The carnelian is a variety of microcrystalline quartz and chalcedony and is said to have been used in jewelry as early as 1800 B.C. It is consists of silicon oxide and a few impurities that gives it its color. Carnelian is an attractive stone that is deep red to brownish orange in color. It has a long past and was considered the stone of the upper classes in ancient times. The Egyptian people even buried this stone in the tomb along with the dead pharaohs. It was also believed that wearing carnelian gemstones reduces one’s temper and calms the person wearing it.
The word ‘carnelian’ is derived from the Latin word ‘carne’ which means flesh. It may be called so because it looks like the color of the flesh. It is also called as ‘Cornelion’, ‘red chalcedony’ and ‘red agate’ and, is found in many countries like Brazil, South America, Russia, Australia, etc.
This stone is translucent in nature and the dark orange shade of carnelian is suitable for men’s rings. There are various shapes of carnelians available, yet the oval shaped ones are the commonest among all and are used in gold and silver jewelry. The luster of the stone may be dull, greasy, vitreous and silky. Another gemstone called ‘sard’ resembles carnelian and there is a minute difference between the two.
Beliefs That Surrounds Carnelian
There are numerous beliefs that surrounded the carnelian gemstone.
- In olden days people believed that it had a number of medicinal properties like cleansing the blood, stopping bleeding and also helped in healing wounds.
- The Egyptians believed that it helped the soul in passing to the next life.
- The Europeans believed that wearing jewelry made of carnelian would protect them from evil and would bring them good luck.
- The Greeks and the Romans wore carnelian in their signet rings.
- The Indians and the Tibetans also believed that it has spiritual powers and wore them in amulets and pendants.