Carnelian (also called cornelian) is a form of chalcedony that takes on various shades of orange or red, from brownish-red to orange-pink. It is always an opaque stone, sometimes with slight translucency, and occurs as masses. Being a member of the chalcedony family, carnelian is considered a form of quartz with a hardness of 7, and its orange color is derived from iron oxides. A lot of carnelian you see today has had artificial dye applied to enhance their coloring.
It was highly popular in past ancient civilizations and often used in amulets, heirlooms, or jewelry (as engraved or carved gemstones). It was one of the gemstones that were frequently worn by nobility and royalty, often as signet rings. Early Phoenician, Greek, and Egyptian civilizations used carnelian extensively.
There is another very close relation of carnelian, called sard, but sard is generally distinguished from carnelian by being darker in color, although it is still regarded as carnelian by many. Sard/carnelian occurs in sardonyx as red colored bands. Today, carnelian, sard, and sardonyx continue to be popular as stone carving and engraving material. Carnelian is a popular gemstone for jewelry pieces like pendants, as well as for ornaments.
Carnelian is common worldwide, but currently, the primary mining areas for it are India, Brazil, Uruguay, Japan, Europe, and the United States. In times past, carnelian was mined extensively in areas around the Mediterranean Sea, as evidenced by numerous archeological finds in the countries of this region; the ancient Greeks and Romans loved carnelian.
The metaphysical properties of carnelian
The energy of carnelian is earthy and strong, reflecting love, peace, abundance, and security. It is a motivating gemstone, and can stimulate courage, ambition, and the initiative or energy required to achieve your goals. Carnelian also helps to diminish depression and jealousy, while increasing feelings of self acceptance and self confidence.
Carnelian is conducive for improving the harmony in the home, which is probably why it has always been popular as family heirlooms. Couples may also wear carnelian to increase their bonding, and light colored carnelian in particular, is suitable for increasing the bonding between family members.
For physical problems associated with digestion and the digestive tract, carnelian is excellent. It can help increase appetite, and help anorexics to regain their appetite. Carnelian is especially useful for disorders involving the spleen and pancreas.
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