Carnelian is a brownish-red to red-orange variety of chalcedony or cryptocrystalline quartz. Its name is believed to come from the Latin word carneus, meaning 'flesh coloured'. The distinctive red-orange color of carnelian is a result of trace amounts of iron. Sometimes the name 'sard' is used to refer to the darker colors of carnelian, though there is no clear distinction between carnelian and sard.
Carnelian is one of the oldest known gemstones. It was widely used in ancient Rome to make insignia and seals for imprinting on letters or important documents because hot wax does not stick to carnelian. Carnelian is one of the twelve gemstones mentioned in the Bible as appearing on the Breastplate of Aaron. It also is one of the birthstones listed in the ancient Arabic, Hebrew and Roman tables, and is a birthstone for the zodiacal sign of Virgo.
Today, carnelian is used for cabochons and beads. It is also carved to produce cameos, intaglios and other sculptures. The most important carnelian deposits are found in Brazil, Uruguay, India and Madagascar.
Many carnelian gemstones being offered for sale on the market today are actually agate gemstones that have been dyed and then heat-treated. But there is a way to identify natural carnelian. The dyed agate will display striping when held against the light, while the natural carnelian will show a cloudy distribution of color. Natural carnelian is becoming increasingly rare.
Since carnelian has such a long history, it is not surprising that a great deal of folkore and legend has become attached to it. Carnelian was regarded as one of the luckiest gems to wear. A proverb states that "No man who wore a carnelian was ever found in a collapsed house or beneath a fallen wall." Carnelian was used as a talisman by people dating back as early as the ancient Babylonians and Greeks. Many Muslims believe that carnelian brings peace and happiness to its owner. This belief is attributed to the fact that Mohammed wore a ring set with a carnelian seal. Emperor Napoleon jealously guarded a carnelian seal that he found in an Egyptian campaign and often wore as a watch charm.
If you want a gem that you can trust to not be treated, or if it is it's disclosed this is the place! There's something for everybody. I really like knowing that the picture of the item is the one I'm buying, not a sample or stock photo. If you make jewelry, buy gems here! You can even buy a gem and have it set by a jeweler. Again, they have an amazing inventory, and prices are more than fair. You won't be disappointed! I just wish they sold uncut gems. Sometimes I just want a specimen in the crystal form. I'm surprised they had no quartz from Arkansas, but they have a great selection of anything I've ever looked for.
It is always a pleasure to do business with such and OUTSTANDING Company. Always Very Helpful, Knowledgable, and Courteous Customer Service. Did I mention the GREAT Prices on such Exquisite Products? WOWSERS!! The Monthly Newsletter is a Family Favorite Treat. Beautiful Gem Stones of every flavor. I learn something new each month. THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!!