It's also my understanding that citrine is actually closely
related to amethyst (which is related to quartz),
Not “related to”, but rather “are”. quartz is the mineral itself.
Both amethyst and citrine ARE quartz. The names merely denote the
and much of the inexpensive citrine on the market is amethyst
that has been heat-treated to change its color.
Probably true, to an extent, though also a good deal will have
started as a somewhat paler grade of citrine, where additional heat
treating improved the color.
The "true" citrine is more expensive and more clear in color.
Well, maybe, or maybe not. Citrine that came out of the ground that
color might just as likely have gotton that way through natural heat
There’s no practical way to test whether a given citrine started as
amethyst and was treated to citrine, or whether it came out of the
ground as citrine, though specialized lab testing might determine if
the chemistry of given citrine is consistant with it’s possibly
having been an amethyst at one time, there’s no real way to be
absolutely sure of when or how heating occured, making it sort of a
Even if the chemistry of the stone’s impurities are such as to prove
that it must have always been citrine colored, there’s still no real
way to tell if additional heating was done or not, or when/how that
Pricing on citrine is based on current color. Even the best is
reasonably enough priced that few dealers pay much attention to
worrying about whether a given stone is untreated or not. Most folks
just assume it all is, a safe enough bet.
This approach, of course, is NOT the case in most more costly gems,
especially those where the distinction between treated an untreated
is more easily tested.