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The setting of the pendant was handmade in the mid-19 century of 9 karat yellow gold. The setting is elaborate with a double frame design around the gemstone and a solid back to the pendant. The larger natural Citrine gemstone is 20.3 carats. The stone is foil backed in the setting. This method was popular from Georgian period, the lapidary techniques were not as advanced as they are today, and in order to add light, color and vibrancy to stones, gold, silver, and metallic foils were used to enhance the set gemstones. During this period, that the primary indoor light sources were candles, and foils were used to brighten the face in these more dimly and romantically lit rooms.
History of the Citrine:
More than 450 years ago a German metallurgist by the name of Georg Bauer realized the value of a name in marketing and renamed yellow quartz “citrine”. Known to some as "the father of modern mineralogy” Bauer used the name citrine in his 1556 publication about gemstones and jewelry. The most likely root of the word citrine is from the old French word for yellow--citron--or the Latin word citrus for the color of citrus fruit. Madeira citrine is a darker, reddish-brown variety of quartz. Some say it gets its name from the Brazilian word for wood or wood-colored, while others say Madeira citrine is named after the fortified wine made in the Madeira Islands just off the coast of Portugal.
Citrine In History
Several biblical scholars feel citrine fits the description of the tenth of twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate as found in the book of Exodus. The stone was referred to as chrysolitus (Greek for golden stone) in both the Roman Catholic and Latin versions of the Old Testament. (Of course the golden stone interpretation may have been one of two other golden gems--topaz or beryl). The King James Version of the Bible points to beryl as the tenth stone in Aaron’s breastplate. In that case, the golden stone may have been heliodor, which is found in several locations including Madagascar and the African country of Namibia.
Citrine has been used as an embellishment on tools and in the jewelry making industry for thousands of years. In ancient Greece, it gained popularity as a decorative gem during the Hellenistic Age, roughly between 300 and 150 B.C. In the 17th century, Scottish weapon makers placed citrine on dagger handles, sometimes using a single large citrine crystal as the handle itself.
Largely due to Queen Victoria’s fascination with the gem, citrine became a popular gemstone for traditional Scottish kilt pins and shoulder brooches. In 1852, the British Empire’s Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, began construction on a new summer residence within a hundred yards of the 15th century fortress in the Scottish Highlands known as Balmoral Castle. (The Castle still stands today in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and is a favorite private country retreat for the current royal family). Queen Victoria was so fond of Scotland and her new Balmoral home that she commanded guests to wear full Highland plaid attire. This gave her the perfect opportunity to share her love of gemstones found within her kingdom, of which the beautiful citrine was a favorite.
Handmade chain is 16 inches long, with each link handmade and hand soldered and only could be made by a Master-goldsmith.
The pendant is 1 1/4 inches long and 1 1/8 inches wide. The pendant has one small scratch on the gemstone only seen with a loop, otherwise in excellent condition.