Some of my Favorite Gemstones – Carnelian

I’m going to do a series on some of my favorite gemstones and I’m beginning  with a long time favorite of mine, Carnelian.

B#4Etsy Carnelian necklaceCarnelian draws its name from the Latin carneolus – meaning “red stone”.   Like many other gemstones, carnelian derives the rich colors we see – pinks, oranges, and orange-reds – from iron. A form of chalcedony (quartz family), carnelian has a microcrystalline structure and is translucent to opaque.  Carnelian is rated a 6.5 – 7.0 on the Mohs hardness scale which makes it a very good stone for jewelry.   The necklace on the left combines vermeil accents with carnelian 


Although carnelian can range in color from a light orange to deep orange-red, now andagain it can be found in mauve, with milky white veins.   Banded varieties make lovely cabochons and beads and can be striking in jewelry designs.   Carnelian is a versatile stone that looks wonderful set in silver, copper, or gold.

Most  Carnelian has been heat treated to enhance the characteristic reddish brown “caramel” color.  Carnelian makes beautiful cabochons and beads.

Carnelian-Pendant-in-Silver331-436Carnelian is thought to be beneficial in the treatment of infertility and impotency, and many people believe that it enhances desire.    It is also believed to cleanse and purify the blood.  The best carnelian comes from India, but this stone is also produced in Australia, and most of the carnelian on the market today is mined in South America.

In the Middle East has been widely viewed as a stone of protection. In the present day, carnelian is still used at a stone of protection against negative energies from another person, as well as to cleanse negativity from other stones, provide inspiration, and especially in the pink form of the stone, as an offering of love.