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Carnelian Stone Meanings

carnelian stone meanings

Who Needs Carnelian Crystals?

You may benefit from Carnelian crystals if you can relate to any of the following:

  • You want to balance your Sacral Chakra
  • You are under attack by psychic vampires
  • You love the color orange
  • You are going through a creativity block
  • You could use bright and sunny jewelry
  • You want to shed your insecurities
  • You feel bored or uninspired
  • You want to cut the cord with someone

Watch the Carnelian Video

For those of you who prefer the vibrancy of voice and visuals, click on our Youtube video to watch our overview of Carnelian Stone.

While you there, catch up on all of your A-Z Satin Crystals Meanings video series, where we answer your questions on all of the most popular crystals. You can also add your own questions and stories directly on the Youtube comments. 

What is Carnelian?

Carnelian is a light orange to reddish-orange form of Chalcedony. It gets its color from iron inclusions. 

Some sources say that Carnelian got its name from the Latin word Cornelian like the red of the cornel cherry and others say that it comes from the Latin word Carneus like the red color of flesh. Either way, we now refer to this stone as Carnelian in all of its orange-red tones. 

carnelian stone meaningsIs Carnelian the same as Sard? 

Sard is darker and harder than Carnelian. Sard is a more brown tone and Carnelian more red tone. Sard may look more opaque than Carnelian. 

However, it is often hard to tell the difference between the two stones. In the crystal world, Carnelian and Sard are accepted as the same. So, for our purposes, we can interchange the names and they will refer to the same stone.

Is Carnelian an Orange Agate or a Jasper?

Carnelian can be an orange Agate if it is banded. If it does not have layered bands in its formation, then it is an orange Chalcedony.

On the other hand, Carnelian is never a Jasper. Although Jasper is also a Chalcedony, it is always opaque whereas Carnelian can be translucent. You will usually find a lot of different colors, patterns and inclusions in Jasper stones whereas Carnelian may vary in shades of orange but does not show the different colors and inclusions. 

What are the Healing Properties of Carnelian?

In crystal healing, Carnelian is famous for several major metaphysical energies. It is a yang stone, full of powerful life energies.

Here are a few of the notable powers of this mighty stone: 

  • Shielding you from psychic vampires

  • Aiding you in creative pursuits like art, music, theater, etc.

  • Achieving sexual balance

  • Channeling the warm energy of the sun to your lower chakras

  • Supporting your professional endeavors, from interviews to new contracts to promotions

carnelian stone meaningsWhat chakra is Carnelian?

Carnelian is unequivocably used to open and balance the Sacral chakra. This chakra is your creative and sexual energy center associated with the color Orange.

Orange is also associated with power, so Carnelian boosts the Sacral Chakra. Place Carnelian over your Sacral Chakra and visualize a bright spinning orange vortex. 

Learn more about how you can use Carnelian at your Sacral Chakra.

You can also use the dark red Sard Carnelian for the Root Chakra. Learn more about activating physical energy into your Root Chakra.  

Sheila's Personal Experience with Carnelian

Carnelian is a mesmerizing stone because of its distinctive orange color. This helped me in identification and chakra association when I was starting with crystals. 

I was also drawn to the stone because it is associated with my Virgo zodiac sign. I am always attracted to bright, bold colors in life and Carnelian fits this bill. It is my second favorite Chalcedony after the beloved crystal Chrysoprase

A memorable story I have with Carnelian is when my mother and I went to teach classes in Belgium. One student was complaining about her stomach pains. My mother suggested that she try a gem elixir by soaking water in a Carnelian bowl (this could also be done with tumbled stones in a glass).

The student drank the water and several hours later she was raving about the powers of Carnelian to the class. The healing powers of Carnelian have really stuck with me since that experience.

carnelian stone meaningsLisa's Personal Experience with Carnelian

Like my sister, I also love bold colors, so Carnelian is perfect for me. It's one of the only truly blazing orange stones (though it comes with red and yellow patterns too).

The most memorable piece of Carnelian I owned was on a necklace that was handmade by a good friend. It featured a large red Carnelian rectangular pendant on a link chain. Also on the pendant was a big patch with a rose and camouflage-patterned background. Truly eclectic.

