Additional Craft Information:
Carnelian has enjoyed nearly uninterrupted popularity as a jewellery stone from pre-historic times to the present day. It was an obvious choice as an early gemstone; with orange to red colours created by iron oxide inclusions, carnelian nodules would stand out and glow in a creek bed or field. As a variety of chalcedony it was harder and more durable than the surrounding rocks. Its durable properties, as much as its attractive colour, ensure that it has never faded from view.
DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape
DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers
The name Carnelian comes from the Latin cornu, meaning horn, cornum meaning cherry, or carnis meaning flesh. Carnelian beads dating to at least 4000-5000BC were unearthed at Mehrgarh, an important Neolithic archaeological site on the Kachi plain in Pakistan. Carnelian dating to 1800BC has been found at Knossos, on the island of Crete. Often set with Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise, Carnelian was a gemstone of choice in the high-carat gold jewellery of the Egyptian Pharoahs. For the Romans, Carnelians toughness made it ideal for signet or seal rings, as it could stand up to detailed carving and the shock of hot wax. In the 1800's gem artisans from Germany cut Carnelian beads specifically for trade in Mali, West Africa. Carnelian was also a favourite during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods when cabouchons were used in abundance. Today it is again a favourite with jewellers due to its variety of cuts and vivid colour.
DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife
DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint
Carnelian occurs in both banded and patterned varieties and in a wide range of orange to red colours, so there are numerous cuts to choose from. It is available at all price points, from inexpensive beads to bright jelly orange stones or carved gems.Deposits of Carnelian have been discovered worldwide in areas of volcanic rock, where it formed as orange to red nodules of pure, patternless chalcedony as well as banded agate. The mines of Rajpipla, in the state of Gularat, India, have produced the stone in commercial quantities since at least 1500AD. It is there that heat treatment became common; the stones were heated in earthenware pots laid in a fire. Today, most commonly available stones come from deposits in India and South America and is heat treated, but natural materials is also available, often from artistic gem cutters who have access to materials from smaller, high-grade deposits. These fine stones are largely used in Handmade Rings. Some fine Carnelian is found in the United States Pacific Northwest, where it has formed in the volcanic rocks of the Cascade Range.