Crystals are remarkable and glorious gifts from Mother Earth. Aren’t they? Well, what does fake citrine have to do with all of this?

And we all love citrine. Right? 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 fake, fake citrineOthers 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 sore 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 a 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 it’s 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 and 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, fake 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, fake citrine

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 geothermal 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 rarer than your usual lighter honey or white wine-colored natural citrine. Actually, all types of natural citrine are considered relatively rare. They’re nowhere 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).

Now if you find this info useful… you’re gonna want to grab my Free Crystal Fakes Reference Guide!  Use the form below and I’ll send the ebook pdf straight to your inbox!  {This also subs you to my bi-weekly newsletter}


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.

And I feel that heated/baked crystals and 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 effective healing qualities. In addition, the stone’s color (light vibrational frequency) has now been changed to that of natural citrine’s. It’s no longer of the violet frequency, it’s now in the orange or yellow frequency. So it’s 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 and 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’s at all. Through much experimenting of my own as well as that of my students’ and clients, baked citrine’s properties align perfectly to my solar plexus chakra; it’s energetically stimulating, it helps with financial issues and 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 working 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!