Words nearby carnelian
What is carnelian?
Carnelian is a reddish gemstone. It is a variety of chalcedony, a type of quartz.
Carnelian is sometimes spelled cornelian (its original spelling), though this is now much less common.
Carnelian is considered a semiprecious gemstone, which is a label applied to gemstones that have a lesser value than those deemed precious. However, carnelian is not commonly seen in fine jewelry and can be quite inexpensive. Carnelian is typically formed into a shape known as a cabochon, which is polished but not cut into facets. These are often used as beads in necklaces and bracelets.
Carnelian is one of the traditional birthstones for the month of August (though in the UK it is considered one of the birthstones for the month of July).
The word carnelian can also refer to a color—a shade of dark reddish-brown, like that of the gemstone.
Example: The ancient pendant was made from a striking piece of banded carnelian.
Where does carnelian come from?
The first records of the word carnelian come from the late 1600s. It’s a variant of cornelian, from the Middle French corneline, which may be equivalent to the Old French cornele, meaning “cherry.” The change in spelling from cor- to car- is thought to have been influenced by the Latin carneus, meaning “flesh-colored” (a root also seen in the word carnation, which also may have influenced the spelling change).
Carnelian is found throughout the world, most commonly in India, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Russia, and Uruguay. It is a variety of chalcedony, a microcrystalline, translucent variety of quartz. Other varieties of chalcedony that are also used as gemstones include jasper and onyx. The coloring of carnelian is due to the presence of iron.
Carnelian has been used in ornamentation and jewelry since ancient times, with some artifacts dating to the 3rd century. It was frequently used to make cameos—engraved gems.
Did you know … ?
What are some other forms related to carnelian?
- cornelian (alternate spelling)
What are some synonyms for carnelian?
- agate (when it is banded)
What are some words that share a root or word element with carnelian?
What are some words that often get used in discussing carnelian?
How is carnelian used in real life?
Carnelian is considered a semiprecious gemstone, but it is often fairly inexpensive. People sometimes value it for what they believe are spiritual or mystical properties.
The goddess Athena, spear and shield in hand, cuts a fine figure on this ancient carnelian scaraboid gem. A serpent-headed fringe completes her garb. 11/16 in. Greek, Late Archaic Period, 510–500 BCE. MFA, Boston. pic.twitter.com/O7aIDkcDzS
— Classical Mythology (@ClassicalMyths) June 9, 2020
"A mullet he bought, for 6000 sesterces, at roughly a thousand per pound…" (Juvenal, Satire 4.15-16)
Image: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (98.762) pic.twitter.com/CsbvpQ2ezb
— Dr Crom (@DocCrom) April 5, 2021
Beautiful and ancient Greek gold necklace. Set with garnet and carnelian gemstones.
2nd-1st century BC.
From Amarynthos, Euboea.
Image: National Archaeological Museum, Athens. pic.twitter.com/tVIYxQP7cQ
— Trax (@artytrace) May 16, 2021
Try using carnelian!
True or False?
Carnelian is a variety of the mineral known as chalcedony.
How to use carnelian in a sentence
As crystals’ soothing popularity continues, one — carnelian — attracts those in search of self-improvement and positivity.
For he hath sent demanding my daughter, and commanding me to break my carnelian-idol, and to adopt his faith.'The Arabian Nights|Unknown
Often made up of alternate layers of chalcedony, carnelian, and cacholong.
He held out to Val a chain of gold mesh ending in a carnelian carved into a seal.Ralestone Luck|Andre Norton