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Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a reddish-brown mineral which is commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. Similar to carnelian is sard, which is generally harder and darker. (The difference is not rigidly defined, and the two names are often used interchangeably). Both carnelian and sard are varieties of the silica mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide. The color can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration.
The bow drill was used to drill holes into carnelian in Mehrgarh between 4th-5th millennium BCE. Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete in a form that demonstrated its use in decorative arts; this use dates to approximately 1800 BC. Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to Carnelian. Sard was used for Assyrian cylinder seals, Egyptian and Phoenician scarabs, and early Greek and Etruscan gems. The Hebrew odem (translated sardius), the first stone in the High Priest`s breastplate, was a red stone, probably sard but perhaps carnelian or red jasper.
Physical properties of Carnelian:
Stone Type/Family: A member of the Chalcedony family
Category: Chalcedony variety
Chemical formula: Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2)
Molar mass: 60 g / mol
Crystal system: Trigonal
Fracture: Uneven, splintery, conchoidal
Mohs scale hardness: 6 - 7
Luster: Vitreous, dull, greasy, silky
Specific gravity: 2.59 - 2.61
Location: Brazil, Germany, India, Madagascar, Scotland, Slovakia, UK, USA
Rarity: Very Common found worldwide
Fun Fact: Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to Carnelian.
Metaphysical guide of Carnelian:
Creativity, Physical Vitality, Grounding
Primary Chakras: Sacral, Solar Plexus
Astrological sign(s): Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio
Vibration: Number 5 & 6
Used in ancient times to protect the dead in their journey to afterlife. Carnelian helps to calm the fears about death and rebirth, bringing serenity and acceptance of the great cycle of life. Carnelian is a powerful Sacral Chakra Stone. It increases personal power and physical energy, gives courage, and boosts creativity and compassion. Wearing or carrying Carnelian can enhance vitality and will, providing higher energy needed when approaching new projects and dreams.
Mentally, Carnelian focuses analytical capabilities, and aids meditation by allowing deeper concentration and keeping out interrupting thoughts. Carnelian is useful in making decisions by keeping us focused on the here and now and not on past experiences. Carnelian calms anger and grounds you in reality, while keeping you aware of unconditional Love permeating the Universe. Carnelian encourages initiative and determination.
Physically, Carnelian increases personal power and physical energy. Carnelian relieves PMS and menopausal symptoms as well as assisting in the areas of fertility and potency.
Carnelian is one of the few stones that never needs clearing, and can be kept in a bag or box with other stones to keep them cleared as well.