Carnelian

WHAT IS IT?

  • A glassy (vitreous) semi -precious stone that is a variety Of Chalcedony (microcrytalline quartz)

  • Quartz (Si02) containing Iron Oxide that has an orange, amber; or red color

  • May have banding, in which case it is both a Carnelian and an Agate

  • May be botryoidal (or globular) — aggregated resembling a cluster of grapes

  • Mohs Scale Hardness: 6.5 to 7.0 (between the feldspar and quartz)

  • Specific Gravity: 2.63 —2.65; Refraction Index: 1.54 to 1.55 (same as quartz crystals)

  • Similar to Sard, but Sard is harder, darker in color (brown-red) and duller.

  • Fractures with uneven splintering (Fractured Sard is jagged)

  • Differs from Jasper in Jasper is always opaque, but Carnelian is translucent

WHERE IS IT FOUND?

  • Australia, Brazil, India. Madagascar, Russia, Scotland, USA

  • The highest quality carnelian in found in Brazil: Scotland: and Washington state

  • Well known carnelian sites in Washington State include: Lucas Creek (east of Chehalis) and Salmon Creek (south east of Toledo), Green Mt. (Kalama), Silver Lake (Castle Rock), Valley C Ranch (Tenino), Upper Toutle River (on the slopes Of Mt. St. Helens).

WHAT IS IT USED FOR?

  • Carnelian has been used in jewelry since ancient times. It was used in 1800 BC by the Minoran culture of Crete. Romans used Carnelian for seal rings (signets)

  • It is used to make cabochons, beads for necklaces and bracelets, and carved into cameos.