Is Your Citrine “Fake”? Natural vs. Heat Treated Citrine

citrine crystal real or fake

Citrine is by far my favorite stone. I don’t remember what hit me first, the meaning or the sight of it. Citrine is a powerful stone for manifesting wealth and abundance. It has a way of raising your energy and knocking negativity to the curb.

Visually, natural citrine is a clear, golden or honey hue with tiny constellations of crystallization inside. When you hold natural citrine, the world takes on a powerful warmth, which makes sense. Some say citrine holds the power of the sun.[1]

Shop natural citrine

Natural vs. heat-treated citrine

What I didn’t realize until I did some digging is that most of the citrine you see in crystal shops is actually “fake” or “common” citrine. Also known in crystal circles as “heat-treated” citrine.

But what it actually is is heat-treated amethyst. I was SO confused about this for so long. Most crystal shops will sell both interchangeably, although the clear, quartz-like natural citrine is much more expensive.

Which begs the questions: are these actually two different stones? Is one better than the other? Which one should I spend my money on?

I use most of my crystals in spells and energy healing. It seems pretty important to know the energy and healing properties of each stone.

So, what’s the difference between natural citrine and “fake” or heat-treated citrine? Let’s dig in and find out.

Read on to find out:

  • Natural and heat-treated citrine: how to tell the difference
  • The citrine debate: do natural and heat-treated citrine have the same energy?
  • The properties of natural citrine
  • The properties of heat-treated citrine
  • How to choose the right citrine for you

Natural and heat-treated citrine: how to tell the difference

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Natural citrine is clear quartz with traces of iron. The iron and geothermal heat give it its lemony hue.

Most natural citrine is almost as clear as quartz and ranges in color from pale golden to deep champagne yellow. They’re so clear, they’re often mistaken for a light smokey or clear quartz.

It usually comes in points, double points, clusters, and tumbled stones. My trick for identifying natural citrine is its clarity. If it has more of a whitish/yellow cloudiness to it or it’s in more of a geode formation, then it’s more likely heat-treated.

natural citrine vs heat treated

Heat-treated citrine starts its life as an amethyst and is heated at temperatures around 900-1200°F. It’s usually found in geode or cluster form. I’ve also seen it as points, spheres, and tumbled stones. Some look remarkably similar to natural citrine. Both amethyst and citrine are from the quartz family, after all.  

heat treated citrine common fake

The citrine debate: do natural and heat treated citrine have the same energy?

Apparently, this is somewhat of a debate. Personally, I find natural citrine to have a completely different energy than heat treated citrine.

That said, I think heat-treated citrine gets a bad wrap for being somewhat “manmade” or at least manhandled.

Heat-treated citrine isn’t bad. It’s just different.

Or are they different?

There are some camps that insist the heating process changes the amethyst energy into a more citrine energy, I’m assuming because of the color change. Color frequency = energetic frequency, I guess?

The theory is that the earth creates citrine stones via a natural geothermal heating process and heat treating or baking amethyst is simply mimicking that process.

That said, it’s pretty universally agreed upon that the heat-treated stones, even if amethysts can take on citrine energy, are less powerful.

Personally, I feel the difference. Natural citrine has a warm, intense, golden, honey-like energy that makes me feel like a queen. Heat-treated citrine is much less potent and while they make me happy, they don’t inspire me as much as the natural stones.

So here are some ideas of how the two energies are different.[1,2]

Properties of natural citrine

This is such a delicious, powerful stone. Here are just some of the classic properties of natural citrine:

  • Sparks and deepens creativity and imagination
  • Clears your thoughts so you can focus on what really matters
  • Guides you to your truth, then sets the fire that will help you achieve your goals; helps bring your dreams to fruition
  • Brings abundance to all things: love, money, and connection to self
  • Clears your channel to divine inspiration, especially when it comes to money, your career, or creative flow.
  • Identifies your blocks and helps you move through them
  • Connects you to your highest self and personal power
  • Sparks the courage to make hard decisions

Properties of heat-treated citrine

Many crystal connoisseurs consider heat treated citrine its own stone. It doesn’t really hold the energy of amethyst after it’s heated, but it’s not really citrine either. That said, common citrine gets a bad wrap. It still holds some benefits and has a light, happy energy that can brighten any room. Common citrine can:

  • Help spark your imagination and your creative process
  • Gives you an assertive, outgoing edge
  • Helps you define emotional boundaries when you need them, and maintain those boundaries
  • Helps you identify your blocks to wealth and abundance
  • Lifts the heaviness in a situation; stuck in a funk? Common citrine will help you see situations in a more positive light and release negative thought patterns.

How to find the right citrine for you

At the end of the day, your connection with a crystal is personal.

You can shop blessed and reiki-infused natural citrine points here.

Take a trip to your local crystal store and hold both of them. Do you get a different energy from each stone? Note how you feel holding one or gazing at it versus the other one. If there’s no difference - fantastic! If there is, go with the stone that feels right to you.

Still curious about crystals and how to use them?

Check out my free guide to manifesting with crystals. 

fake citrine

Guidance and references:

  1. The Crystal Bible, A Definitive Guide to Crystals. Judy Hall. Walking Stick Press. 2003.


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