1. Introduction to Carnelian
2. Carnelian Through the Ages
3. Carnelian Healing Properties
4. Article Photo
5. Carnelian | Explore Our Collection
6. Read More
Introduction to Carnelian
Carnelian is a variety of the mineral quartz or to be more exact, a reddish to orange brown chalcedony that's often banded. The stone tends to be translucent and has the same chemical make up as agate which is also a chalcedony. In fact the mineral agate is often heat treated or soaked in various solutions to enhance or change its colour to produce what looks like natural carnelian. When agate is heated impurities of iron oxide turn a deep shade of orange which mimics the colour of carnelian.
When carnelian stones exhibit darker shades of colour from deep reddish brown to almost black they're known as sard. The two names are often used interchangeably and apart from the slight difference in colour and carnelian being a softer stone, there are few other significant differences. The name sardonyx is used to describe carnelian with bands of sard and white chalcedony. Sardonyx and carnelian are the traditional birthstones for the month of August whilst peridot is the modern birthstone.
The name carnelian comes from the Latin word 'carnis' meaning flesh because of the colour of the stone which is caused by the mineral hematite. Although the finest grade generally comes from India, it can also be found in Brazil, Australia, Russia, Madagascar, South Africa, Uruguay and the U.S.A.
Carnelian is a relatively hard stone which makes it particularly suitable as a lapidary material. On Mohs scale of mineral hardness it grades 6.5 to 7.
Carnelian Through the Ages
Carnelian stones were used in abundance in Ancient Egyptian tombs because the mineral was believed to assist the soul on its journey into the afterlife and to also offer protection. In the book of Exodus in the Old Testament red carnelian is believed (in one interpretation) to have been the first stone in the first row of the high priest breastplate. This religious garment was worn by Aaron the first Jewish High Priest during biblical times.
The mineral carnelian is also revered in the Islamic faith because the prophet Muhammad is said to have worn a ring featuring a carnelian gemstone which faced inwards towards his palm. It's referred to as an "Abyssinian stone" (Abyssinia being modern day Ethiopia) which has led to considerable confusion over its exact identification.
Carnelian Healing Properties
Carnelian was once believed to calm jealousy, envy and rage and was also said to instill courage during battle to those who wore it. Today the healing properties of the mineral carnelian are said to help with analytical ability and precision, dramatic and theatrical pursuits, courage, concentration, poor memory, emotional negativity, nosebleeds and infertility. The energy of this stone has the ability to remove negativity from other crystals and can help increase physical energy, personal power, creativity and compassion.
Article Photo Courtesy Of...
The carnelian mineral in the photo at the top of our article is courtesy of Steve (Singingstone48) (Flickr). Click to see the original full size image.