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Another stone with an ancient and fascinating history. Carnelian is a variant of Chalcedony. Carnelian was traditionally used to make signet rings with a carved seal for use with sealing wax, as the hot wax did not stick to the stone. Carnelian is colour-enhanced by baking for days in an oven, buried in rice husks. Its beautiful, fiery reds and oranges come from iron oxides in the stone.

Metaphysically and historically - the Greeks and Romans particularly valued Carnelian and believed that it could calm bad temper or "still the blood." It has also been used for help with infertility and general healing and aiding in vitality and metabolism. Dreams of this stone can signify impending danger.

It is a medium hard stone - with a hardness of 6.5-7, and takes a particularly high gloss when polished. The hot new trend in stone beads is now matte-finished stone. When finished to a matte finish - Carnelian's translucency gives it as soft, inner glow. Matte-finish stones are particularly handsome in men's jewelry - where a glossy stone may be seen as being "too glitzy."

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