When I wore that necklace, I felt unique and bright and energized.

Where do you put the Carnelian stone?

Depending on what you are programming the Carnelian stone for will determine where you place it. Here are a few examples of where you can put your Carnelian stone: 

If you are energetically programming Carnelian for...

  • Sexual balance or menstrual pain, place it over your Sacral Chakra
  • Physical energy, place it at your Root Chakra
  • Enhanced sexuality between partners, place it in your bedroom
  • Protection from psychic attacks, wear an amulet or necklace
  • Success in an interview, wear a bracelet or ring
  • Success in your artistic pursuits, carry tumbled stones
  • Writer's block, place it on your desk
  • Place it in water to make an infused gem elixir for drinking

If you are not concerned with programming your Carnelian for a certain energy, let it do its own thing.

Place the orange stone in your home, studio, healing space or as jewelry on your body and add a splash of sunshine to your vibe. 

carnelian stone meaningsDivination with Carnelian

Drawing Carnelian in a gemstone divination session means: You may caught between making yourself happy and living up to society's expectations. Use Carnelian to focus on your own creativity and individuality. Only when you are comfortable with your own talents can you confidentally be ready to show the world what you have to offer. 

Magical Incantation of Carnelian

This is a message from Carnelian from Doreen Virtue and Judith Lukomski's book "Crystal Therapy":

"I'm the artists' stone, reflecting soulful expression through words and actions. I inspire intensity of movement in dance, and I lend fire to designers. In whatever manner it's sparked, I add a new dimension of depth to the creativity in your life, and I attract new people and experiences that support your vision. Those of you in the arts may wear me proudly, displaying your connection to the energy of the sacral chakra. It's your birthright to know the power of creativity, so choose to construct your life as you know it to be true: filled with unconditional love, clear purpose, abundance, and perfect health."

How can you tell if your Carnelian is heated or dyed? 

Because of its high iron content, Carnelian can easily be heated. It can sometimes even be heated just from the sunlight, so keep it away from direct heat and light if you want to preserve the original color of your Carnelian. Or, place it in the sun and see if your piece will change. It all depends on the iron content in your stone and how it oxidizes under heat. 

Keep in mind that most Carnelian in the crystal market is preheated to darken its colors. It may also be dyed. 

Because natural Carnelian is not as abundant as dull Chalcedony and Agate stones, vendors often dye and then heat the unattractive crystals to look like Carnelian. To identify dyed Agate: 

  • Hold Carnelian against a light source. If you see striping, it is dyed. If it is patchy with color then it is natural. 
  • Place it submerged in water to see if any dye leaks out. This process may take months, though.
  • If you have Carnelian beads, you could check to see if the string has stained with any dye or if there is any pooling of color at the bead holes. 

Secret formulas and methods have used for dying Carnelian stones for centuries. The stones are usually placed in vats of dye, salts, and pigments for several weeks until the color absorbs fully. Some Carnelian on the market is dyed white Chalcedony or lightly colored Agate.

Because it is such a specialized process perfected over the years, it is unlikely you will be able to detect the dye if you are a novice. As you get more familiar with seeing stones every day, you will get a knack for picking out the treated ones.

If you are unsure about your Carnelian, always ask your trusted vendor who will tell you exactly what they know about the stone's treatments. 

If you see a stone in any other color than red or orange advertised as Carnelian, it is a definite fake. 

How do you clean Carnelian?

Carnelian can be cleaned under tap water. You could even use a soft scrub brush as the stone is pretty stable. If it looks like a sturdy piece, you could even place Carnelian in an ultrasonic cleaner. 

However, like all-natural gemstones, Carnelian should be handled with care. Hard impacts and harsh chemicals could ruin the stone.

For energetical cleaning, charging and programming of Carnelian, visit Crystal Care

carnelian stone meanings earringsWhere is Carnelian found in the world?

Carnelian is found all over the world, but there are big deposits in Brazil, India, Russia, Egypt, Uruguay, Madagascar, USA, and Germany.

