Carnelian Facts and Buying guide

by Sheweta Dhanuka

This stone is time-honored due to many overwhelming links from the past. This is a semi precious gemstone but in good olden days it was regarded similar value like precious stone. It was austerely restricted only to the elite class of the society.

Carnelian is one of the members of chalcedony family. It is also called as Cornelian. It was a sacred stone for Egyptians and Tibetans. This stone is time-honored due to many overwhelming links from the past. This is a semi precious gemstone but in good olden days it was regarded similar value like precious stone. It was austerely restricted only to the elite class of the society. This was allied with the people belonging to the top of the hierarchy in terms of financial power and authority. After dying, individuals from this community were buried with this high valued gem.

CarnelianAs it is associated with awe-inspiring fiction that could be a truth many people plan to acquire this astounding gemstone. Consequently, the demand goes up and some dealers plan to betray the innocent buyers with poor quality stones. Hence this article is written to acquaint the buyer with facts about Carnelian. The below text provides the information that would help in knowing the gemstone better. First the 4 Cs are conferred followed by source, price and other related attributes.

Carnelian Colour

It is mainly found in varied shades of intense red to reddish orange. Red is main colour but it consists of various mix colour shades red-orange and red-brown. The existence of iron impurities in the chemical composition gives red colour to the stone. These impurities are present in form of iron oxide/hematite. The genuine gemstone possess colour that glows in presence of any light source.

Carnelian Clarity

It holds dull luster. The transparency state of this lovely gem is translucent thus; due to its mass the inclusions present within the stone are not visible through the naked eyes. As rough it contains fractures and cracks on its outer surface. These are removed during the initial gemstone processing.

Cut : This remarkable stone is firm and sturdy therefore it is easy for gemstone cutters to give any desired shape. However, the most universal shapes seen in regular jewelry is either smooth oval or round. Usual shapes like square, marquise, emerald and many other creative shapes can be created but are not commonly seen. All these shapes are distinctive but do not highlight the beauty of the stone as oval or round.

Carat Weight : Large size of this gemstone looks wonderful in rings, pendants and stud earrings. It is regarded as precious stone but is priced as semi precious stone therefore high carat weight single stone could be selected. This stone below 1 ctw is rarely available. Mostly the size of stone selected for diverse jewelry items falls between 2-5 carat weight. Higher the carat weight more becomes the cost of the gem.

Carnelian Price

It is found in abundance in several parts of the world. The copious quantity makes this as an affordable gem. The main price determinants for this gemstone are colour, carat weight and country. Bright red colour is valued most followed by reddish orange and other colours. As mentioned, with the increase in carat weight price also increases. Lastly, supplier country plays a role in deciding the price. Gems from India and beads from Madagascar are of premium quality that are most sought after. This is the reason why the price increases if these countries furnish the buying items. Clarity and cut are 2 Cs that are important to consider when making the purchase but does not affects the price.

Occurrence: It is micro-crystalline quartz. It is found deep inside the sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. During the volcanic eruption when lava burst these rocks are formed holding this compact fibrous structure. Rocks contains large amount of this chalcedony variety as rough, due to which the stone becomes reasonably priced.
Source : It was first discovered from Arabia and Egypt deserts. At present, India is the prime source of this enthralling gemstone. The stones obtain from India are mostly bright in colour and requires no enhancement. Madagascar comes second as the important source. Fine beads reddish brown or reddish orange in colour are best obtained from this country. Few states in South America also produce fine quality gems possessing rich reddish orange tinge. Australia, Brazil, China, Scotland, West Germany, Colombia, Saxony, Russia and few part of Africa are some more countries contributing to the world's total Carnelian supply.

Enhancements: This splendid gem is often enhanced to improve its colour. The stones that are light in colour are heat treated to attain the bright red orange hue. Dull and pale stones are sporadically dyed to acquire the intense colour. Buyers should always ask the dealer to specify whether the stone owes its colour to treatments or is natural. The International Gems Organization accepts the different treatments performed to enhance the beauty of the stone but selling enhanced stone at the cost of natural stone is against the law.

Carnelian Imitations

:Many beliefs are associated with this semi precious gemstone making it's demand very high. With the modern techniques artificially synthetic stone are produced and sold under different fancy names. Even pale pebbles are stained in deep reddish orange colour. It is common practice of cheats to stain poor quality agate and sell the same at the price of a original Carnelian. Buyers need to be cautious while making the purchase. They should be careful against the illusion of fancy names and attractive offers. Few common trade names for this stone are red agate, red chalcedony and red quartz. In order to keep away all future distress, the credibility and reputation of the seller should be ensured before making any purchase from him. These days International Gemstone Organization certifies the dealer for their reliability. These dealers are liable to give written certificates mentioning the authenticity of the purchase made by the buyers.

