Where is Citrine Found in the United States?

Citrine is a beautiful yellow variety of quartz that is highly valued as a semiprecious gemstone. But where exactly can you find citrine in the US? While not as abundant as other quartz varieties like amethyst, there are several notable deposits and mining locations for citrine scattered across the country.

The most significant source of citrine in the US is likely the Quartzsite mining district of Arizona. Located in western Arizona, this region produces a diversity of quartz varieties including large quantities of citrine. Much of the citrine is found in vugs and fractures within massive quartz veins. These veins cut through granite and schist host rocks. The citrine crystals found here can be quite large and clear. Other Arizona locations with citrine include the Grand Canyon and the Salt River Canyon.

Colorado is another state with worthwhile citrine deposits. The Mt. Antero region near the town of Salida generates beautiful yellow and orange citrine crystals. The citrine forms in pegmatite bodies associated with volcanic rocks and alkalic intrusions. Large gem-quality crystals several inches long have been extracted from this locality. Colorado also hosts citrine at the Deer Trail Mine, Platte River Valley, and the Wet Mountains.

Several areas of California have produced citrine specimens over the years. Notable localities include the Little Three Mine in Ramona, the Himalaya Mine in Mesa Grande, and the Gems Hill Mine in San Diego County. These locations host citrine, smokey quartz, and amethyst in pegmatites and granite deposits. While many California mines are depleted, occasional pockets of crystals are still encountered.

In Wyoming, citrine has been found at the Oregon Creek deposit near South Pass City. Beautiful golden crystals several centimeters in length occur here included in white quartz matrix. The original Red Cloud Mine near Hill City, South Dakota was known for yielding large gemmy citrine crystals up to 20 lbs. Unfortunately, it is now closed and the locale is depleted. But South Dakota does host small citrine crystals within the pegmatites of the Black Hills region.

Several states across the US Southeast also have minor occurrences of citrine. North Carolina used to produce golden crystals from the Ray Mica Mine in Mitchell County. In South Carolina, the Martin Marietta Quarry north of Columbia was known to contain citrine. And the Hogg Mine in Georgia has produced quartz crystals with yellow citrine caps. While limited in scope, these Southeast US deposits demonstrate the widespread nature of citrine mineralization across the country.

In addition to classical geologic sources, heated amethyst is sometimes misrepresented as citrine in the gemstone market. Most citrine offered at retail outlets was likely synthetically created in this manner. Naturally formed geologic citrine remains relatively rare. Discerning buyers should be aware of treated amethyst sold under the citrine name. True citrine does certainly occur in the US, distributed across states like Arizona, Colorado, California and Wyoming. But natural untreated material is not commonplace outside of specialty collectors and mineralogists. For gem-quality citrine, the best strategy may be purchasing selectively from reputable dealers.