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Carnelian Gemstone | Everything You Need to Know

limz Published On Sun Mar 08 2020   Modified On Sun Mar 08 2020
Carnelian Gemstone | Everything You Need to Know

Carnelian, also known as cornelian, is a colorful quartz variety of chalcedony. Traditionally, it is the birthstone of July and the zodiac stone for those born under the sign of Virgo. It exhibits a hexagonal crystal system and has a specific gravity of 2.59–2.61.

Carnelian symbolizes vitality, motivation, courage, creativity, positivity, endurance, leadership, warmth, and joy.

Let us learn more about Carnelian.


Carnelian is a brownish-red mineral that was highly regarded as a talismanic stone by the ancient Egyptians. It is the traditional gift for the 17th year of marriage anniversary. These stones help to stimulate and balance the sacral or second chakra. It enables the wearer to stimulate creativity, cultivate flexibility and adaptability, restore vitality, combat abuse of any kind, embrace their true passion, and control sexual energy.

Origin and History

Dark Carnelian Beads.
Dark Carnelian Beads.
Image Source: Etsy

The origin of the word "Carnelian" is from the Latin word "Carneus" which means "fleshy", in allusion to its color. Since the Early Neolithic, it was used as beads in Bulgaria. It is believed that the Seal of Muhammad is a sculpted Carnelian set on a sterling silver ring. During the 1800 BC, the Minoans used it in decorative arts and jewelry. A Neo-Assyrian seal was made out of Carnelian that shows Ishtar-Gula as a star goddess. It currently lies in Western Asiatic Seals collection of the British Museum.

Formation Process

Most of the Carnelians are formed within ancient volcanic lava or igneous rocks. It is formed when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rock. It can also be found deep inside the sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. 


The chemical formula of Carnelian is SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide). It has a hardness of 6-7 on the Mohs scale and has a vitreous to greasy luster.


  • Carnelian Agate
  • Carnelian Onyx

Colors Available

Natural Red Carnelian Cabochons.
Natural Red Carnelian Cabochons.
Image Source: AliExpress
  • Red
  • Orange

Mines Available

  • Mont Lyall Agate Mine, Quebec, Canada
  • Clara Mine, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • Sarusas Mine, Kunene Region, Namibia
  • Monte Suímo Mine, Lisbon, Portugal

Cost Per Carat

The cost of Carnelian is extremely affordable. Red Carnelian can cost only up to $3 to $25 and Orange can cost $2 to $15 per carat according to its color, cut, clarity, and quality.


  • Carnelian is used as a semi-precious gemstone in different forms of jewelry.
  • It can also be used as beads and in decorative arts.

Spiritual Properties

  • Carnelian helps to stop nightmares, reduce bad temper, release fear, promote courage and positivity, attract prosperity, and purify the energy.
  • These stones can promote the vitality of the physical body, detoxify the body, combat addictive habits, reduce the flow of blood, heal back problems, and increase fertility.
  • It also helps to heal emotional trauma, restore motivation, overcome abuse, stimulate creativity, alleviate jealousy, and overcome sexual anxieties.


Red Carnelian Bracelet.
Red Carnelian Bracelet.
Image Source: Etsy
  • Carnelian can be confused with Sard, as it looks the same.
  • It has a translucent diaphaneity and a specific gravity of 2.59–2.61.
  • The cleavage of this stone is absent and has an uneven, splintery, and conchoidal fracture.
  • The color of these stones are formed by the impurities of iron oxide.

Jewelry Stores Near You

  • The Antique Jewelry Company, London, UK
  • Lovepray Jewelry, San Diego, California, USA
  • Maison Birks, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Online Stores

  • ByGerene
  • Gemisphere

Visit Stoneharu for more information about stones and gems.