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Carnelian is a brownish-red mineral commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. The color of carnelian can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration. It is most commonly found in Indonesia, Brazil, India, Russia (Siberia), and Germany.

Carnelian is the translucent orange form of chalcedony quartz although the colors range from brown to red and usually appears more opaque than translucent.

It has been used by just about every civilization since the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians and is revered more for its spiritual power and significance than its rarity.

Carnelian Colors

Iron impurities give this quartz its orange coloring and it ranges all the way from light golden yellows to almost red hues. As it gets closer to brown it can be referred to as Sard and if there is a mix of orange, red and brown within the same gemstone we might call it jasper.

They all share some color similarities but generally Carnelian (sometimes called Cornelian) is the evenly colored orange version with a golden yellow to reddish brown range.

Carnelian is a very reasonably priced gemstone and they are all similar in price no matter the color but the brighter red colors followed by reddish orange are the most sought after so will be valued just a little higher than the paler colors. 

Colors can be enhanced by heat treatment or by dyeing other forms of chalcedony quartz so check wherever you may be buying your carnelian. Rest assured if any of our carnelian gemstones have been treated we will pass that information onto you.

Carnelian Species

Carnelian is part of the Chalcedony group of gemstones which includes Agate, Jasper, Onyx, Bloodstone and many more. These are all quartzes and are basically differentiated by their color, stripes or patterns. Carnelian is the orange through red to brown variation of this family and is generally a solid color although there can be some striping and some lighter or darker patches on the same stone.

Carnelian Clarity

Gemstones usually fall into one of three categories of clarity with variations within that category. Opaque gemstones do not allow any light to pass through even if you hold it up to a light source. Translucent gemstones allow some light to shine through but you cannot clearly see through the gemstone.

Transparent Gemstones allow light to pass through uninhibited so you can look through them and see objects or read words on the other side. Carnelian differs from many of its cousins in the chalcedony family in that it is technically translucent, you cannot really see through a carnelian but if you hold it up you can see the light coming through especially round the edges.

a woman wear QUIYEE carnelian pendant without diamonds


QUIYEE selects Carnelian displaying straight, uniform veins, predominantly from the best mines in the world, and also works with the reputable workshop in Germany for stone cutting. The stone gleams alongside rose gold in the Mimosa En Mémoire collection, among other creations.

To ensure optimal maintenance of your jewelry creations, we welcome you to visit QUIYEE boutique 9 Rue de la Sourdière 75001 Paris France where our team can personally assist you in fulfilling a service request. Our Maison experts will take the utmost care handling your request and are dedicated to providing your creation with the best service possible so that you can continue to enjoy it daily.


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