Stone for Motivation, Love, & Courage
A guide for the history, meaning, metaphysical uses, purposes, crystal healing, and properties of the prestigious Carnelian.
History of the Stone
Though it may not seem like it, Carnelian has quite a history of prestige and praise. Alfonso X, the King of Castile from 1221 to 1284, had encouraged the wearing of the stone for those who were shy or not great speakers. Even if you weren't, such a recommendation from a king surely would have been followed by many. Napoleon I was known to have a carnelian seal, something that would also be carried by Napoleon III. And finally, The Islamic Prophet Muhammad was known to wear a ring set with carnelian. Thus in the Islamic world, carnelian rings are common. These are just the major historical figures, there are dozens of other notable cases, such as Roman carnelian engravings that depict historical or mythological figures and the Hours of Francis I, a book that bears a carnelian engraving.
Unsurprisingly, the stone has been popular in numerous countries throughout time, even when just talking about symbolic significance or aesthetic purposes. When talking practical, it was used in some alchemy. It was used in potions to get rid of negative energy and put joy back into someone. In the Middle Ages, some used to break carnelian into a powder in order to terminate bleeding. Metaphysically, it was typically used to banish fear, instill hope, prevent envy, and protect the wearer from certain physical harms. For some, going back to speaking, the stone was used in arguments, as it was believed to make the wearer calm and magisterial in debate.
In short, carnelian has remained a popular stone in lapidary for centuries and was one of the first commodities to be traded between early civilizations. Even in medieval times, networks could be as far ranging from India to sub-Saharan Africa. Beads possibly from India (specifically Gujarat) have been found on African coasts and mainland in many places. Other trading networks can be found in Korea during and prior to the Three Kingdoms Period. It is suspected that the beads came from China or Mongolia and various regions of Asia, probably south. Although many believe that South Asia was the prime, if not only, producer of carnelian beads (especially the Indus valley), some research shows that local production during the Bronze Age and Iron Age existed in the Middle East, particularly where modern day UAE and Armenia are located.
Carnelian Pronunciation: /kɑɹniljən/ or /kaɹniliən/ (car-neel-yun or car-neel-ee-uhn).
Carnelian Misspellings: Carnealian, Carnelean, Carnilian
Crystal System: Trigonal
Carnelian has properties that bring forth passion and love. In a way, it is a good stone for those who are seeking love or job opportunities, as it is known to dampen fear and make one a better speaker.
Carnelian is quite the popular choice for clear reasons. It is a helpful, love-bound stone that can be used by anyone.
The Wrap Up
Carnelian's praise knows no bounds. It has seen appreciation all around the globe. Worn by kings, heroes, lords, and everyone else. It may not hit the ranks of sapphires, rubies, and diamonds, formally, but it sure acts like it has.
Crystals and gemstones are nature's true beauties, but they are not a substitute for seeking professional medical, legal, health, or financial advice. Crystals and gemstones are to be used in conjunction with any professional care you are receiving and do not provide healing, cures, or other remedies modern medicine can provide. The information provided in our listings with regard to the powers of crystals and gemstones are all derived from personal & professional experience with crystals & gems as well as ancient wisdom and texts documenting knowledge gained from civilizations around the world. They are not backed by the FDA or scientific/government resources. Our crystals & gemstones are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or malady. Our crystals and gemstones are also not a replacement for seeking professional legal advice, financial advising, or any other field of professional expertise. Crystals and gemstones are intended to be appreciated for their natural power and beauty, and used alongside modern, professional methods.
Brunet, Olivier. “Bronze and Iron Age Carnelian Bead Production in the UAE and Armenia: New Perspectives.” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, vol. 39, 2009, pp. 57–68. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41223969. Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.
Glover, Lauren and J. M. Kenoyer. "Overlooked Imports: Carnelian Beads in the Korean Peninsula." Asian Perspectives, vol. 58 no. 1, 2019, p. 180-201. Project MUSE
Insoll, Timothy, et al. "Towards an understanding of the carnelian bead trade from Western India to sub-Saharan Africa: the application of UV-LA-ICP-MS to carnelian from Gujarat, India, and West Africa." Journal of Archaeological Science 31.8 (2004): 1161-1173.
Kozminsky, Isidore. The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones. New York, The Knickerbocker Press, 1922.
Kunz, George Frederick. The Curious Lore of Precious Stones. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1913.