orange carnelian gemstone on black background

The carnelian stone – also known as cornelian – is a type of chalcedony quartz very similar to sard and sardonite. The name of this gemstone (associated with the Latin word for “flesh”) refers to its color, ranging from pale red and orange to dark red and brown. The translucent, crystalline structure of the carnelian stones make them perfect for amulets and jewelry. Carnelian seems to have originated in India (being mined mostly in the Bengal region), but important deposits have been found in Brazil, Madagascar, South Africa, Uruguay and some parts of the United States.

Carnelian Stone Meaning Through Time

Carnelian was known to almost all ancient civilizations, being associated with high levels of spirituality. Ancient Egyptians praised the stone as they believed it could protect the living and also the dead in the afterlife. Egyptians used to place Carnelian stones in the tombs to accompany the souls in their journey to the afterlife. The Egyptians used the carnelian stones in amulets for the stone’s protective role against black magic or the Evil Eye.

The carnelian stone meaning was known to Hebrews as well – appearing in Hebrew mythology as a protective stone with the power of bringing peace. It was also associated with loyalty and renewal.

In the Buddhist regions of India, Nepal or China, carnelian stone jewelry was worn in several types of protective rituals. They also combined carnelian with turquoise and lapis lazuli to enhance the stone’s powers.

The Ancient Romans considered the carnelian stone as a luck-bringer and a symbol of courage and power. Archeologists discovered that a carnelian stone ring would be worn by Roman high-ranking officers to seal letters, as the wax didn’t stick to the stone.

Ancient Greeks also used carnelian for its spiritual and healing powers, associating it with courage, inspiration, and ambition, confidence, self-realization, and motivation. Used as protection against negative powers and energies, and worn individually to bring luck, hope and physical energy, the carnelian wasn’t forgotten in modern times either. One of its most ardent supporters was Goethe, who worn it as a protection from evil and as a bringer of creativity, comfort, and personal power.

Today, the Carnelian is the national gemstone of northern European countries of Norway and Sweden and is revered for its healing properties.

raw red carnelian stones

Carnelian Stone Healing Properties & Uses

Carnelian stones, no matter their color, are frequently worn as their reputation didn’t fade away with the passing of years. On the contrary, the modern world praised the carnelian stone for its properties and various uses. It is said to represent the Third Chakra and the Six Petal Lotus – thus being used to balance the spirit and the body and alleviate internal organs’ dysfunctions and illnesses.

On the physical plane, carnelian stones are believed to:

  • Enhance the experiencing  of all five senses;
  • Ameliorate insomnia;
  • Heal neuralgia, rheumatism, and asthma;
  • Purify the skin and the blood – used in elixirs for its detoxification powers;
  • Eliminate waste products from the body;
  • Help cuts to heal quickly;
  • Increase sexual energy;
  • Calm-down temper tantrums;
  • Helps people deal better with depression and sorrow;
  • Relieves menstrual cramps and abdominal disorders;
  • Speed up metabolism;
  • Stimulate the appetite.

Being linked to the Root Chakras and the Sacral Chakras, Carnelian stones can be worn on the body as jewelry, talismans, and amulets, taken as a gem elixir or displayed in some parts of a room to trigger its positive powers upon the inhabitants.

From an emotional point of view, Carnelian is associated with alleviating negative emotions and moods. It is worn to fight against depression and negativity, allowing the user to see the bright side of things and be filled with optimism. It is also associated with fighting off jealousy, anger, fear and resentment. It balances emotions, helping alleviate traumas of the soul. Being an energy booster, it makes the user feel more confident, positive, self-aware and more inclined to embrace the good side of life.

From a spiritual point of view, carnelians are the stones of love, friendship, communication, loyalty, and sensuality. It is a talisman of success in the money-making department, channeling prosperity. Being a crystal associated with ambition, decision-making, self-esteem, personal power, creativity and discovery of talent, carnelian stones are success drivers for the users’ careers or even personal entrepreneurial ventures.

carnelian stone necklaces

Carnelian Stone Jewelry: a Short Guide

Carnelian beads necklaces and pendants in orange and red are the most frequent ones, especially because of their healing powers. Once considered exclusive gemstones dedicated only to the upper classes and noble families, carnelian stone jewelry is a symbol of powerful people. Carnelians in other shades of red and blue can be worn as friendship amulets. They are also terrific charms against negative energies. Some recommend wearing carnelian stone jewelry during periods of times associated with high levels of stress (exams, work projects, personal matters, etc.).

If you want to gift carnelian stone jewelry to a close person, choose orange and red stones for young women or newlywed couples, as they are potency symbols, associated with the consummation of love and conceiving of children. You can also gift carnelian stone jewelry to people born in July – the Ancient Greeks associated the stone with the returning sun and the power of the sun – meaning rejuvenation and hope.

Carnelian Stone Other Recommended Uses

Carnelians are also recommended for several types of professionals: architects and builders, construction workers, are recommended to keep carnelian stones close by or even wear carnelian stone jewelry to enhance their creativity and protect their master buildings. It also protects workers against accidents provoked by tools and machinery.

It is also recommended for singers and performance artists, as it clears the voice and channels confidence and success on stage, thus being also called the Singer’s Stone.

Since it promotes idealism, just causes and the sense of justice, it helps lawmakers to defend causes.

It is also the stone of Scorpios.

In Feng Shui, carnelian stones placed in the center of a room bring harmony and peace. When placed on the West side, they enhance creativity, being recommended to artists and creators. If placed in the South, it brings success, pragmatism, fights off poverty and brings luck, thus being recommended to business people and entrepreneurs.

If you want to find out more about gemstones and birthstones, take a look at our comprehensive A to Z guide to gemstone meanings and powers.