From antiquity, carnelian has been worn in cameos in the belief that it will ward off insanity and depression. Carnelian was considered sacred in Egypt during the reign of King Tut and ancient Egyptians placed the carnelian stone on mummies to assist the dead in their journey to the afterlife.
Carnelian: A Cherry on the Top
Named after the red-orange Kornel cherry, carnelian was believed by the Romans to be a stone of courage — able to shore up confidence and strength.
In the home, it was sometimes used as a talisman to protect against fire and misfortune. According to history books, Mohammed, Napoleon I, and Napoleon III wore carnelian.
Experience the world at your fingertips with a carnelian voyage of discovery when you visit our carnelian earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings on the Ross-Simons web site. Whether you are seeking a sophisticated casual look or a more adventurous expression, our buyers have scoured the globe for new creations and Estate treasures to round out your carnelian jewelry collection.
During the 1700' and 1800's, Carnelian was said to bring luck, protection, comfort and the courage to speak. Today, this member of the chalcedony family is prized in jewelry for its subdued luster paired with a fire-orange and red palette. More about colored gemstones.
Carnelian is actually a variety of chalcedony and micro-crystalline quartz. It appears in a vibrant range of fire-orange reds to brown-reds and has a subdued, yet insistent, luster. The reddish tints in the translucent stone are due to the influence of iron oxide.
Carnelian takes well to carving and some of our finest carnelian jewelry is presented as a cameo or in beaded carnelian necklaces. The red hues and deep oranges make carnelian a favorite with our designers who love pairing the gemstone with turquoise and also onyx. The gems set up perfectly with a cabochon cut in carnelian rings and pendants.
It is relatively durable, rating 6-7 on the Mohs scale. Carnelian is found in India, Brazil and Uruguay.
Carnelian Jewelry Care & Handling
In India, the Carnelian stone is treated with exposure to the sun that turns brownish tints to purer reds. When this gem stone is placed in the sun, its color will change. This is often used to transform brown tints to red. Thus, we recommend storing your carnelian in your Ross-Simons presentation box, away from sunlight, occasionally polishing gently with a soft cloth.