- Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a reddish-brown mineral which is commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone.
- The word carnelian is derived from the Latin word caro, carnis meaning flesh, in reference to the flesh color sometimes exhibited.
- This variety of chalcedony with colors between red, brownish red, and orange red was said to have the power to drive away evil and bring good luck.
- Similar to carnelian is sard, which is generally harder and darker.
- According to Pliny the Elder, sard derives its name from the city of Sardis in Lydia, but it more likely comes from the Persian word sered, meaning yellowish-red.
- Carnelian was supposedly the right stone for those with weak or timid voices, because it could give them courage to speak boldly and well.
- It was also said to protect against the envious, and was responsible for making sure the desires of its wearer were gratified.
- Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete in a form that demonstrated its use in decorative arts.
- The popularity of carnelian in the Islamic world may be due to the fact that Mohammad himself wore one as a signet ring.
- Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents.
- Carnelian of a dark or brown shade, is called Sard. Sard was thought to provide protection against incantations and sorcery, and was believed to sharpen the wits, rendering the wearer fearless, victorious in his endeavors and happy.
- Sard was used for Assyrian cylinder seals, Egyptian and Phoenician scarabs, and early Greek and Etruscan gems.
- The Hebrew odem (translated sardius), the first stone in the High Priest's breastplate, was a red stone, probably sard but perhaps red jasper.
- Sardonyx consisting of bands of sard and black and white layers, alternates with peridot as the birthstone for the month of August.
14 interesting facts about Carnelian