the carnelian

Carnelian, 1 very powerful gemstone

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    Through the ages, people believe in the power of gemstones. Studying the carnelian I discovered that this red to orange to brownish gemstone is very powerful. One does not only admire this gem for its healing but this gemstone of kings gives also strength and luck. Do you believe in the power of the carnelian?

    carnelian gemstone line
    carnelian gemstone line

    The earliest favorite gems

    With the lapis lazuli, this orange beautiful gemstone was really popular from about 5000 BC until now. Both gemstones were worn as a talisman and used for jewelry and seals. As lapis lazuli is associated with heaven, this gemstone became popular with priests. The carnelian is associated with kings and nobility, due to its blood-like color and this gemstone symbolized health and luck. Something kings could use during fights.

    Very old

    Already about 5000 years BC people used this gemstone as a seal. The gemstone could be carved rather easily, due to its softness. Since most people, even kings, could not read and write, they used their seals to acknowledge truths, deals, and orders.

    In ancient Egypt, the carnelian was an important and popular gemstone. It was used as a burial amulet because people believed that this amulet gives a safe passage to the afterlife. In modern Egypt, the orange gemstone is used to help against the fear of death.

    Those ancient Egyptians called this gemstone ‘the setting sun’ and they associate it with fire and solar energy. Another association is with the menstrual blood of the goddess Isis in ancient times, but nowadays that altered a bit to the symbol of creation and fertility.

    The color orange was the representation of the female energy and the red hues in the color of the stone represented the male energy. Both males and females loved and wore the gemstone to enhance hidden love, desire, passion, and love.

    And for some reason in Egypt master architects wore a carnelian gemstone when they want to show their status and rank.

    Carnelian seal rings are found in Bulgaria and in Egypt and even India.

    A pendant made of enamel, gold, and a carnelian mask by Philippe Wolfers
    A pendant made of enamel, gold, and a carnelian mask by Philippe Wolfers.
    Golden earrings set with carnelian.
    Golden earrings set with carnelian.

    It is not my piece of cake

    In literature, you find that this gemstone is all about vibrancy, energy, and desire or adventure. My husband will get desperate if I am going to wear jewelry with a carnelian. He already thinks I have too much energy and my too (according to him) adventurous mind brings us through the whole world, searching for gemstones.

    Well, this gemstone gives protection against lack of energy, gives you an adventurous mind, and leads you through boredom and anxiety.

    Egyptian mural with carnelian
    Egyptian mural with carnelian

    Carnelian wonders

    In Ancient Times carving the carnelian was reasonably often done by the jewelry makers of the nobility. But when the powerful empires in the Middle East disappeared the knowledge and the craftsmanship of the craving disappeared.

    Gem language

    The English and French courts in the 18th century used a secret and symbolic ‘gem language’ to send secret messages. Since the orange gem symbolized luck and health, the carnelian was used often for sending messages.

    I already stated that you can carve this gem rather easily. So the nobility ordered from their jewelry makers brooches and pins with a carved copy. In the gemstone, the first letters of sentiment or feeling were carved, like LOV or LUC. When you wore that brooch at a dinner party, somebody special knew what you want to say to him.

    But you had to have your fingers crossed that not the wrong person saw the letters on your brooch and interpreted it wrong. Sorry, my imagination is running away with me here.

    You have to believe in the power.

    Napoleon Bonaparte and his nephew Napoleon III believed in the power of this gemstone. Napoleon III wore a carnelian seal on his watch chain. He gave that seal to his son Louis Napoleon and ordered him to wear it.

    Louis Napoleon did what his father ordered, but he absolutely did not believe in that superstitious nonsense. And that was a stupid thing to do for him.

    In 1879 he was at war with the Zulu’s in South Africa and the Zulus beat the hell out of him and his army. And he did not survive the slaughter, besides that his orange seal was stolen from his crops.

    The lesson from this story is that whether you are a prince, a king, or an alchemist, you have to believe in the power of the gemstone, otherwise, it will not work.

    So I ask you again: ‘do you believe in the power of the carnelian’?

    Cameo, depicting goddess Hera, made by Astrid Linskens, 20th century.
    Cameo, depicting goddess Hera, made by Astrid Linskens, 20th century.
    Cameo ring, made of carnelian, depicting a male portrait
    Cameo ring, made of carnelian, depicting a male portrait.

    And some other interesting features

    01. The name of this gemstone comes from the Latin word, which means ‘flesh’. No idea why the Romans have chosen this name, maybe because of the color (mine looks like this gem when I sat in the sun too long). The carnelian comes in shades from light orange to dark orange, but also in pink, dark grey, pale orange, and red.

    02. This beautiful gemstone releases you from stress, and makes a great relationship on work possible. If you are a singer wear a carnelian ring, since it gives you confidence when performing on stage. Workers who endure a lot of danger in their work better keep this gem in their pocket to protect them from accidents.

    Don’t mix up with the Sard or Sardonyx!

    Carnelian looks a bit (speaking about the color) like the sard and the sardonyx. But there are differences. Watch the video and you know all about it!

    Although the carnelian is not one of the birthstones, it deserves more attention. Not only because of its features but also because the color of the carnelian matches beautifully with for instance onyx (black) or lapis lazuli (dark blue). I made a gemstone color chart on which you can see exactly what gemstone has what color(s). Very practical when you want a gemstone, like a carnelian, to match your outfit. It is free! And also a great gift for the one you give a carnelian piece of jewelry. Just let me know where I can send the chart to.

    gemstone color chart
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    Hug, Florence from FlorenceJewelshop

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