Many of our familiar stones belong to the Quartz family, so I won’t attempt to talk about them all in one blog. Earlier blogs have been about Amethyst and Citrine. Here’s a brief mention of the well known ones. Rock Crystal, Amethyst, Citrine, Smokey Quartz, Rose Quartz, Tiger’s Eye and Aventurine. Quartz is a silicate that forms as large trigonal crystals inside a geode, which is basically an air bubble in the volcanic rock.
In this blog I’m going to talk about Cornelian (often spelled Carnelian) which belongs to a Quartz sub category called Chalcedony (pronounced as a hard C, silent H). This is a cryptocrystalline monoclinic form of Quartz, that’s compact and forms such tiny crystals they can’t be seen with the naked eye.
A glassy, translucent stone, Cornelian is the orange-coloured variety of Chalcedony, coloured by impurities of iron oxide. The colour varies from pale pinkish-orange to a deep rusty brown, quite often banded, though it is most known for its brilliant orange and red-orange crystals. Its name comes from a Latin word meaning “flesh.”
Cornelian is found in many areas of the world, principally Peru, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The colour is so strong I always think it will take a while to sell a necklace, however they rarely stay in my stock for long!
The ancient Egyptians called Cornelian “the setting sun.” In its orange hues, they identified it with the receptive or passive female energies and associated it with the mother goddess, Isis. In its red, red-orange to reddish brown shades, they considered it the active male energy stone, recognized by its glowing vibrant color. Cornelian is traditionally worn to enhance passion, love, and desire.