CARNELIAN, a yellow to orange-red variety of chalcedony

VARIETY INFORMATION:

  • VARIETY OF: Crypto-crystalline Quartz , SiO2
  • USES: Gemstone and ornamental stone.
  • COLOR: Yellow, orange, or red-orange
  • HARDNESS: 7
  • CLEAVAGE: none
  • CRYSTAL SYSTEM: none visible (actual crystals are microscopic)
  • For natural Carnelian mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists

Carnelian (sometimes spelled "cornelian") is an orange variety of chalcedony, whose color can vary from nearly yellow to nearly red. If the color is darker (appearing brownish), it would be called Sard. The color of both is due to iron oxide impurities.

Carnelian is always somewhat translucent; sard may appear opaque.

Carnelian is the traditional birthstone for July, and the Zodiac birthstone for Virgo. It is associated with luck and safety.

Carnelian is only one of several chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) varieties. The primary varieties are as follows:

  • Agate is a banded variety (sometimes with translucent bands)
  • Bloodstone is green with red speckles
  • Carnelian is yellow to orange
  • Chrysoprase is green
  • Flint is generally black with a fibrous microscopic structure
  • Jasper is any colorful agate
  • Onyx is black, white, or alternating black and white
  • Sard is yellow to brown
  • Sardonyx is banded, alternating sard and (usually white) onyx

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