What is Carnelian?


Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family. It’s known for its vibrant shades of orange, although it can also appear in red or brown hues. The color is due to the presence of iron impurities in the mineral. Carnelian is commonly found in India, Brazil, and Uruguay, among other places. It has been used for thousands of years in jewelry, seals, and amulets, and was even used by the ancient Egyptians to craft talismans.

Carnelian is a vibrant gemstone known for its rich orange and red hues. It’s a variety of chalcedony and is part of the Quartz family. This eye-catching stone has been used for thousands of years in various forms of jewelry and decorative arts, and it continues to be a popular choice for modern jewelry designs.

Gemstone Properties

Chemical ClassificationInorganic - Silicate (Chalcedony)
ColorRanges from pale orange to deep reddish-brown.
LusterWaxy to vitreous.
TransparencyTranslucent to opaque.
OccurrenceIndia, Brazil, and Uruguay.
FormationCarnelian is formed from silica-rich waters in volcanic or sedimentary rocks.
Mohs Hardness6.5 to 7.
Specific Gravity2.58-2.64.
Diagnostic PropertiesReddish-orange translucent chalcedony.
Chemical CompositionSiO2
PleochroismNot observed in carnelian.
Crystal SystemHexagonal (variety of Quartz)
Optical PropertiesUniaxial (+)
Refractive Index1.530 - 1.539
2V angleNot applicable (isometric)
DispersionNot typically noted for carnelian as it's not a key feature of this stone.