Carnelian Gemstone - Colour, Characteristics & Properties - TJC

Carnelian is rich, warm red hues characterise the carnelian, which was named because of its stunning colour.

Origin and Supply of Carnelian

There is some dispute as to where the name carnelian originates. Some believe it’s derived from the from the Latin word cornum, that describes the red fruit of the cornel cherry. Others believe it comes from the Latin word for flesh. But either way, they both refer to the intense red colour of the stone.

Optical Features

Carnelian is a silica mineral of the chalcedony group. It measures around 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, so it is fairly resistant to daily wear and tear. Its blood-red colour is due to iron oxide being present in the stone.

Hocus Pocus

Carnelian has been used throughout history, as people believed it had mystical powers. It was prized in India and Tibet, where it was believed to give the wearer special powers. According to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, carnelian should be placed in tombs as 'magic armour' for the afterlife. Others believed the stone could calm hot tempers by ‘stilling the blood’.


This enigmatic stone is uniquely distinctive and surrounded by interesting legends of old. Bloodstone gems make an alluring addition to jewellery – their depth of character and spectacularly original colour formation make for an outstanding choice amongst discerning buyers.

Gem Specs

Colour Purple, Lilac, Mauve
Crystal Structure Hexagonal
Sources Brazil, Russia, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, and USA