What on Earth is Carnelian?

Carnelian, a reddish and orange variety of Chalcedony quartz, is a gemstone that is usually used for cameos and beads or cut as cabochons. It can often be found in antique jewelry and can be uniform in color or faintly banded.

The Physical Properties of Carnelian

Carnelian is a variety of Chalcedony Quartz. It comes in various shades of deep orange or reddish because of the presence of iron oxide. The best Carnelian stones are said to be from India where people place it in the sun to assist a change from brown to tints of orange and red. It had been thought that it can calm the temper and still the blood.

The History of Carnelian

The name Carnelian comes from a Medieval Latin word Cornelius which is derived the word cornum – cornel cherry. The red variety of the gem dates from the Early Neolithic period (Bulgaria), but was also recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers (Crete) where Cretans used it in decorative arts.

Most of the Carnelian on today’s market is stained chalcedony from Uruguay or Brazil, but it can also be found in Madagascar, Peru, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Iceland, Czech Republic, and Poland. However, the very best Carnelian stones come from India.

The Lore of Carnelian

There were many beliefs in the attributes of Carnelian throughout history. Ancient Egyptians wore Carnelian rings to eliminate hatred, anger, jealousy, and bad tempers, but also to protect the dead in their journey to the afterlife. During the Renaissance period, a Carnelian amulet with a picture of a warrior engraved in it was placed in homes for protection from the storms and worn to prevent blood and skin diseases, nosebleeds, and insanity.

The Metaphysical Properties of Carnelian

The Carnelian stone or crystal represents the cauldron of the body’s lower three chakras. With its fiery and hot spirit that stimulates the root chakra, it is associated with taking bold action and helps circulate vital energy to your center which contains your powerful creative instincts and deepest sexual desires.

The stone strengthens concentration and helps in understanding the inner self. It is often used by those who have a fear of public speaking because it is told to increase self-worth and inspire courage (without aggressiveness). Carnelian stimulates creativity, dispels negative energies (replacing them with positive ones), having an overall clearing effect. All this makes it easier for one to feel more control over their life which is why it is sought by people who at times feel that they’re going nowhere in life.

Carnelian affects the Sacral/Navel 2nd Chakra and the Solar Plexus most effectively. The Sacral/Navel Chakra helps relate to our higher sense of Self, while the Solar Plexus helps us connect with the five senses to enhance creativity, self-gratification, sexuality, and reproduction.

When applied physically, women in pregnancy can place it on the pubic bone for twenty minutes to reduce lower abdominal pain. Carnelian can promote balance digestion and encourage the formation of new blood cells. It was also used to encourage healing of kidney problems and open sores.


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