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Strands of Carnelian Gemstone Beads

Depicted above is a Greek carnelian ringstone carved with a bust of Alexander the Great, from the Late Hellenistic Period, circa 1st century B.C.
Carnelian, also known as cornelian, is silicon dioxide, a gemstone variety of the tectosilicate mineral quartz in the trigonal crystal system. Carnelian is an orange-red translucent variety of chalcedony, quartz with an microcrystalline texture so fine that its crystalline nature is too small to see clearly even under strong magnification. The name carnelian is derived from the Latin caro, carnis for "flesh", in reference to the fleshy color sometimes exhibited. The color of chalcedonies popularly classified as carnelian ranges from yellowish orange to a deep red, almost-black coloration and is imparted by impurities of hematite or goethite. Faint stripes or bands are sometimes seen within carnelian, but stones in which the stripes or bands are more pronounced grade into agate.

Most natural carnelian occurs as nodules of common chalcedony which have been infiltrated by solutions of iron bearing salts which later precipitated as reddish oxides. The localities which have sourced fine carnelian include Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Uruguay and the United States.

Carnelian has been valued and employed as a gemstone since antiquity. Carnelian artifacts have been recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete dating to approximately 1800 B.C. Because hot wax does not stick to Carnelian, it was used widely in ancient Roman times to make signet and seal rings for imprinting wax seals on important documents.

Closely related to carnelian is sard, which is generally distinguished from carnelian by virtue of being less translucent and darker in color, although the difference between them is ambiguous in common nomenclature and the two names are often used interchangeably. Both were known as sardion during the Middle Ages.

Carnelian is most commonly presented in jewelry as cabochons, beads and carvings. Carnelian is a relatively tough and hard material (6-7 Mhos hardness) with good wear characteristics and resistance to abrasion. Carnelian wears well in rings and bracelets and is commonly employed as a gemstone in all types of jewelry. Carnelian does not have specific care requirements, but conservative gemstone precautions should be observed when cleaning and storing carnelian for the sake of preserving the original condition of the stone. It is safest to clean carnelian using warm water, mild soap and a cloth or soft brush. Do not use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner and keep carnelian out of contact with excessive heat, acids, ammonia and other chemical or abrasive cleaners.


BeadStrand71 - Carnelian Gemstone Beads 10mm Round - $21.45
    
Limited Stock: 3 Strands Available
BeadStrand71 - Carnelian Gemstone Beads 10mm Round Approximate Size: 10mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details.

Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 40 beads.

Average strand weight approximately 56 grams.

Translucent carnelain rounds imbued with classic rich red-brown color.


BeadStrand72 - Carnelian Gemstone Beads 14mm Round - $28.95
    
Limited Stock: 1 Strand Available
BeadStrand72 - Carnelian Gemstone Beads 14mm Round Approximate Size: 14mm diameter. Please note the image at left may be larger than life to help show the fine details.

Strand lengths are approximately 16 inches long and each strand contains approximately 28 beads.

Average strand weight approximately 107 grams.

Large and gemmy yellow-orange to orange-red carnelian rounds.

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