Jewelry In The Making: The Carnelian Stone, Part I

     In the Mediterranean and Near East, Carnelian was a common stone in ancient times. Between 4000 and 3000 B.C., Egypt had natural resources available for beading whereas Mesopotamia did not have such materials available. While Carnelian and Agate came from India and Afghanistan, Lapis Lazuli came from Afghanistan, and gold likely came from the Anatolia or Iran mountains (Dubin, 1995).

     As a result of sophisticated goldsmithing techniques that were used for granulation and filigree to make beads, such craftsmanship was superior and they were crafted for Sumerian royalty in the city-state of Ur in southern Mesopotamia. “The products of Sumerian jewelers spread into the less-developed cultures of western Asia and into Anatolia, the probable source of the jewelers’ gold (Dubin, 1995:12). The jewelry techniques of the Sumerians also disseminated into southern Greece and Crete (Dubin, 1995).

     Sumerian and Mesopotamian jewelry, and bead making were so important that it cannot be overemphasized. It had an indirect, if not a direct, impact on the ways subsequent cultures in western Asia and the Mediterranean adorned themselves! It also appears as though glass and glass beads originated from western Asia and possibly Sumeria. The earliest examples date back to the Akkad dynasty (2340-2180 B.C.) from Mesopotamia and from the Caucasus region in present-day Russia (Dubin, 1995).

     These ancient cultures believed that Carnelian brought good luck, prevented misfortune, fought off diseases, dissipated fear, and warded off evil spirits and things; in essence, it was believed that Carnelian brought protection from harm and from envy. According to Eastern belief, thoughts of envy of another’s possessions or wealth would cause the other to lose that of which you were envious. (Hall, 2011).

     Today, “Magnanimous Carnelian helps you be grateful for what you have and to give thanks for the good fortune of others, reinforcing universal abundance” (Hall, 2011:64).

     In addition, it is believed that Carnelian has the ability to energize, enhance fertility, reduce inflammation, and removes/prevents depression (Hall, 2011).

     Furthermore, it is believed that “Carnelian stimulates courage and action. It restores motivation, energizes the soul body, and helps turn dreams into realities” (Hall, 2011:64).

     To harness the power of Carnelian, wear it on your body/person so that it is close to you at all times. Throughout the day that you are wearing it, touch it periodically and say, “‘I am grateful’” (Hall, 2011:65).

     If you would like to give wearable art gifts that are natural, handmade, unique, and incorporate Carnelian, (and/or any other stones that are meaningful to you or the beautiful women in your life,) please contact me for a private jewelry consultation at or (919) 649-2123.

     Dubin, Lois Sherr. 1995. The History of Beads: From 30,000 B.C. to the Present, Concise Edition. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated.

     Hall, Judy. 2011. 101 Power Crystals: The Ultimate Guide To Magical Crystals, Gems, And Stones For Healing And Transformation. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, a member of Quarto Publishing Group, USA Inc.



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