Scottish Cairngorm and Silver Brooch.
Scottish Cairngorm and Silver Brooch.

Cairngorm is the name given to a citrine quartz variety with an amber or brown color traditionally mined in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. During the Victorian period, cairngorms were extensively used in traditional Scottish jewelry such as kilt ornaments, bonnet brooches or carved thistle shapes. Local lapidaries in Edinburgh were skilled in cutting and faceting the gems to produce stones of a rich, brilliant orange color that were much esteemed and desired. Large-sized cairngorms were particularly prized and often handed down through families. Their popularity led to the local source becoming overworked and heat-treated Brazillian amethysts or glass are now often used as imitations.


  • Scarisbrick, Diana. Scottish Jewellery: A Victorian Passion. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. VendomPress, 2009.
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