Ethan Lazzerini

Natural Citrine Vs Heat Treated Citrine

Natural Citrine Vs Heat Treated Citrine

Natural Citrine Vs Heat Treated Citrine

How do you know if your Citrine is natural or heat treated? What is the difference between the energy and properties of natural Citrine Vs heat treated Citrine? Read on to find out…
This is a bit of controversial topic and I do not like to focus too much on the subject of fake or treated crystals, but this is an important one. I may be wrong, but back in the 90’s I do not remember ever seeing natural coloured Citrine. Nobody seemed to be that aware till the early to mid-2000’s that much of the Citrine being sold in Crystal Shops and online was actually created by heat treating Amethyst.


Hold your panic stations! If this is news to you then please read on…


is your Citrine natural Citrine? (Pin to Pinterest)

is your Citrine natural Citrine? (Pin to Pinterest)

Heat Treated Amethyst Sold As Citrine?

If you put Amethyst in an oven on a high heat it turns yellow, orange or orange-brown. Natural Citrine is actually not that common, it is more expensive and it does not have a bright orange or yellow colour that many people are drawn to. Some crystal books, even to this day will show a heat treated crystal as an example of Citrine.
The definition of Citrine to many people is yellow Quartz, so it is easy to see how this all happened. I recently went to Etsy and did a search for ‘Citrine Crystal’ and only 2 out of the first 10 results looked natural to me. Before I give you my take on the difference between natural Citrine and heat treated, let me try to help you spot the difference.


Heat treated Amethyst Citrine. Notice how the colour has changed but the form remains the same

Heat treated Amethyst Citrine. Notice how the colour has changed but the form remains the same


How To Tell The Difference Between Natural Citrine Vs Heat Treated

The following information is a general guide only. I am not a Mineralogist or Gemologist. It is worth asking a crystal seller if you are unsure to see if they can confirm that their Citrine is natural. Keep in mind that I have seen heat treated Citrine sold as “natural Citrine” online. Sellers may have been sold the stones as that by their supplier, some are just mistaken and then there are some that are being dishonest.
The best thing to do is learn to identify Citrine yourself to make an informed choice. I am happy to say that there is more natural Citrine on the market now than I have seen before. At the last Gem Show I went to, I did not see any heat treated Citrine. My guide is below, I have included lots of photo examples as seeing the two forms for comparison is really helpful.


How To Spot Natural Citrine:

Light golden yellow colour, like white wine

Light golden brown colour, if slightly smoky

Generally very clear crystals

Raw Crystal Points usually have straight sides

Many Raw Crystal Points are long like Quartz Crystals

Natural Citrine is not cheap to buy


Raw Natural Citrine Crystal Point

Raw natural Citrine Crystal Point


Polished natural Citrine crystal point

Polished natural Citrine Crystal Point


Raw natural Citrine Crystal Point with smoky phantoms

Raw natural Citrine Crystal Point with smoky phantoms. Slight green colour like Lemon Quartz.


How To Spot Heat Treated Citrine

Bright yellow colour

Orange colour

Burnt orange or orange-brown coloured Clusters

Lots of clear and white sections inside

Clusters and Geodes are very common

Raw Crystal Points are fat and tooth-like in shape

Crystal Points have have white at the base

Cheap to buy and easy to find



Natural Amethyst Cluster

Natural Amethyst Cluster (see below for comparison)



Heat treated Citrine Cluster with burnt orange points (aka Baked Amethyst) Photo from Pixabay

Heat treated Citrine Cluster with burnt orange points (aka Baked Amethyst) Photo from Pixabay


Cut and polished heat treated Citrine Double Terminated Crystal

Cut and polished heat treated Citrine Double Terminated Crystal


Heat treated Citrine Tumble Stone

Heat treated Citrine Tumble Stone


What’s The Difference Between Citrine & Amethyst?

Both Citrine and Amethyst are forms of Quartz and Silicate based minerals. They both have the same Mohs hardness. The golden yellow colour of natural Citrine is caused by traces of Iron. Amethyst though also contains Iron. Most Mineral books don’t even consider them to be that different and lump both stones under the entry for Quartz.
From the metaphysical point of view within the world of Crystal Healing, I think they are very different stones. Colour is vibration, so the colour says a lot about the energy of the two crystals. The same applies to the heat treatment, that permanently alters the colour of Amethyst. I can’t ignore the change in colour and vibration.


Properties of Natural Citrine Vs Heat Treated?

My opinion on this subject is that both crystals can be used but they are a little different. I prefer to work with natural Citrine because I think it is more powerful, in addition to its abundance drawing properties, it can be cleansing and detoxifying. Some natural Citrine crystals can have a high vibration energy.
Heat Treated Citrine feel lighter in energy, it can be used for prosperity and positive thinking too but lacks the cleansing power and the umph of the natural crystals for me. I see it more as a substitute where natural Citrine is not available or affordable. I know people who have effectively worked with the heat treated stones, also some people may need that bright orange colour.


I have always prefered the golden colour of natural Citrine but which do you prefer? What are your thoughts on this subject? I would love to hear from you in the comments below (please keep any questions you have concise and on topic if you want a response).
With gratitude,


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Copyright © Ethan Lazzerini


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4 thoughts on “Natural Citrine Vs Heat Treated Citrine

  1. Iren

    If only!
    For a while now I owe Tumble Crystal, I used to believe is Citrine, however, recently, I
    purchased two chakra stone sets from Hanna Kroeger’s website, I trust this source is reputable, the Citrine stones look just you described the natural Citrine, which makes me very happy, because authenticity is very important and I have a hard time to finish my crystal collection for crystal grids exactly because of that. Also I have to say I was looking for a while at the Meru Pyramid (from the link on your website), and finally I ordered it as my birthday present, it was so exiting to open it for a first time! Anyway, back to my “Citrine”, now I know it’s not a Citrine, however, I’m not sure is it a treated amethyst or maybe Calcite???

  2. Hayatti

    Thank you for sharing this Ethan.
    I think I have a few of the treated amethyst thinking they were natural citrine crystals.
    I bought them from CrystalAge.
    I’ve spent a lot of money buying crystals from that website.
    Their citrine clusters are mostly burnt orange in colour. I even bought their fat crystal points.
    This is so disheartening.
    Thank you Ethan for letting us know.
    Love your sharing as always.

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