Carnelian is a two-coloured red-white or orange-white, opaque to faintly translucent variety of the chalcedony and a quartz of fibrous form. It is mainly known as a gemstone, but it is also attributed to various healing effects.
Carnelian Origin and History
The Carnelian belongs to the Chalcedone family, but because of its color it was given its own name. Probably the name is due to the medieval names “corneolus” and later “cornelius”. According to the “Physica” of the abbess Hildegard von Bingen, the heilstein was named after the cornel cherry (lat.: cornum) due to its color. Due to numerous falsifications, he came to his name over the centuries.
Already in antiquity the Carnelian was highly appreciated as a jewel and energy stone. In ancient Egypt he was coveted as a “stone of life”, because he was to renew the forces of life. For this reason, it was also used in burial rituals and was an important burial in graves. According to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, it was regarded as a kind of magical armor for life after death.
The carnelian is very easy to work with. This is why it has always been used for the production of works of art. A chain of carnelian, which was dated to about 3,500 BC, is considered to be the oldest find of the stone. Gems and seal rings with effigies of symbols of protection and happiness as well as protective deities were very often carved from the carnelian.
The carnelian was already worn as a gemstone by personalities such as Ramses II or Martin Luther.
Interesting facts about the Carnelian
Especially on rings, the carnelian was already appreciated in antiquity as a gemstone. Well-known jewels are:
- the “Ring of Tello” (Iran, c. 2,500 BC, Louvre)
- “Phoenician Seal Ring” with scarab representation (ca. 6th century BC, British Museum)
- “Etruskischer Siegelring” with Poseidon motif (ca. 6th century BC, French National Library Paris)
Even in literature, the carnelian was given great importance.
Thus Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote in the “Segenspfänder” (from the West-Eastern Diwan): “Talisman in Karneol, Gläub’gen he brings happiness and well-being; If he even stands on Onyx ground, kiss him with a consecrated mouth! He drives away all evil, protects you and protects the place. (…)”
Carnelian – Occurrence and Origin
The carnelian is a variety of chalcedony and thus a very fine-fibre quartz, which is produced by silicon oxide. This penetrates into volcanic rock and absorbs iron oxide. This mixture then accumulates in rock cavities, and the carnelian is formed by cooling and dehydration. In order for the iron oxide to be evenly distributed, the water content of the silicon oxide is of crucial importance. The color of the carnelian is determined by the iron contained: iron oxide provides an orange coloration, iron hydroxide for a brown coloration.
The carnelian has a very high occurrence. To date, known sites include Australia (Hobart in Tasmania), Brazil, Alsace, Lorraine, Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Saarland, Thuringia), Scotland, England, India, Austria, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary and the USA.
The carnelian belongs to the mineral class of oxides, is assigned to the trigonal crystal system and does not form visible crystals. It is easily transparent and not fissile, but it is still easy to work on.
Colour of the carnelian
The carnelian has all brown hues up to a pink one. Striped and spotted specimens are just as common as monochrome stones. Carnelians, which appear fiery red when looking at the surface and blackish red at the same time when looking at the surface, are considered to be the most appreciated.
Due to heat, carnelians turn red in the long run.
Carnelian effect and application
The effect of carnelian is particularly known in applications in the context of alternative medicine. The carnelian has various healing effects on both the body and the soul of man.
Effect of the carnelian on the body
On the physical level, the following effects are attributed to the carnelian:
- Promoting digestion
- Stimulation of metabolism
- Positive effect on liver, stomach, intestines and kidneys
- Stimulation of the circulation
- Promoting vitality
- Detoxifying effect
- Removal of impurities in the blood
- Relieving rheumatism
- Bleeding effect (e.g. for nosebleeds or bleeding gums)
- Relief of hay fever
Effect of the Carnelian on the Soul
The carnelian is said to have the following healing effects on the soul:
- Promoting courage and perseverance
- Strengthening the joy of life
- Gives vigour
- Helps to implement your own ideas and fulfill your own wishes
- Mitigates lack of concentration and confusion
- Helps refine working techniques
- Raises the general mood
- Promotes team spirit and community spirit
- Helps solve problems
- Contributes to solution-oriented thinking
Applications of the Carnelian
In stone science, the carnelian is used as a healing stone in a variety of ways. It can be used as a raw stone or as a drum stone. Direct contact with the hand is crucial, which can also be achieved by wearing chains or pendants. Carnelian is also suitable for meditation and for the production of gemstone water.
