Romancing Our Gems: Carnelian

Romancing Our Gems: Carnelian

Fall is officially here, though the temps have me thinking it's still the middle of summer. Nothing excites me more about fall than the warm hues of a favorite gem: carnelian.

Carnelian is well known and generally inexpensive. It is a variety of chalcedony that ranges in color from yellow-orange to rich, near reddish orange, to orangey-brown.  The gem also varies from semi-opaque to highly translucent. Color variations reflect dispersion of iron oxide, while heat and iron salt dyes intensify the color. 

Starting in ancient Greece and Rome, cameos were often carved in carnelian shell or sardonyx (from the same mineral family). The exquisite beauty and fine detail of great cameos means they have held their value through the ages. I cherish mine. 

Here's an example of an exquisite cameo on 1stdibs

Carnelian Cameo from 1stdibs



I love the warmth of carnelian, especially when paired with golden pearls and smoky quartz.

Or, from our Fall Collection, carnelian mixed with rutilated quartz and textured silver.

The light pumpkin to deep rust whispers fall.

Discover more season-evoking pieces at


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