A Writers Guide to Carnelian



Carnelian is a brownish-red mineral made of chalcedony. It gets its color from iron oxide. The color varies greatly, ranging from a pale orange to an almost-black coloration. The darker colors are actually sard (a harder, tougher, duller stone), but the names are used interchangeably.

The word carnelian comes from the Latin word carneous, which translates to flesh-like. The lighter colored stones have a fleshy color.

History and Lore

  • Carnelian was used during Roman times as engraved gems in signet rings. Hot wax doesn’t stick to carnelian.
  • In Ancient Egypt, carnelian was placed in tombs to protect the dead in the afterlife.

Magical and Mystical Properties include

  • purifying blood
  • relieving menstrual cramps and back pain
  • helping with fertility
  • healing frigidity
  • healing depression
  • boosting energy
  • increasing appetite
  • calming the temper
  • protecting against envy, rage, and resentment
  • enhancing passion and desire
  • protection in the afterlife, guarding from evil
  • enhancing creativity

Different shades for carnelian have varying effects.

Discharging & Recharging

To discharge carnelian, let warm water run over the stone. To recharge it, place it in direct sunlight for a substantial amount of time. (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)

This is a reference for fiction writers and should not be taken as medical or spiritual advice.gemstone index

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  1. I love its colours. Reminds me of a clown fish.

  2. I had to write a fair bit on carnelian for my dissertation on Ancient Egyptian blood ritual. Both it and red jasper are my favourite kind of stones 🙂

  3. For a moment there, I thought that was a picture of some kind of raw meat… So the name is fitting, indeed!

  4. I like the color of this stone, it has an amber, or “c”itrine look to it. That's my “c” contribution to your post 🙂

  5. “Hot wax does not stick to carnelian” — I love fascinating little tidbits like that!

  6. Looks like a piece of hard candy.

  7. What a great A-Z series. I love it when writers do series like this, I learn so much.

  8. I thought it was meat at first glance, too. I most of the properties – except increasing the appetite. I don't need any help there!
    Happy C Day!

  9. This was great – Amy is given a carnelian ring in Little Women or perhaps Good Wives – I've always wondered as to what the ring may have looked like!
    Well answered – that question's been in the back of my mind for about 17 years!

  10. I could've used an energy-booster today. 😉

  11. I've loved seeing those carnelian signet rings. They're so cool. Great post!

  12. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.

  13. i thought it was raw meat too… silly i am backwards.
    jeremy [iZombie]


  14. I love the colors!

    Great Challenge post!

  15. Fascinating, Holly,

    I also wrote about a mystical stone… if you have a chance hop over.

  16. Hi, I love your idea. I used to string necklaces out of semi-precious stones, and loved learning about them.

  17. This is a great idea on the use of the challenge!

  18. This entire series of posts is just fascinating. I love incorporating this stuff into stories.

  19. Wow – really fascinating!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! To answer your question – yes, my CPs are mostly in my genre (YA), but one is a romance writer.

  20. Hi, Holly! Awesome theme for your A-Z posts! My mom is really into gemstones, so I know a little about them. This is super informative.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm looking forward to your future posts!

  21. Hmm. Just how big a chunk do you need for it to be effective for healing menstrual cramps or depression?

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