Peridot vs Citrine: What Are They, and What’s The Difference?

Though they share similarities, such as both being birthstones, Peridot and Citrine are different in a lot of ways, such as their natural color and hardness. 

This article will look at the similarities and differences between citrine and peridot and how to make sure the stone you have is natural.

Peridot vs Citrine (EXPLAINED)

What is Peridot?

Peridot, also known as chrysolite, comprises olivine and silicate minerals such as magnesium and iron.

The iron in the peridot gives this stone a flaring green color within the gem’s structure.

Peridot’s origins are pretty rare, as it is only one of two gems that aren’t formed in the earth’s crust.

Instead, it’s made far below in the earth’s upper mantle.

This makes peridot rare to find as it can become damaged on its travel from the mantle up to the earth’s surface area.

If you are looking for a consistent shade of green throughout an entire line of stone, peridot is your gem of choice.

It has the unique feature of staying in one relative shade of green, not fluctuating with color except with the intensity and tint of the green.

This green tint is based on the quantity of iron in the gem, so there are some rare yellow, olive, or brownish-green peridot cases.

However, if the iron concentration is deficient, you will see a peridot with an incredibly light color.

What is Citrine?

Citrine is quartz made of colloidal ferric hydroxide minerals, giving it a striking pale yellow, intense yellow, or brown.

Natural citrines are incredibly hard to come across, making commercial citrines more prominent in the market. 

Citrine, visually, looks similar to yellow topaz, so these gems can sometimes become mixed up.

However, a simple hardness test can fix this, as both differ in this area. 

Most citrines in the world come from Brazil, specifically in Rio Grande do Sul.

Citrine comes from the Latin word ‘citrina’, which means ‘yellow’. 

A neat feature of citrine is that sometimes it can be found melded together with amethyst, in which case the stone is called an ametrine. 

What are the Similarities Between Peridot and Citrine?

Both peridot and citrine are birthstones, with peridot in August and citrine in November.

Both are relatively inexpensive, with peridot ranging from $50 to $80 and citrine from $10 to $30 for 1 carat.

What is the Difference Between Peridot and Citrine?

One of their most significant differences is in their color, as yellow and green shades are analogous.

Another big difference is where excavators can find the stones and their hardness.

Peridot is mainly found (in its olivine state) in Jazīrat Zabarjad (Saint Johns Island), Egypt, and the Red Sea. There are also deposits in Burma.

In contrast, citrine is normally found near amethyst in Brazil, Scotland, Uruguay, the Urals, and North Carolina. 

Peridot also has a softer hardness than citrine, requiring jewelers to give peridot extra attention, especially if it is being set in platinum.

Citrine has a higher hardness but still is not as hard as diamond.

Why Do Peridot and Citrine Sometimes Become Mixed Up?

Gem enthusiasts can sometimes mix peridot and citrine by their months, both being birthstones.

However, they are generally not mistaken for each other due to their color differences.

How to Identify Peridot?

There are several ways to test your peridot, some of which include testing it under different lights, looking for imperfections, or a film in the stone.

A key way to identify peridot is with lighting, as the color of natural peridot will not change, even if under natural or artificial light.

This is in contrast to fake peridots, which will change shades of yellow or brown if put under a different light.

These fakes are most likely to be made of glass.

You can also look for any imperfection in the stone, as natural peridot will almost always have a notable flaw in it, such as inclusions or cracks.

On the other hand, if your stone is perfect, it is most likely made of glass.

If you see a film of mist inside or around the stone, you are looking at glass peridot.

Peridots made of glass occasionally are susceptible to giving off a misty sheen in the stone that natural peridot does not.

There are many other ways to check if your peridot is in fact genuine peridot, but it does require taking it to an appraiser or lab technician.

So instead, when looking to purchase a peridot, you can ask for its hardness rating and price.

Peridot should rate between 6.5 and 8 hardness, while a stone such as cubic zirconia will be 8.5 and up.

Cubic zirconia will also normally be much less expensive than real peridot, sometimes by several hundred dollars, depending on the gemstones.

Before purchasing, always confirm with an appraiser the genuineness of your peridot.

How to Identify Citrine?

Real citrine can be spotted due to its even color.

It normally does not become darker or lighter within the stone.

As it is a quartz, citrine will not normally have a prominent, pure white base.

The fault lines in citrine are also smooth and usually horizontal.

Real citrine also has a smoky color without fractions or bubbles.

Sometimes, amethyst, due to its less expensive price tag, is baked to change its color from purple to orange, resulting in a citrine look-alike.

However, the base is still a white, chalky amethyst base, making this fake stand out against a real citrine.

Citrine is also imitated using glass but can be easy to spot as glass is a poor representation of citrine.

Real citrine is a clear gemstone, whereas glass can have imperfections such as bubbles, which will never be present in real citrine. 


Peridot and Citrine are both favorite birthstones and prized for their excellent price point and intrinsic beauty.

Despite having some similarities, both stones are quite different from each other, and it’s usually easy to tell if your stone is real or not.

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peridot vs citrine