Country of Origin - India
Carnelian is believed to be named after the red-orange Kornel cherry. Artifacts using carnelian date back to the Bronze Age circa 1800 BC on the island of Crete. Carnelian was believed by the Romans to be a stone of courage--able to shore up confidence and strength. In ancient Egypt, the stone was placed on mummies to assist the dead in their journey to the afterlife while architects to the pharaohs wore carnelian to denote rank and status. In the Middle Ages, carnelian was used by alchemists when boiling stone to release the energy of other gemstones.
Carnelian is the birthstone for the zodiac sign of Virgo.
Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony and is a microcrystalline quartz. As a chalcedony, carnelian is formed from the intergrowth of two silica minerals with differing crystal structures: quartz and moganite. Carnelian appears in a vibrant range of fire-orange reds to brown-reds and has a dull, waxy luster (as opposed to the vitreous quality of crystal quartzes such as amethyst). The reddish tints in the translucent stone are due to one of its ingredients: iron oxide. Carnelian can be confused with jasper, which is usually considered a chalcedony.
Carnelian is most commonly found in India, Brazil, Siberia and Germany.
From antiquity, carnelian has been worn in cameos in the belief that it would ward off insanity and depression. In contemporary times, carnelian is thought by some to enhance self-esteem and creativity, to combat feelings of inadequacy, to increase physical energy and overcome insomnia. In the home, carnelian is believed to increase motivation towards action. It is sometimes used as a talisman to protect against fire and misfortune. Carnelian is associated with the solar plexus chakra (the yellow chakra), in which imbalances are thought to cause digestive problems, as well as lack of confidence.
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