Uses : It is widely used for making exquisite jewelries. Yellow gold of 14K, 18K or 21K is mostly used for making all the jewels. Sterling silver is yet another metal utilized for making striking items. These two metals are regularly used for crafting the necklace, pendants, earrings, rings and so on. Platinum, white gold and palladium are very expensive metals therefore are seldom used. The reason being, cost of these high cost metals does not complement the net worth of the stone.

Carnelian Jewelry for Men

Finger ring is the only carnelian jewelry item for men popular around the world. Single stone in dark brown orange hue in oval shape is ideal for rings made up 18K or 21 K gold. The beauty of the rings is augmented with the large size stone. The minimum size of the stone should be between 2-4 ctw however; higher carat weight could be selected as suitable to one's pocket.

Carnelian Jewelry for Women

Jewelry varieties for women is like a vast ocean that contain unlimited and never ending water. These are diverse forms of items that are created for women like necklace, rings, earrings, bracelets, bangles and so forth. All these could be created using either the gemstone or beads. Carnelian beads are also very much accepted. Handmade bracelets, chains and earrings with beads are very attractive. The size of bead could vary from as small as 2mm to as large as 12mm. It is even paired with beads of other stones like jade, turquoise etc. It all depends on the design. One should always make sure to restring the beaded jewelries after some time as the old string might break due to regular use. Similarly, stones are used making lovely ornaments. Single stone more than 2 carat weight offers the magnificent look to the jewels. It has its own exclusivity therefore pairing with other stones is relatively less common.

Other than jewelry, it is widely used for making eye-catching cameos and intaglios. The carving done on this stone looks wonderful due to its deep red colour. Further, as it is translucent in nature the carved design is emphasized to its best. Italy is the main source for finest artwork made from Carnelian same as other gemstones.

Precautions: It is rated 7.0 Mohs on the hardness scale. The good hardness rate makes it ideal for daily wear jewelry, as it does not require special care. Only general gemstone care is sufficient as it certainly seeks some attention. Relatively being a sturdy stone, it must be stored in separate jewelry box. It is durable yet a sharp blow or hit could lead to unwanted cracks. Once the stone is cracked it would certainly brake in next few days. Thus, it is very important to be watchful from hard blows.

Beliefs : Egyptians had a strong conviction that this gemstone seizes special supernatural powers. Therefore, they used to wear it as amulets so that after death the soul easily leaves the last life and goes into the new. Due this reason many Egyptian tomes had carnelian stones engraved. Europeans used to wear it for good luck, hope and material comforts. Greeks and Romans used to wear it in signet rings to get the shield against sin. Indians and Tibetans also believed that it has special powers related to life after death.

It is believed to proffer the owner with energy and strength at the time of illness. Strength is regained after sickness by eating right kind of food. Therefore, it is suggested to wear this stone in finger ring as it improves the appetite. This trait of the gem makes it an energy booster for its possessor. It is also said to ward off the bad vibrations as well as negative thoughts. It is also supposed to be a boon from the purpose of health problems. It is alleged to stop bleeding and heal the wound. It also helps in blood purification. Today astrologers suggest people to wear this fascinating gemstone to control the anger and develop more patience. It aids in developing good sense of humor thereby bringing joy and happiness. The most important faith associated with this gem is that it safeguards its owner against poverty.

Carnelian gemstone is certainly only one of its kind. Like all other gemstone jewelries it too enhances the beauty of the wearer but most extraordinary characteristic is that it acts as a faithful guard for health and wealth of its owner. It undoubtedly is an energy booster in each and every aspect. Noble families in ancient times were smart to confine this multifaceted stone exclusively for their community, No such restriction subsist nowadays so try your luck and get hold of this versatile gem today. What say !!

Carnelian  Physical Properties 

Chemical Composition

The chemical composition is Silicon dioxide and the chemical formula is SiO2.

Colours

Deep red, reddish orange, reddish brown. 

Hardness

Varies between 6.5 – 7 Mohs.

Refractive Index

1.543  - 1.554

Specific Gravity

2.65 – 2.67

Luster

Waxy to dull.

Solid State

Translucent.

Crystal System

Tetrahedral crystal system.

Cleavage

None

Heat Sensitive

No

Fractures

Conchoidal

Bi-refringence

0.009 

Pleochroism

None

Optical Character

Uniaxial 

Enhancement

Heat-treated to improve the colour. 

Precautions

Only general gemstone precautions required.

Source

India, South America, Madagascar, Australia, Brazil, China, Scotland, West Germany, Colombia, Saxony, Russia and few part of Africa
 
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