Sunset fire of Chalcedony
Carnelian Origin & Physical Properties
Carnelian is a reddish to orange coral colored variety of Chalcedony which has been used for thousands of years as a gemstone throughout many cultures. Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica with grainy fibrous inter growths of Quartz and Moganite. Chalcedony shares the same chemical structure of Quartz and is also a silicon dioxide.
Carnelian can be translucent but is more often semi-translucent with its deep red to orange color caused by iron oxide dispersion within its atomic structure. Although Carnelian is often solid and uniform, some material is also banded and can be classified as a type of Agate. Carnelian has a hardness of 7 Mohs but its grainy dense internal structure makes it an incredibly durable stone.
The name Carnelian is derived from the Latin word ‘Cornum’, the antiquated name for the red colored fruit, Cornel cherry. Carnelian has been a popular stone for carving, and beads dating back to early Neolithic cultures in Bulgaria and the ancient Egyptians. Today, it continues to be used by jewelry designers, with the vast majority being used for the bead market. Important sources for Carnelian include India, Brazil, Uruguay and the United States.
Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2)
Vitreous, dull greasy, silky
2.58 - 2.64
1.54 - 1.55
Orange, Red, Brown
Indonesia, Brazil, India, Russia (Siberia), and Germany
Motivates, leadership, endurance, empowering, prosperity
Carnelian Healing & Metaphysical Properties
Carnelian is a fiery sunset colored variety of Chalcedony with a strong connection to the Solar Plexus Chakra (3rd Chakra). It is a stone of strength that helps to build confidence and belief in oneself. The Solar Plexus is the inner sun of our energetic body. It is the center of life-force or chi and it is from this point that we feel fear when it is weak but also from where we feel a surge of strength and determination when it is activated. Carnelian can help activate this powerful Chakra to achieve a balance between the physical and emotional realms. It can enhance our sense of enthusiasm and vitality to achieve what we wish to accomplish in the here and now.
In ancient times, Carnelian was used as a stone of protection and empowerment. It was often worn by Kings and warriors, a talisman for the courageous leader. Step into your physical body and be completely present. Feel the strength of your spirit from the core of your gut. Embrace the world around you with confidence and vitality.
Carnelian History & Mythology
Carnelian has a long history dating back to the first civilizations of man. One of the earliest records of Carnelian was the ~ 3000 B.C. tomb of, Queen Pu Abi of Sumeria, entombed wearing a robe of gold, Carnelian and Lapis Lazuli. Worked stones were found in Early Neolithic settlements of Bulgaria. In ancient Egypt Carnelian was a protective stone for both the living and for those passing into the afterlife. Numerous Carnelian relics have been discovered in tombs of the ancient Egyptians and it played an important role in their culture. A carved knot of Isis was often placed on the throat area of the mummy to guide a safe passage into the afterlife. Carnelian held a close associated with the sun god Ra and was often carved into depictions of the Eye of Horus. It appears to be that Carnelian was a valuable stone reserved for the elites of society in those times, as archeologists have theorized. Most findings of worked Carnelian are confined to the tombs and temples of the highest ruling class.
The importance of Carnelian carried through the classical Greek and Roman societies where it continued to be held in high esteem. Stunning and intricate seals, rings and cameos were carved into Carnelian and set in gold and worn by those who could afford these precious items. Deities and Gods were carved into personal seals worn most often set in gold rings, with special significance for the wearer. It appears much of the Carnelian used in Greece had come through trade via India and the Arabian Peninsula.
But perhaps the oldest records of Carnelian date back to the mysterious and advanced culture of the Indus Valley, the culture from which the ancient language Sanskrit originated. Carved beads, pendants and ceremonial items have been discovered in abundance in this region. It appears that this culture initiated trade with Mesopotamia ancient Egypt, as the unique manufactured beads of the same material and technique have been found in all three regions bearing uncanny resemblance. The Harappans of the Indus valley developed a complex method of drilling and carving the hard stone with a special alkaline solution made of sodium bicarbonate and the plant juice of the ‘kirar’ bush. After coating the worked Carnelians in this paste they would fire the stones in a hot charcoal fire. This process created a white etching on the portions of the stones that had been carved, while leaving the smooth areas polished.