’m ‘new’ to understanding how to use crystals and what they can do to help me, so maybe I’ll be less-critical of heat-treated, etc. when I learn more.
    Thanks for being here!

  28. Thanks for this article.
    I recently found out that there was such a thing as “heat treated” citrine.

    I immediately decided to do some research and wonder why it would be necessary to do such a thing in the first place, but then I remembered the enterprising minds of some of us on this planet. On the other hand, it’s also more affordable.

    The citrine I purchased called to me, so I will not reject it for not being “as advertised”. You are right. If something courses through your energy channels, ain’t nothing going to change that until you say so. I haven’t said so yet, so, I’ll put my citrine back in my pockets where they belong.


  29. Thank you for posting the article on “heat treated” Citrine. I recently purchased a smokey quartz crystal with some of the same characteristics. First of all its not smokey but black from the core to the tips and clear at the base. This crystal has ladders and small crystals attached some have rainbow qualities. I’m questioning what I actually bought. Are other crystals heat treated? Just how far are they altering crystals? I haven’t started to work with this crystal but strongly feel it has something to say… maybe Super Powers from being altered 🙂 Love to send a photo.

  30. Oh Hibiscus Moon, what would I do without you!

    Normally I wouldn’t care, but I am disappointed that I what I purchased from my local metaphysical store turns out to be heat treated citrine. I think it is wrong, especially for a business, to sell fake products. The crystal does have a completely different frequency when I hold it compared to my friend’s honey colored chunk of natural citrine. I think it is important to always research if unsure, that’s what I should have done. Thank you so very much! Love and light.

    1. Among gemologists, “simulant,” “synthetic,” and “imitation” are NOT synonymous. A “simulant” is a real stone that happens to look like a different more valuable) one. A “synthetic” is chemically identical to a “natural” stone, but has gotten that way through the intervention of man. “Imitation” stones are fakes. Amethyst that has been heat treated is SYNTHETIC citrine, not “fake.” Unless someone at the store’s got a good sense for the energies of citrine vs. amethyst, distinguishing between natural and synthetic citrine requires expensive testing that is beyond the means of the average crystal retailer and most wholesalers.

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