Gemstone water with carnelian
The Carnelian is excellently suited for the production of gemstone water. The carnelian water is best applied overnight in a glass jug filled with 1 litre of water and some drum stones of a larger 2 to 3 cm. The water should be as lime-free as possible.
It is important that the carnelian used has the best possible quality in order not to cause any health problems. It must not be coloured or reconstructed. In addition, the drum stones must be very clean.
This should be taken into account during application
Carneol is used to support the physical, mental and mental level. The application should be carried out over a longer period of time and through direct contact with the skin. A short-term application of the carnelian is rarely crowned with success. It has been found that the effect of the healing stone is particularly intense when it is placed on well-blooded areas. Of course, the duration of the application also depends on the individual needs of the user.
Carnelian – Ways of Using It
In addition to its application as a healing stone, the carnelian is also considered a prized gemstone.
As a gemstone it is mainly used in rings in the form of cabochon. Also beautiful gems can be cut out of the carnelian.
Imitations and manipulations
There are both imitations and manipulations in various forms. Chalcedon or agate are often dyed. However, no syntheses or reconstructions of the carnelian are known, but of course cannot be completely excluded.
The burning of carnelian is very common, because the healing stone is particularly popular in intense orange-red. But only experts can detect such manipulation.
Possibility of confusion
The carnelian is quite easy to confuse with other gemstones. Confusions are possible with red agates, calcite or red jasper, among others. There are often also – sometimes even forced – confusions with the fire opal. The fire opal is the more valuable gemstone, which is “replaced” by the carnelian. But even this provision is only possible by experts.
Natural coloration of the carnelian
Especially in India it is common to put brown carnelian in the sun to intensify its color. Most stones (not everyone!) produces a red or orange-red color. The carnelian “matures” in natural sunlight, so to speak, without the use of technical aids or chemical additives.
Carnelian – The Right Care
Inevitably, direct contact with the skin on the carnelian removes skin fat, cream residues and the finest dirt particles.
Cleaning should be done from time to time (once a month) under hand-warm water and without additives such as soaps or detergents. Lime-free water (e.g. completely clean rainwater) is best suited to avoid limescale deposits.
The discharge takes place under running water, chains can be unloaded overnight in a shell filled with hematite drum stones.
Charging can be done without any time limit in the sun, because overcharging is not possible with the carnelian.
With intensive use of the carnelian, a hematite ball is recommended for discharge, the charging should then be carried out in a rock crystal group. Again, there is no time limit for charging.
Carnelian and astrology
For thousands of years, the carnelian has played an important role in astrology.
Assignment to Zodiac Sign
For the zodiac signs Aries, Taurus, Twin and Virgin, the Carnelian is an important main stone. For those born in the zodiac signs Pisces, Cancer and Libra, it is an important side stone, and also a balancing stone for crabs.
Assignment to chakras
On the sacral chakra as well as on the root chakra, the carnelian unfolds its effect most strongly.
Assignment to planets and months
As a planetary stone, the carnelian is assigned to Mars, as a month or birthstone the assignment to the month of September takes place.
Karneol and Hildegard von Bingen
The abbess Hildegard von Bingen counted the Carnelian among the most important healing stones. In her work “Physica” she described its effect against ailments such as coughs, headaches, bleeding and common colds.
Thus, the carnelian is supposed to help against nosebleeds, according to Bingen. For this purpose, the healing stone should be placed in warmed wine, which the person then drinks. Since the carnelian is supposed to promote blood circulation, it is used today mainly for complaints of metabolism and circulation.