Yes, citrine can go in water. But in general, we advise against it.
Extended soaking in water baths or even salt water baths can cause damage to your otherwise hardy crystal. In this article, we’ll explain why that is.
First, Can Citrine Go In Water?
Yes, citrine can go in water.
When it comes to rocks and minerals, understanding the chemical makeup and characteristics of your stone is a really important step to caring for them.
The chemical makeup of the stone (meaning what elements it contains) is usually one of the first reasons why we recommend against putting a stone in water.
Malachite, for example, is one of these stones that we don’t recommend that you soak or even really get wet. A malachite stone is full of copper, and when the stone meets water, a chemical reaction results, producing a toxic gas.
With other stones, bad stuff like asbestos can leech out from the stone into the water.
Understanding the physical properties of the stone is the next important reason why we recommend against putting a stone in water.
Selenite, for example, is extremely water soluble. It is a really soft material as well. So when it is placed in a water bath for an extended period of time, the stone can lose a lot of its shape into the water, and it cannot be repaired.
As for citrine, its chemical makeup as a silicate mineral with ferric impurities means that it can go into water without creating a toxic cloud of gas. For the most part, members of the quartz family are stable and non-reactive.
And, as a member of the quartz family, it is not water soluble.
Should Citrine Go In Water?
Even though citrine can go in water and emerge unscathed, we don’t recommend it.
Extended sessions soaking in water (or in in a salt water solution) can encourage the stone to develop cracks and break apart. This can happen even to stones that are very hard.
Even though you can’t see them, your polished and beautiful stone has tiny fissures (cracks) in its surface, too small for you to see.
When you place the stone in water, tiny water molecules work their way into the fissures and bounce around, encouraging the fissure to widen.
Over time, you may start to notice growing cracks. Or, you might notice that your stone breaks apart without notice, and without realizing that it was the water molecules working against you in the invisible breaks in the material.
While harder stones are more impervious to this kind of damage, they can still suffer from it.
Another thing that water baths can do is mar the surface of your crystal.
if you bought a finished piece, you probably bought something that was shiny and smooth and beautiful. Sometimes the products that are used to make that surface shiny are water soluble, and get stripped away when you soak the stone.
Sometimes the water will react with the stone itself (or impurities in it that you weren’t even aware of), which can cause the color of the stone to change.
Finally, and this is especially risky for stones that contain trace amounts of metal impurities, soaking in water encourages rust to develop. This can cause the stone to turn yellow, or even develop unsightly brownish spots.
These spots can be really difficult to remove because the rusting may have originated in the tiny too small to see fissures. Sometimes you can return the stone to its prior brilliance with polishing, and sometimes nothing can be done without cutting the stone apart.
What About All The Practitioners Who Recommend Putting Minerals and Crystals In Water?
People are free to do what they want to do. We don’t think that putting citrine in water will cause something bad to happen to you.
But we are concerned that putting your beautiful yellow citrine in water could encourage the stone to crack or break, or make it easier to damage. We are also concerned about the impurities which give citrine its yellow color.
The iron in the stone will most certainly rust over time if the stone is allowed to languish in water, and the color of the stone will change.
Sadly, most enthusiasts who are new to crystals will have to go through the experience of damaging a stone with a salt water bath before they make changes to how they care of their minerals.
As for the why, we think that it is most likely that the advice about soaking minerals in water is old and just often repeated. In recent years, more unique and beautiful materials have become available to us to handle and purchase.
Additional methods of polishing and finishing these materials are also being practiced.
If one was just handling a piece of jagged, unfinished quartz, there wouldn’t be too much of a concern. But now that you can purchase a piece of beautiful kyanite from the other side of the world (which wouldn’t have been available until recently), it doesn’t surprise me that information and teachings about care is slow to be updated.
If you want to clean citrine with water, go ahead. Hold it under the water for a few seconds, then retrieve it and buff it completely dry. Then set it aside and give it a chance to fully air dry, flipping it now and again.
You can also buff it with a soft cloth.
If you want to cleanse citrine without water, we recommend that you use other cleansing stones to assist (like selenite) or spend some time with the stone in meditation to clear it and return it to a place where it is working with you and for you.
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