Discover the Properties of Carnelian: From Physical to Metaphysical, How this Gemstone Can Benefit Your Life

Carnelian, a gemstone of rare beauty and power, has captivated hearts worldwide for millennia. As a member of the chalcedony family, it is a unique mineral composed of tiny quartz crystals. While Carnelian can be found across the globe, the most exquisite specimens hail from India and Brazil. In this blog post, we delve into the captivating physical and metaphysical properties of Carnelian, as well as its rich history and profound significance as a birthstone and zodiac stone. 

Discover the Properties of Carnelian: Physical & Metaphysical

Properties of Carnelian

Carnelian is a hard stone with a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7. It has a vitreous luster and can be translucent or opaque. It's signature hue is a bright orange-red color, although it can range from pale peach to deep red. Carnelian jewelry is prized because of its rich color and durability, making it a popular choice.

Carnelian Metaphysical Properties

Carnelian has been associated with many metaphysical properties throughout history. It is said to be a stone of courage and creativity, and is believed to enhance vitality, motivation, and endurance. For instance, it is believed to boost energy levels, increase motivation, and improve stamina, making it a popular choice for those seeking to enhance their physical performance or overcome fatigue. Carnelian is also thought to be beneficial for the digestive system, and to help with issues related to the reproductive system.

Regarding chakras, Carnelian is associated with the sacral chakra located in the lower abdomen. This chakra is associated with creativity, sexuality, and emotions. Carnelian is said to help balance and activate this chakra by stimulating the flow of creative energy, promoting emotional well-being and creativity. It is also believed to enhance one's sexual vitality and passion. 

History and Significance

Carnelian has a long and storied history, dating back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians, who called the stone "the sunset stone" due to it's colors, believed the gemstone had protective powers and used it to make jewelry and amulets. Carnelian was associated with courage and strength in ancient Greece and Rome and was often used to make signet rings.

Many historical figures have worn carnelian jewelry. The ancient Egyptian pharaohs were often depicted wearing carnelian necklaces and bracelets, and the Roman emperor Augustus was said to have owned a carnelian seal ring. The Met Museum in New York has many historical carnelian pieces, including a necklace found found on the Egyptian mummy of a little girl named Myt and another necklace from the Roman period where the necklace is combined with gold and other gemstones. In more recent history, the Russian Empress Catherine the Great was known to have a collection of carnelian jewelry. In other cultures, such as China and India, Carnelian is also highly valued and has been used in traditional medicine and spiritual practices for centuries.


Egyptian Carnelian Necklace
Egyptian Carnelian Necklace, ca. 2051–2030 B.C. The Met Museum, New York
Roman Carnelian Necklace
Roman Carnelian, Gold and Gemstone Necklace, 1st century CE. The Met Museum, New York


Birthstone and Zodiac Stone

Carnelian is the birthstone for July and Virgo's zodiac stone. People born in July are said to be passionate and creative, and Carnelian is believed to enhance these qualities. For Virgos, who are known for their practicality and attention to detail, Carnelian is thought to help balance these traits with creativity and intuition, providing a more holistic approach to life.

Carnelian is a prized gemstone that is worn for various reasons, and it is exceptionally beautiful. If you are searching for Carnelian jewelry, please consider some of my handmade earrings and necklaces. 


The Stitch Alliance, created by Renee Haas, explores the intersection between fiber arts, gemstones, feminism, and handmade jewelry. Sign up for the newsletter and receive a free Gemstone Guide.