Calcite vs Citrine: What Are They, And What’s The Difference?

For decades, people have been mixing up Calcite and Citrine stones, but why?

We decided to delve into it, and we’ve uncovered the history of gems, their makeup, similarities, differences, and why people continue the Calcite vs Citrine debate. 

Calcite vs Citrine (EXPLAINED)

What is Calcite?

It is a mineral consisting of carbonate ion but the most durable variant of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Calcite is defined as value three on the Mohs scale which is used to define the hardness of minerals, which is reliant on how the compare when scratched.

Calcite crystals are available in almost a thousand various shapes and sizes.

Scalenohedra are the most prevalent, with a variety of habits such as acute to obtuse rhombohedral, tabular shapes, prisms, or various scalenohedral.

Calcite comes in a number of twinning types, which contributes to the variety of shapes.

Structures that are fibrous, granular, lamellar, or compact are all feasible.

Lublinite is a mineral that is fibrous and efflorescent.

Cleavage usually occurs in three directions, all of which are parallel to the structure of the rhombohedron.

It has difficult to acquire conchoidl fracture.

Scalenohedral faces are chiral and come in pairs with mirror-image symmetry; contact with chiral biomolecules like L- and D-amino acids can impact their formation.

Rhombohedral faces have achiral faces.

See Also: Can Calcite Scratch Glass?


Calcite has a Mohs hardness of 3 and a specific gravity of 2.71, and when crystallized, it has a vitreous sheen.

When impurities are added to the mineral, it might turn gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, or even black.

Calcite was carved into many different things by ancient Egyptians, who associated it with Bast, who was their goddess.

Her name relates to the word alabaster due to the close association.

Similar artifacts and applications have been carved out of the same material by many other cultures.

On overcast days, Vikings may have used a transparent type of calcite known as Iceland spar to navigate.

During World War II, high-grade optical calcite was utilized for gun sights, particularly bomb sights and anti-aircraft artillery.

Calcite has also been used in studies to create an invisibility cloak.

Soil remediation, soil stabilization, and concrete repair are just a few of the applications for microbiologically precipitated calcite.

Citrine is a mineral that is found in nature.

Citrine comes in a variety of colors, from bright lemon yellow to rich amber.

The yellow tint comes from iron traces in the quartz.

Because this is an uncommon occurrence in nature, most citrine is created by heat-treating other quartz kinds, most often purple amethyst or smoky quartz, which are more frequent and less expensive.

These stones change color from their original tint to a gorgeous shade of gold when heated.

Natural citrine is almost always pale yellow in color and costs substantially more than processed citrine.

Citrine gemstones with a clear, vivid yellow-to-brownish-red color are the most sought-after; nonetheless, naturally occurring citrine with this coloration is extremely rare.

Natural stones in this color category are relatively expensive because of their scarcity.

The countries with the most natural citrine are Uruguay, Spain, Mexico, Madagascar, and Bolivia.

Amethysts that have been heat-treated are mostly found in Brazil, although they can also be found in North Carolina, Colorado, California, Russia, and France.

Citrine is widely available, low-cost, and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, including gigantic ones, making it suitable for large pendants and statement jewelry.

It has a Mohs hardness of seven out of 10, making it scratch-resistant and resistant to normal wear and tear.

The gemstone was particularly popular during the Art Deco era of the early twentieth century.

The Egyptians were among the first people to discover the yellow stone, and they used the jewels as talismans.

Ancient Greeks carved iconic images onto rock crystal jewelry, which were then fashioned into rings by Roman priests.

Between 300 and 150 BC, they were discovered on the handles of swords and daggers in Scotland.

While the stone was thought to have been inserted for aesthetic purposes, it was also thought to provide protection.

Citrine is now known as the “merchant’s stone” and is linked to wealth and success.

Citrine is thought to contain a number of physical qualities that benefit the body, including increasing digestion, the spleen, and the pancreas.

It’s meant to help with eye problems, blood circulation, and slowing the progression of degenerative diseases.

Its bright warmth is also known to help people with seasonal affective disorder.

What do they have in common?

The biggest resemblance between the two gems is that they both have yellow variations.

Citrine, on the other hand, requires heat to turn a bright yellow color. Citrine is a pale yellow color in its natural state.

Both were utilized in armament, but for very different purposes.

Calcite was primarily utilized by armies in explosive sights and weapons to destroy airplanes.

Trials were also conducted to see if Calcite might be used as a stealth cloak.

Meanwhile, the Roman warriors inserted Citrine stones into the handles of their daggers and swords.

Both obtain their colors from impurities, like as iron in the quartz in the case of Citrine, or heat treatment in the case of other quartz varieties.

Many people think that both stones have metaphysical properties.

What Are the Differences Between Calcite and Citrine?

The distinctions between; hence and Citrine are numerous.

Citrine is a quartz mineral, hence the quality is higher on the glassy end of the spectrum.

Calcite is a carbonate mineral that is typically darker in color or murky in appearance.

Citrine is substantially harder than Calcite, measuring seven points on the Mohs scale to Calcite’s three.

Citrine can stand on its own due to its durability and resistance to water, whereas Calcite can be compact, lamellar, granular, or fibrous.

Calcite, unlike Citrine, has hundreds of variants, even though Citrine is more popular.

Calcite, on the other hand, is more common and less expensive, but Citrine, especially in its natural state, maybe rather costly.

Why Do People Mix Them Up?

It’s understandable why so many people mix up calcite and a Citron.

This is because Calcite comes in various colors, and one of those colors is the same as that of Citron, which is yellow.

Citrine is so rare in its natural form that many people will readily mistake it, once seen, for Calcite. 

The Bottom Line

With Calcite and Citrine, there are many reasons that both get mixed up due to the yellow version of Calcite being so close to Citrine.

However, in terms of value, Citrine is tougher and costs way more than Calcite, but both gets are lovely.

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