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Joseph Fredric

Discount Jewelry Making Supplies - 0 views

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started by Joseph Fredric on 20 Apr 12
  • Joseph Fredric
    Carnelian (also called cornelian) is a brownish-red mineral which is commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. The name "carnelian" is believed to be a 16th century corruption of the 14th century name "cornelian." The Carnelian gemstone adopted it's name from the cornel cherry, whose translucent red fruits resemble the stone.

    It is very similar to and often confused with another gemstone called Sard. Even though Sard is harder and darker, the two gemstone types are generally used interchangeably.

    Both Carnelian and Sard are varieties of the silica mineral Chalcedony (crypto crystalline quartz) and get their color from iron oxide impurities. The color of the two gemstones can vary greatly and range from pale orange to an intense black coloration.

    Carnelian has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, with a density of 2.58 to 2.64. With a refractive index of 1.530 o 1.540, the gemstone can range from translucent to opaque.

    Carnelian and Sard In History

    Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers (1800 B.C. at Knossos on Crete where it was used in decorative arts. This early history makes carnelian one of the oldest gemstones known to man.

    The Romans used Carnelian to make signets, seal rings, and engraved gems. These items were used to imprint hot wax seals on important documents since hot wax doesn't stick to Carnelian.

    The Assyrians used Sard for cylinder seals. The Egyptian and Phoenician made scarabs from the gemstone, and early Greek and Etruscan used them as gems in jewelry. Hebrew High Priests wore them as the first stone (odem or sardius) in their ceremonial breastplates.

    Carnelian has also been found in a 4th-5th century B.C. Neolithic archaeology site called Megrgarh. At that time bow drills were used to drill holes in the gemstone.

    Modern Usage and Information About Carnelian

    In East Indian culture, this gemstone is said to match up with the Second Chakra (Spleen) and gives power and healing to the wearer. It is also represented by the Zodiac sign Virgo and the planet Mars.

    If you buy beads online, you should be aware of the fact that a lot of carnelian gemstones on the market are agates. Many sellers dye and heat treat agates to make them resemble carnelian.

    One way to identify natural carnelian is to hold it up to a light or sun-light. A dyed, processed agate will reveal "striping" whereas carnelian will be cloudy.

    In addition to being use as jewelry beads, carnelian is also cut and polished into attractive cabochons. A well prepared carnelian gemstone makes an eye-catching focal stone.

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