A red-orange Chalcedony that helps stimulate initiative and dispel apathy and passivity. It is particularly useful for promoting the physical energy needed to take action in emotionally challenging circumstances. Carnelian is also said to help dissipate sorrow from emotional self.
Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a brownish-red mineral commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. Similar to carnelian is sard, which is generally harder and darker (the difference is not rigidly defined, and the two names are often used interchangeably).
Both carnelian and sard are varieties of the silica mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide. The color can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration. Significant localities include Yanacodo (Peru); Ratnapura (Sri Lanka); and Thailand. It has been found in Indonesia, Brazil, India, Russia (Siberia), and Germany.
Although now the more common term, "carnelian" is a 16th-century corruption of the 14th-century word "cornelian" (and its associated orthographies corneline and cornalyn). Cornelian, cognate with similar words in several Romance languages, comes from the Mediaeval Latin corneolus, itself derived from the Latin word cornum, the cornel cherry, whose translucent red fruits resemble the stone. The Oxford English Dictionary calls "carnelian" a perversion of "cornelian," by subsequent analogy with the Latin word caro, carnis, flesh. According to Pliny the Elder, sard derived its name from the city of Sardis in Lydia from which it came, and according to others, may ultimately be related to the Persian word sered, meaning yellowish red. Sarx in Greek means "flesh", and other stones have similar naming, such as the onyx stone in sardonyx, which came from Greek for "claw" or "fingernail" because onyx with flesh-colored and white bands can resemble a fingernail. So this type of use analogy may have been more widespread.