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Carnelian Gemstones


Author: , Ph.D., GIA Graduate Gemologist


Carnelian gemstone

Carnelian gemstone: A tumble-polished carnelian with typical translucent diaphaneity. Image copyright iStockphoto / Arpad Benedek.

What is Carnelian?

Carnelian agate is a name given to a translucent orange to red to brown chalcedony. It is frequently a banded material with bands of red to orange chalcedony alternating with bands of white agate.


Carnelian Gemstones:

Carnelian is a popular semiprecious gemstone and one of the most frequently tumbled agates. It is also cut into cabochons, beads, and sometimes carvings. Carnelian is a hard, tough stone and works well in most jewelry uses. Its bright color makes it a popular and desirable gemstone that can be obtained at a reasonable price.



Tumbled Carnelian:

Carnelian agate has a hardness of seven on the Mohs Hardness Scale. It tumbles well with stones of similar hardness, such as agates, jaspers, and quartz materials. It is a good tumbling rough for people who are new to rock tumbling because it easily tumbles to a high polish.


More About Carnelian:

A large amount of the material sold as carnelian is actually a more common and less colorful agate that has been heat treated or stained. Heating causes iron impurities within the agate to develop a bright orange to bright red color.




 Rocks and Minerals Commonly Tumbled
Agate
Amazonite
Aventurine
Beryl
Bloodstone
Carnelian
Chrysoprase
Flint
Fluorite
Hematite
Labradorite
Lapis Lazuli
Malachite
Obsidian
Petrified Wood
Rhodochrosite
Rhodonite
Rose Quartz
Smoky Quartz
Sodalite
Sunstone
Tiger's-Eye
Turquoise

Carnelian agate beads in a necklace

Carnelian agate beads: Carnelian agate beads in a necklace. Image copyright Geology.com.



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