Full Guide To (Heat-Treated) Amethyst vs. Citrine: This Is The Difference

Though amethyst and citrine look different, they are actually very similar. They are both quartz and have the same chemical makeup. Then, what’s the difference between (heat-treated) amethyst and citrine?

In order to make citrine, amethyst (or smoky quartz) is heated to about 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This can happen naturally, but more often it is done by sellers. Natural citrine is rare, expensive, and has a pale yellow color. Heat-treated amethyst is often bright yellow. The metaphysical properties change as a result of the treatment.   

Citrine is often misunderstood – only natural citrine is often seen as ‘real’ citrine when in reality, whether natural or man-made, both stones receive the same treatment. Some were heated by the Earth’s mantle, others by a person, but all citrine is heat-treated amethyst or smoky quartz.
Because this treatment does not affect its chemical makeup, citrine and amethyst have very similar metaphysical properties. The only real difference is the result of the change in color.

Also Read: Amethyst vs. Tanzanite – What’s The Difference?

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Heat Treated Amethyst vs Citrine – How To Tell The Difference?

The easiest way to spot the difference between these two stones is by looking at the color. However, there are also other physical differences.


Amethyst comes in different shades of purple. The crystal’s color variety is a result of trace elements, iron, and transition metals within its structure.  Amethyst colors range from light to dark purple and on some occasions pink. The most valuable amethyst variety is the deep Siberian amethyst whose primary hue ranges from 75-to 80%. 

Amethyst will also display blue or red secondary hues dependent on the light they are viewed on and fade color when overly exposed to light or heat sources.

Also Read: Pink Amethyst vs. Rose Quartz – What’s The Difference?

On the other hand, citrine is created when amethyst or smoky quartz is heated to high temperatures to produce a yellow quartz. This can be done by the Earth’s mantle (natural citrine) or by sellers (heat-treated citrine).
Even natural citrine can sometimes be heat treated by sellers, as natural citrine is pale and heating intensifies the color. The citrine produced is golden with brown to dark brownish tints. Natural citrine is pale orange or yellow with brown to dark brownish tints. 

Apart from its color, you can look at the base color of the crystal to determine if it’s natural or heat-treated citrine. Natural citrine is one color all throughout, whereas heat-treated citrine will have a white base color.

In some occurrences, citrine and amethyst can occur together in one crystal. The phenomenon results in a stone named ametrine.

Pattern and Clarity

 As amethyst and citrine are basically the same stone, they have the same clarity as well. Both stones’ range from transparent to translucent and have no evident cleavages. The stones’ luster is vitreous.


Both stones rate 7 on the Mohs scale, just like other forms of quartz. If you’re unfamiliar, the Mohs scale of hardness determines a stone’s hardness by measuring how scratch-resistant it is. According to this scale, a stone can scratch any other mineral with a lower score. For reference, talc is a 1, whereas diamond is a 10.

A stone needs to rate at least a 6-7 in order to withstand water, salt, and sun. The hardness of these stones makes them great for use in jewelry because they are durable and not easily damaged. Despite the stone’s hardness, care should be taken to preserve their shine and integrity.

Chemical Composition

 Both minerals belong to the silicate and quartz family. Silicon oxide is the chemical component that makes these two. Amethyst is the violet quartz variety while citrine forms when amethyst is heated at a high temperature of about 900 degrees. This process does not change the stone’s chemical makeup, but only changes the color.  Natural citrine is rare and very expensive which makes the heat-treated variant more popular.


Care should be taken to maintain the polish and color of both stones. As you now know, the color of these stones will intensify if they are exposed to extreme heat. However, if left in the sun, the color might actually fade. This is the result of UV rays. It is therefore recommended to keep any crystal out of the sun for extended periods of time.

Also Read: Can Citrine Be In The Sun?

If you want to clean the stone, it is best to briefly run them under some water and dry them with a soft cloth. You could also just manually polish the stones.

In terms of energetic cleansing, neither stone holds negative energies and hence do not require cleansing. In fact, the stones are often used in the cleansing of other stones.

Like other stones, the two require recharging to restore their properties after use. Recharge the stones using dry salt, moonlight or place them on natural unfiltered water then air dry. Moonlight is most preferred when recharging these stones because unlike the sun it doesn’t alter a stone’s color. If you choose to soak them in water, beware that any stone left in water for extended periods of time might turn dull.

Also Read: Can Amethyst Go In Water?


 Amethyst is found in various parts of the world.  Larger amethyst geodes are found in Brazil. Other deposits where amethyst can be found are in Uruguay, Zambia, and Mexico.

 Natural citrine can be found in Russia and Madagascar. The largest heat-treated citrine producer is Brazil.

Ametrine stones are unique to Bolivia.

Heat Treated Amethyst vs Citrine – (Metaphysical) Properties

Although the stones are very similar, each stone has unique properties which might influence your choice to work with either of them. Below the different properties are explained, as well as the different chakra, planet, element, and zodiac sign associations for each stone.


Beware that crystals are never a replacement for professional medical help. If you have any issues, see a doctor first.

Physically amethyst can help in removing toxins from the body, strengthening the immune system, improving digestion, and tackling hormonal imbalances.
Mentally, amethyst encourages the user to take action and increases creativity
Emotionally amethyst discourages negative thinking and helps to deal with grief and sadness.

Citrine on the other hand, can increase energy, aid digestion, and help with other stomach-related issues.

