Fake Citrine abounds on eBay…

Citrine is one of those minerals that causes the most confusion when people start collecting minerals.

Naturally occuring Citrine is a variety of Quartz that is found at only in superb examples few places in the world. The color of natural Citrine is a lemon shade, in stark contrast to the predominatly red influence to the majority of “Citrine” available to begining collectors.

Since there are so few locations for great quality natural Citrine, the demand for this brightly colored mineral lead to people figuring out that if you stuck certain types of Amethyst into a kiln you could turn the purple into a deep reddish orange.

I’ve sent numerous messages to some dealers about the misleading descriptions and they respond by making the descriptions that much more misleading!

Take this quote for example…

Citrine is very difficult to acquire, and the cost is more expensive than Amethyst of the same quality. This Citrine is a higher standard of quality which of course commands a higher price as with all of my Citrine speciments they have very little matrix which means more crystals for your money.

The problem with this statement is that there is no difficulty to acquire heat treated Citrine from Brazil. Do you need a 5000 pound contaner load? I can have one delivered to you with a couple of phone calls. The Amethyst deposits of South America are nearly limitless and while amazingly beautiful, not lacking in abundance. The problem with heat treated Amethyst is that it becomes brittle and subject to cracking. Is this a “bad” thing? Not really, there is always room for treated decorator minerals. But honesty should be key, informing the customer of what they are buying, rather than leading them to belive that bright orange citrine crystals come out of the basalts of southern Brazil. This stuff is sold by the kilo. Don’t be a sucker, shop around for the best price and form, you’ll get much more enjoyment that way.

Now, a language barrier is leading many dealers from Asia to sell Quartz that has been found with a layer of Iron Oxide over the surface as Citrine. In reality, a dip in some Oxalic acid will return these Quartz crystals to their proper form, white Quartz. Western Vs. Eastern ideals on names and the nature of fakes varies and while we might demand proper identification, the asian market will just label minerals whatever suits them that day. So, iron stained Quartz becomes Citrine! But in reality, most people remove the Iron staining from their specimens.

I hate Fake Rocks!

I hate Fake Rocks!

6 Responses to “Fake Citrine abounds on eBay…”

  1. Gretchen Caltner Says:

    Hey thanks for the added info. I was at a Gem & Mineral show today and my girlfriend had never been. I was showing her the many samples of heat treated amethyst being sold as citrine and one of the vendors got very upset. He said I had no right to tell people that because I had no way to know his stones weren’t genuine. Besides the obvious burnt color, he was selling very large pieces, like 15+ carat for a dollar a carat, supposedly ‘gem quality’. A true citrine of that size and quality would surely not be in a ceramic bowl with about 50 others selling at that price…
    Anyway, I decided it was only far to purchase one and research it. Your informatyion was helpful. I have a $10 very beautiful decorative stone, but it’s not real. My friend learned a good lesson about buyer beware though.

  2. Scott Smith Says:

    Let me mention another citrine scam that goes on without cooking. I do a lot of collecting of Keokuk geodes as they region is only 45 minutes away. A couple months ago we had a great “geode-fest” that drew I think 5-6 vendors. I trade with a couple of them back and forth when I have something they are looking for or vice versa. We know those beautiful “citrine” geodes, “that can only be found in a few isolated spots” around the Warsaw Formation and the extremely rare “red quartz” geodes found in 2-3 spots (that I genuinely know of) are actually stained quartz, from the weathering of pyrite, marcasite in the case of the “citrine” geodes and in the latter case hematite.

    Now don’t get me wrong, these geodes are beautiful, and in a way they are delicate. If cleaned wrong, they lose the surface weathering mineral and “become” clear or if included with iron, smokey quartz. I find the geology behind the beauty to be as interesting as the beauty of the stones. So when I go to the shows that feature geodes or when I see a dealer selling geodes I look for geodes and how they are described. On the day they had the show across from Keokuk, I was chatting with my vendor friends and checking out the other tables. The dealers I know all had some designation to let people know they weren’t getting a citrine geode on the label. One has a fold up display board that explains how weathering occurs, how the quartz gets stained both yellow and red. It’s a neat thing that inspired how I am making my display for the specimens I have by tracing the intermediate steps, having a few uncleaned, others at various stages of weathering and then a few cleaned the correct way to preserve the weathering effect and how going too far will produce a still pretty quartz geode.

    This day though, a woman wanted a citrine geode (is citrine a birthstone or something?) and her boyfriend was determined she was getting a citrine geode whatever the cost. And they caused a huge scene because my friend’s explanation was “just a pack of lies.” He was perfectly happy to sell them an absolutely beautiful geode with the desired effect of “pyrite weathered quartz.” It was a 5″ geode for $20 which is a pretty good price in my book, but incensed the couple went to the very next vendor. He explained how my friend was well-known for having crazy ideas about rocks and that my friend just kept the very rare ones for his own collection, like “true citrine Keokuk geodes.” He told about them being so very, very rare (which I guess non-existent is pretty rare) and the tell-tale sign was the patches of clear quartz and the pale yellow in other places. It was really quite an interesting tale. Suitably placated the couple opened up his wallet of a nice 3″ geode for the “bargain” price of $60.

    He laughed as they walked away telling my friend he needed to learn how to give them their dreams if he wanted to make money selling rocks. After the festival, we spoke with the sponsors of the show and that vendor is not going to be welcome back, but it’s a sad thing. Some folks don’t want to hear the truth and others are all too willing to sell the truth for a hefty profit. How does that saying go, “A fool and his money…”

  3. Mike Future Says:

    So the only way to get genuine citrine is to learn how to recognize it?

  4. Tim Says:

    Someone please lead me to the right place to purchase real genuine natural citrine crystals. I started out buying on ebay and after reading more and more, I find that most if not all of mine are fakes. This is very frustrating as to the sellers I purchased this stuff from assured me it was real. Now I’m beginning to actually see the difference. I search the web for the real stuff and it’s pretty much a dead give away when you see a variety of citrine on these sites and you can clearly tell the most of those are fakes. That doesn’t give me very much confidence in buying the ones that look like they might be real on the same site. I can’t seem to find anyone that offer’s the real deal that’s not selling more stories than anything else. It’s so very sad. I’m willing to pay for it, but I only want to purchase something that is truly authentic citrine. Wikapedia has a very beautiful pic of a citrine that has been cut into a gem. That’s what I’ve been using to kind of compare the differences. Please send help..! I just want a few of these genuine babys for my family, friends and especially myself. The metaphysical properties are out standing. Thanks so much.

  5. Tim Says:

    Ooops, one more thing… Does anyone know if there is some kind of test that can be performed on these stones I have now to see if they are real citrine or not? Thanks again.

  6. Comparing Natural with Synthetic Leather Says:

    Comparing Natural with Synthetic Leather

    Fake Citrine abounds on eBay… – FakeMinerals.com

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