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Semi precious stones properties: Carnelian stone

Birthstone for July.

In this blog article, we are focussing on the Carnelian stone. They are the birthstone of July together with Ruby which makes them a more affordable, yet as beautiful, alternative. They are translucent members of the Quartz family and come in a warm range of colours from light to dark orange, through to red tones. The name ‘Carnelian’ derives from the word ‘carne’ which is Latin for ‘flesh’, probably because of its colour. The translucent properties of the Carnelian gives it a “dull” waxy luster.


Carnelian stone - Birthstone for July

Gemstone fact: Hot wax does not stick to the Carnelian stone, meaning it was used in seal rings to fasten important documents for centuries


Carnelians can very frequently be mistaken for Sard and Sardonyx gemstones. If you are wondering what is the difference between Sard, Sardonyx and Carnelian gemstones, we hope we can explain below why they are often confused with each other.

The main difference between Sard and Carnelians are found in their colour, but the boundary isn’t strict. In general, the orange-red varieties are known as Carnelians, whilst Sard is traditionally browner in colour. In both, the colour comes from the presence of iron oxide in them. Another subtle difference comes in the hardness of the stone, with Carnelians slightly softer than its harder and tougher cousin. Sardonyx is technically a form of Onyx, but brown in colour.

Carnelian stones have been used in jewellery for centuries. This natural gemstone has been recovered from 'Bronze Age' sites in Greece, in forms that demonstrate it has been used decoratively. In ancient Egypt it was used to make ‘scarabs’, beetle shaped amulets which represented good luck and the restoration of life. More recently in Roman times it was popular in signet rings and wax seals.

Due to its ancient origins, these semi-precious stones have over the years been associated with a number of positive properties. The ancient Egyptians called the stone “the setting sun” and wore it to enhance passion, love and desire. Nowadays, singers and actors enjoy wearing Carnelian jewellery as it is said to boost courage and self-confidence. Known as a stone of motivation and endurance, amongst the Carnelian properties are the restoration of vitality and motivation, and promotion of courage and positive life choices. It is a powerful stone connected to our Sacral Chakra. It is said to help us regain personal power we have lost. 

Amelie Earrings: Sterling Silver and Carnelian hoop earrings 


Here at Mosaico we use Carnelian gemstones to create a number of our colourful jewellery pieces, as its rich colours can inspire Autumnal tones as the leaves start to fall, and also represent a gorgeous and perfect summer sunset. Carnelians are also aptly the gemstone associated as the Zodiac birthstone for the signs of Leo and Virgo.

Now that you know more about Carnelians, for those whose birthday is in July and are looking for a fun alternative to Rubies, Carnelian jewellery make the perfect gift for her or yourself.

Prefer other types of gemstones? Browse our website and choose the perfect treat for you or a loved one.

Learn more about other birthstones by clicking here>>.