Carnelian meaning, properties


This mineral displays every warm color existing in nature. For its predominantly red hues, it is compared with berries. Egyptians associated it with fertility and Persians - with femininity. All of this is about carnelian, a beautiful variety of quartz. If you enjoy the noble appearance of polished gems, then carnelian is a must-have for your gemstone collection.

Carnelian Properties

The History and Meaning of Carnelian

The name of the stone comes from the Latin word ‘cornus’, which means "dogwood berry". Indeed, the berry and the gem share similar reddish waxy colors.

Carnelian has been widely known since antiquity. In Ancient Egypt, it was the stone of the goddess Isis, the patroness of love, harmony, motherhood, and femininity. To win her favor, people wore clover leaf amulets and rings cut out of the red mineral. At the same time, Egyptian medicine relied on the healing properties of the stone. In particular, it was used to stop bleeding and steady the nerves.

In medieval Europe, carnelian earned a reputation as a talisman capable of safeguarding against witchcraft and curses. Well-off Europeans wore carnelian rings and signets hoping to increase their wealth and ensure protection against dangers. In Persia, the stone was believed to benefit females. Ladies cherished the mineral as a talisman that brings beauty and prolongs youth.

Ancient Slavs revered carnelian and used it to craft jewelry and objects of religious worship. Along with that, they endowed the stone with magical properties believing that its power would protect them from adversity and anxiety. Single ladies wore carnelian jewelry and amulets to meet their soul mate and married women relied on the mineral to maintain love, respect, and understanding in the family.

Carnelian meaning

Physical and Chemical Properties of Carnelian

Carnelian is a semi-precious stone of the chalcedony group and one of the verities of quartz. This silica mineral has a hardness of 6.5-7.0 on the Mohs scale, and it is either translucent or opaque - it all depends on the intensity of its color. Carnelian is easy to cut and it acquires a waxy luster after polishing.

Carnelian offers a wide range of fiery colors: orange, red, reddish-brown, yellowish-brown, peach, etc. The shade depends on the amount of silicon and iron admixtures in the chemical composition. Large shares of silicon give the mineral yellow, red, and brown tones while high iron content is responsible for red and purple hues.

More often than not, the gem has an irregular coloration and concentric patterns formed by bands of white, apricot, or brown. A rectilinear banded texture is less common. Banded varieties of the mineral are sometimes called carnelian agate. Carnelians featuring opaque white stripes are called sardonyx. You can also find evenly colored specimens, although they are thin on the ground.

Carnelian Metaphysical properties

Carnelian Deposits

Chalcedony and quartz, the cousins of carnelians, are mined in almost every part of the world. This, however, cannot be said about the carnelian itself. The red gem is found less often but it is by no means a rarity. Arguably, the most beautiful minerals are mined in India and the Gobi Desert. These red carnelians form in basaltic rocks filled with post-volcanic solutions. Other major deposits are located in Brazil, India, Uruguay, Mongolia, the USA, Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia, etc.

Carnelian Beads for Jewelry Making

Healing Properties of Carnelian

Our ancestors crushed carnelian into powder to prepare medicine intended to relieve headaches, treat the diseases of genitourinary and digestive systems, nervous disorders, as well as inflammatory skin diseases. Modern color therapy claims that red-orange stones have a calming effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. Besides, they can improve blood circulation and strengthen immunity.

There is even such a thing as carnelian therapy, one of the varieties of lithotherapy that relies on the healing properties of carnelian. The stone is used to treat a wide range of ailments, from gangrene to skin conditions. Along with that, the mineral is able to normalize the structure of bone and cure a variety of internal organ diseases. When wearing carnelian jewelry, you can notice that scratches and wounds heal much faster.

Carnelian Healing Properties

Metaphysical Properties of Carnelian

The magic properties of the mineral largely depend on its color. The richer its color, the stronger the stone’s potential. Therefore, the most powerful are vibrant red carnelians.

Red varieties of the gem are especially beneficial to ladies since they are responsible for feelings. If you want to bolster love in your relationship, strengthen a family bond, or simply seek the attention of a potential partner, it’s worth giving your loved one(s) a carnelian bracelet. The mineral kindles mutual feelings as well as protects the one you love from spells.

Yellowish carnelians are best suited for men. They are a beacon for luck and success in all endeavors, especially those associated with business affairs. Carnelian amulets are an excellent choice for those who want to be flying high as well as for creative individuals who wish to be a little pushier. With all of this being said, you need to beware of minerals with dark inclusions. It is believed that they may attract evil.

Dark yellow gems lend themselves to shy and secretive people. An amulet featuring such a gem will help them overcome their complexes, gain self-confidence, and enhance their charms.

Carnelian is often used to create protective amulets. However, the stone in itself is not strong enough for this purpose. You can use it in combination with other gems though, because it can provide a synergistic effect.

Carnelian, Metaphysical Properties

Carnelian for sale from KenKenGems

Carnelians tantalize the eye but, luckily, you don’t need to dig deep in your pocket to get one of these magnificent stones. KenKenGems offers a wide selection of attractive carnelians at very attractive prices. Don’t hesitate to check out our catalogs to find carnelian beads and strands, loose stones, one-of-a-kind specimens, pendants set in precious metals, and other gem products. When it comes to cuts, we deliver cabochons and faceted stones of every popular shape as well as fancy cuts such as stars. No matter which of our stones you choose, we guarantee authenticity, unrivaled quality, and fast delivery.

Carnelian for sale

Carnelian from Kenkengems