Carnelian through History

Here are some fun facts about Carnelian throughout history: 

  • Decorative Carnelian has been uncovered from the ancient world since 6,500 years ago.
  • Ancient Egyptians associated Carnelian with the Goddess Isis and her female energies.
  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead describes how Carnelian was placed in tombs for life after death. King Tutankhamun's funeral mask included Carnelian stones. 
  • Hieroglyphic texts from the Egyptian Book of the Dead were engraved on Carnelian stones.
  • Hebrew and Arab cultures used Carnelian to prevent illnesses
  • Carnelian was considered a stone of courage and physical power and worn in ancient times by soldiers going into battle

Carnelian as a Birthstone

As you may know, there is a lot of conflicting information about birthstones and zodiac stones. Here are the most popular ones that are associated with Carnelian: 

Birthstone: Carnelian was the traditional birthstone for July in the ancient Arabic calendar and the secondary birthstone for July in the British calendar. It was the traditional August birthstone in the Roman calendar. It was both an August and May birthstone in the Hebrew calendar. 

Virgo: Carnelian helps timid Virgo personalities gain confidence. It enhances their natural creative abilities and gives them the courage to reach their creative goals. Being an Earth sign, Virgo can benefit from Carnelian's active Root chakra energies. 

Leo: A secondary association exists between Carnelian and the Leo zodiac sign. Known as bold personalities, Carnelian helps to focus Leo's passionate dreams into reality. Carnelian's courageous and ambitious energies are aligned with Leo's personality, further boosting these positive traits. 

Carnelian Mineral Facts

Like Chalcedony and Agate and Quartz, Carnelian is a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Here are more facts about this amazing mineral. 
  • Surface Color: Orange, Red

  • Streak Color (can vary from surface color, this is the color of the crystals’ powdered minerals): White

  • Group: Quartz Chalcedony

  • Cleavage (where the crystal breaks off naturally to form a new face, parallel to its structure. This is a clean break and can cleave over and over again along the same face, retaining the crystals structure): None

  • Fracture: Uneven

  • Luster: Vitreous (glassy), Waxy 

  • Transparency: Translucent to Opaque

  • Crystal System: Hexagonal

  • Crystal Habit: Fibrous to Grainy Aggregate

  • Fluorescence: Yes, Blue-White

Is Carnelian expensive?

Carnelian is relatively inexpensive compared to other semi-precious gemstones. However, real and untreated Carnelian is becoming rare. These pieces will go for a premium price.

Dyed and heated Agate and Chalcedony pieces are found for cheaper than the natural Carnelian stones. 

Carnelian Jewelry & Stones

Although it has been used since ancient times, Carnelian has lost its popularity in the jewelry industry. It is not as common to see this stone worked in jewelry. So, when you do find a bright Carnelian jewel that you are attracted to, don't hesitate. 

It is a hard and tough stone so it is durable as jewelry and stone carvings.  

carnelian stone meaningsWhat stone goes well with Carnelian?

Depending on what energies you are seeking, Carnelian can be combined with several other stones. Whether you are looking to enhance your crystal healing or your gemstone style, here are a few suggestions to use with your Carnelian:

  • The warm orange of Carnelian is a complementary stone to the color blue. Use it with blue crystals like Lapis Lazuli, Dumortierite or Sodalite to balance out the fiery orange energy with a cooling blue. 

  • If you want to further activate Carnelian's bold energies, layer it with bright red stones like Jasper or yellow stones like Citrine. 

  • For a happy-go-lucky autumn feel, you can combine Carnelian with earthy colors like golden brown Tigers Eye or brown Smoky Quartz. 

  • If you want a grounding and protective stone while Carnelian is doing its energy work, add in some Rainbow Obsidian or Black Tourmaline to your practice. 

What role does Carnelian play in your life?

Have you used Carnelian for healing energies? Do you wear Carnelian jewelry? Are you attracted to the bright colors of Carnelian?

Reach out in the contact box. We would love to hear your positive comments and questions. 

Continue the Crystal Journey

Are you ready to boost your energies with Carnelian?