Mentally, citrine can improve communication and change the mindset to a more positive one.

Emotionally, citrine encourages optimism and confidence. The stone is great for people who are susceptible to anxiety and depression.

Chakra Association

Chakras are the different energy centers in a person’s body and represent the different aspects of our lives. Each chakra is associated with a different color, which helps us to match gemstones to these chakras. We can also match gemstones to the different chakras based on their properties.

The purple color of an amethyst stone means that it is associated with the crown chakra. The crown chakra is located at the top of the head. The chakra governs our spirituality and communication with our spiritual guides. Amethyst is placed at the crown to activate and unblock any blocked energies on this chakra. The crown chakra blocks due to stress and conflict.

Also Read: What Chakra Is Amethyst?

The yellow color of citrine suggests that it is related to the solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus chakra is located below the belly button and represents how we perceive and express ourselves.  Citrine is used to balance and activate energies within this chakra. Blockages in the solar plexus chakra are identified by a lack of self-esteem and inability to communicate our needs to others.

Also Read: What Chakra Is Citrine?


All gemstones are closely related to the four elements of nature; fire, water, air, and earth.

Amethyst is associated with the water element. Crystals connected to the water element help nurture friendships and are also great for emotional healing. Amethyst is considered a stone of friendship.

Citrine on the other hand draws energies from the fire element. Fire element crystals are symbolic of transformation and psychic power. Using citrine will help transform your fears into clarity. The stone will also help align you to your higher self and protect your aura.

Also Read: What Element Is Amethyst?

Planetary Associations

Amethyst is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. Jupiter is the planet associated with adventure and expansion while Neptune is associated with our intuition and spirituality. Neptune also teaches us to be more compassionate and receptive to our psychic abilities.

Citrine is ruled over by Jupiter and the sun. The yellow stone will transfer the energies of the sun to you. Stones associated with Jupiter will bring prosperity and luck into your life. Jupiter is also the planet that influences optimism and expansion.

The sun in astrology is the giver of life.  The sun represents our ego and personality. Under the influence of the sun, the citrine stone will give you the willpower you require to achieve what you want in life. The sun gives identity and drives you into seeking and expressing your true self.

Birthstone and Zodiac Association

Amethyst is a modern and traditional birthstone for Pisces and Aquarius born in February.  Amethyst is also the 6th wedding anniversary stone.

Pisces will do well with the help of amethyst; not only because of its properties, but also because they are both ruled by Jupiter. Pisces people are hyper-sensitive and very susceptible to negative energies around them. Amethyst will help Pisces deal with their anxiety and maintain their emotional stability. 

For Aquarius, amethyst can help curb pessimistic thinking, and instead allow this sign a little more stability.

Apart from Pisces, Sagittarius is also ruled by Jupiter. Those with this sign are intuitive but can also live in their heads most of the time. This attribute can make them more likely to fall into depression. Amethyst helps the sign get the answers they are looking for and silences the feelings of self-doubt.

Amethyst is also a talismanic stone for the Scorpio zodiac. This adventurous sign is always seeking answers to their purpose in this life. Amethyst helps guide their thoughts and amplifies the best attributes of this sign.

Citrine is the modern and traditional birthstone for Scorpios and Sagittarius born in November. It is also the stone for the 13th wedding anniversary. It is ruled by Jupiter (which also rules Sagittarius and Pisces) and the Sun (which rules Leo).

Keeping their birthstone close will provide Scorpio and Sagittarius with a comforting, familiar energy. It will also give these signs a little confidence boost, as well as a more positive outlook.

Also Read: The Complete Guide To Amethyst And The Zodiac Signs

Numerical Vibration

The vibration frequencies of crystals must resonate with your need or your zodiac sign for maximum benefits. Numerical vibrations are the energies emitted by a stone or crystal.  Amethyst energies are receptive and vibrate at 7.

Number 7 in numerology signifies completion. The number is also often used to represent a life free of obstacles. People who resonate with this number are seekers of ultimate truth and knowledge. Number 7 is a perfect blend between spirituality and practicality.

Citrine stones’ energies are projective and vibrate at 8. Number 8 in spirituality represents success and material possession.  If you constantly see this number, you can expect financial success. The number also represents our mindset and mental stability.  Number 8 is also associated with power and order. The number indicates the need to weigh your options from all angles before making a decision.

Best Combinations

Correct crystal combinations will equip and protect your energies, as well as help you to get the most out of the crystal you are working with.
Amethyst can be paired with rose quartz for luck and to protect new relationships.

Amethyst combined with clear quartz is a powerful healing remedy for long and short-term illnesses. This pair will also surround you with positivity.

Citrine is paired with amethyst to harness your psychic and physical abilities. Citrine is a great manifestation stone while amethyst is great for imagination and logical thinking. This combination will help you achieve what you are wishing for soundly.

Smoky quartz and citrine will eliminate blockages in our spirituality and improve our psychic abilities. Both stones do not accumulate negative energies within them because of their self-cleaning properties.

Also Read: The Complete Guide To Wearing Citrine

Neat Crystal

I am a Crystal & Gem Specialist with 20 years experience collecting and analyzing crystals and gems. My main focus is on crystal and gem abilities to influence our human experience through energy caused by visual and physical properties of each. I also love to dive into the formation, chemical makeup, and rare impurities found within crystals - a Geologist in training. I started Neat Crystal as a place to jot down my thoughts, notes, and share my knowledge to help others.

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