Hailing from the far southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul comes red citrine. A stone that stands apart from other citrine varieties, red citrine is a gem as fiercely independent as the gaucho culture of its homeland. To understand this fiery gem, one must know more about its place of origin. Join us and discover the deep roots of this passionate red-orange jewel.
The Culture and People of Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is one of the most culturally diverse states in the entire country. Blending together early Amerindian influences alongside those of Portuguese colonization, and later German and Italian immigrants, Rio Grande do Sul truly stands apart from Brazil in its uniqueness. The gaucho identity dominates this region, especially in the southwestern part of the state. Initially, the term referred to a skilled horseman, often known for their bravery, talent in the saddle, and fierce independence. In modern times, the term gaucho can apply to anyone from Rio Grande do Sul, even those living in urban centers!
A Hardy Land of Hard Living
Craggy, mountainous terrain is found throughout Rio Grande do Sul, with areas of grassy plains peppered throughout the landscape. The combination of terrain, along with a pleasant sub-tropical climate makes the area ideal for cattle ranching and raising other livestock. High-quality supplies of meat are so plentiful that the daily consumption of churrasco, a grilled meat dish, is practically a way of life for the gauchos of Rio Grande do Sul. In restaurants, this dish is typically served to diners by slicing portions directly off of a skewer. Many of these steakhouses, widely known as churrascaria, frequently serve as much as one can eat!
Does Mining Still Occur in Rio Grande do Sul?
Modern-day mining operations center around a little town known as Ametista do Sul. Considered by some to be the ‘World’s Amethyst Capital,’ Ametista do Sul produces many exquisite examples of this purple stone. Artisanal techniques are used, as miners follow veins through the basalt. Holes are punched through the host rock, and the extraction of the valuable amethyst begins. Mined material finds itself quickly transported to nearby Soledade, which is a major commercial center for minerals.
Where Does Red Citrine Come From?
Red citrine would have been mined under very similar conditions described as above, many years ago. Large scale citrine operations haven’t existed in the region for over 20 years. Previously, the red citrine jewelry collection from Shop LC was assembled from hand-picked specimens our buying team selected during the 2018 JCK Las Vegas trade show. Scouring the supply this vendor amassed from over 20 years of personal collecting, our buyers negotiated for the vendor’s last parcel with no new supply to ever be expected. During our January 2019 red citrine event, the majority of this supply was exhausted.
Our most recent find came from our bi-annual buying trip to Brazil. Twice a year, since 2003, our team travels to Brazil to connect with our miner and vendor partners. In September 2018, during this buying trip, our team connected with Sillov, a miner and collector of over 10 years! Fortunately, when working with him, we were able to purchase his supply of red citrine. This was the first time he had ever come across this rare red-orange gemstone. It’s currently unknown if Sillov will be able to provide more red citrine to Shop LC in the future.
This uniquely red color is scarce to find in citrine. For our January 2019 red citrine event, only around 15 to 20-percent of mined material was suitable for displaying this color range. With our recent find through Sillov, set to air during April 2019, only about 6-percent now shows this preferred color.
On the market, this stone draws the most comparisons to Palmeira citrine, a delightful orange gem. Those experienced in shopping with Shop LC might compare it to the fortified wine-color of Santa Ana Madeira Citrine. While both are similar in hue, each of these gems lacks the distinctive red overtones which set red citrine apart.
With limited availability, future supply is not guaranteed. To avoid future disappointment, tune-in April 3 from noon to 7PM CT for what may be the last ever red citrine event from Shop LC.
If you can’t wait, starting shopping for red citrine jewelry now.