Carnelian (sometimes spelled Cornelian) is a variety of chalcedony which is the cryptocrystalline family of Quartz. It ranges in colours from yellow, orange, red and reddish brown, its red colour is due to iron being present. Green Carnelian is dyed.
Carnelian is mined in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, India, Russia, Uruguay and U.S.A.
Traditional legends, gemstone folklore and healing properties of Carnelian
Carnelian has been treasured for centuries and there are many references to it throughout history. The Ancient Egyptians believed that it had strong powers in the afterlife, hence Carnelian jewellery being found in Egyptian burial tombs. It was considered it to be a talisman of good luck and it is believed to be one of the twelve gemstones set in the ceremonial breastplate of Aaron, representing the twelve tribes of Israel as described in the Old Testament book of Exodus. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used it in signet rings and cameos and during the Renaissance era, people kept it in their homes to prevent curses from being placed on them or their families.
Carnelian is considered to be a stone of confidence, creativity, individuality, assertiveness and courage. It is believed to aid memory, bring energy, increase determination and sexual desire, and is said to help combat infertility and impotence. It is also claimed to protect one from jealousy, anger and fear, help ease or remove sorrows, and harmonise energies in the home. Many also believe that it can cure depression and bring optimism and confidence.
As a healing stone, Carnelian was used as an ancient remedy for fever, to help stop the flow of blood, heal wounds and relieve pain. It is also believed to help with problems of the reproductive system and menstruation, arthritis and lower back problems.
Carnelian is the wedding anniversary stone for the 17th year, the zodiac stone of Virgo and one of July’s birthstones.