How To Identify Real Citrine From Fake Citrine Crystals 

real vs synthetic citrine
Home Quartz Crystals Citrine Crystals How To Identify Real Citrine From Fake Citrine Crystals 


How To Identify Real Citrine From Fake Citrine Crystals

Citrine crystals are incredibly beautiful, but knowing whether or not a piece is real can be tricky. However, a few key signs will let you know whether the precious stone you’re about to purchase is the real deal.

While Citrine crystals can be relatively easy to fake, the fakes are typically variants of other stones. More often than not, they’re Amethyst or glass, which can be easily spotted if you know what to look for.


Natural Citrine Crystals

Genuine and natural Citrine has even coloring throughout, and it doesn’t get drastically lighter or darker. Any color changes are subtle. Natural Citrine should have smooth fault lines, which are typically horizontal.

The real deal doesn’t typically have a pure white base. However, there might be a bit of white present at the bottom. Chalky, white bases are generally signs of baking, but we’ll get to that soon. True Citrine will be smokey-colored and very clear; no infractions or bubbles should be present.


Fake Citrine Crystals

Fake Citrine can be made using a few different things, including plastic, glass, or resin. While a variety of items are used to fake this crystal, a vast majority of them are made from heated Amethyst.

Citrine is comprised of rarer chemicals than Amethyst, but their chemical makeup is nearly identical. The main difference between the two is how hot the molten stone got because after reaching a certain point, the iron present in Amethyst transforms into a yellow color.

Both true and fake Citrine crystals are a variety of quartz (when Amethyst is used). Heat treatment doesn’t damage the crystalline structure or hardness of Amethys. Instead, the treated crystal looks almost identical to Citrine.


The Difference Heat & Temperature Makes With Real and Fake Citrine

Remember, the difference between natural Citrine and Amethyst is the highest heat reached during the crystal’s formation. A study on the effects of heat treatment on the color of Amethyst shows that temperatures under 788℉ (420℃) form Amethyst. In contrast, temperatures over 824℉ (440℃) result in the formation of Citrine.

Ametrine crystals occur naturally because of the heat zoning. It’s possible to have formations where one crystal is partially Amethyst and Citrine, which is Ametrine. In between are temperatures where Prasiolite is formed, and that crystal is rarer than natural Citrine.


Identifying Real Citrine vs. Fake Citrine

As mentioned previously, heat-treated Amethyst is almost identical to genuine, naturally-formed Citrine. While there are a couple of indicators, telling them apart isn’t always easy or possible. There are only a few ways to distinguish real Citrine crystals from fake ones. Let’s talk about checking them.


1. Spot-Check For Glass In Faceted Citrine Crystals

Again, while most faked Citrine crystals are heat-treated Amethyst, some untrustworthy vendors and sellers are trying to sell faceted gemstones and crystal points made from glass.

You will need a loupe to help you spot differences in your stone. A loupe is small magnifying glass jewelers and watchmakers use.


  1. Using your loupe, view the crystal at ten times magnification.
  2. Look over the entire gemstone for signs of bubbles.
  3. If there aren’t any bubbles, it’s not the glass and could be real Citrine, but the checking doesn’t stop there.


While Citrine can have inclusions present, they will not be in the form of round bubbles! Bubbles are the best way to tell if a Citrine crystal is genuine, especially since glass is very similar in properties to quarts when it comes to things like hardness.


2. Examining The Crystals Shape

Crystal formations inside the large geodes are another common sign of treated Amethyst. A majority of natural Citrine crystal samples will contain more minor points or other formations. However, it is very rare to see them form in geodes.

Examine the crystal for smaller crystal formations. Citrine is generally the same formation as a regular quartz crystal. That said, seeing clear bits is okay. However, if the crystal you’re examining looks like it was cut from the exterior of a geode, the chances are high that it’s not a real Citrine.


3. Coloration

A crystal’s colors are the most significant tell. If the stone you’re examining is already faceted, you’re most likely never going to find out whether it’s natural Citrine.

Heated crystals have color changes throughout them. It’s essential to look at the specimen for tips on the crystal that look sort of burnt. Natural Citrine isn’t colored in such a way, and it’s one of the most definitive ways to tell if the stone is heat-treated Amethyst.

That being said, seeing solid color isn’t exactly a good sign, especially if there is solid color throughout a relatively large piece. When we see a crystal with a single uniform color, it’s very likely that it’s man-made.

Heat-treated specimens tend to have more of an orange-yellow color, while true Citrine has more of a gold or straw yellow. The difference can be subtle, and you should see some overlap. Simply put, pale yellow stones with some color-zoning are the most common natural and genuine Citrine.


4. Check For Dichroism

Dichroism is the optical effect caused by crystals. Different stones shine with different colors based on the orientation of the crystal. Some natural forms of Citrine exhibit dichroism that Amethyst doesn’t, nor do glass or plastic.

In order to check for dichroism requires a unique tool; a dichroscope. This specialized tool is extremely valuable for gemologists and jewelers because it can quickly eliminate any shady possibilities.

Don’t be fooled by vendors, sellers, and dealers. Use the techniques we’ve shared to know the difference between real Citrine and fake ones.


Concluding Remarks

If you’re interested in collecting Citrine crystals, it’s important to identify the real Citrine from fake ones.

By looking at the color, clarity, hardness, and origin of the stone, you should be able to tell if Citrine is the real deal. But, of course, you can always consult a gemologist if you’re still unsure whether a crystal is real.

With these tips in mind, you can be sure to get the real thing the next time you’re in the market for Citrine.