Featured Are these beads natural carnelian?

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Joan, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    I'm looking for opinions on whether or not these beads are natural carnelian. The strand is 40" and weighs 184 grams. I don't have a gem tester, but the beads feel cold when held against my face, and acetone doesn't remove the color. I bought them several years ago at an antique show, but I suspect they're not very old--maybe from India? Am I safe in calling them natural carnelian if I put them up for sale, or is there some other test I should do, or do I need to have them tested to make sure?
  2. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Carnelian is plentiful enough in the world that there is no need to use some other stone to fake it.

    If we could have a photo like the one on the left, except without the back lighting, it would help confirm the identification. What I see so far is consistent with carnelian. Glass & hessonite garnet are 2 other possibilities.
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  3. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Here's a photo without back lighting. When I was researching carnelian jewelry, I ran across information that said the majority of stones passed down as Carnelian today are dyed Agate, so that made we wonder if my beads are real carnelian.
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  4. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    I just stumbled across more information about carnelian vs agate from yesdirt.com, so I'm thinking I may have do use both carnelian and agate in the auction title (not natural carnelian) and hope that a knowledgeable buyer recognizes it as natural carnelian if that's what it is.

    "Carnelian and agate are both gemstones from the Quartz family. As a result, dealers are no longer allowed to specify whether a stone is genuine Carnelian or dyed agate when selling it. The scarcity of gemstone today, as compared to in the past, has resulted in this trend. Consequently, if you’re looking at a Carnelian bracelet or necklace, you may assume it’s made of treated agate; however, the buyer is free to ask about this because the dealer isn’t needed to disclose this detail. A genuine Carnelian stone can be distinguished from one that has been cleaned even by the untrained eye. Carnelian made from colored agate has color banding or streaks in the crystal, while natural Carnelian has few inclusions and a cloudy look."
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  5. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    No one can give a positive ID based on photos, glass can be a very convincing substitute. The only way to be sure is to have it tested, Carnelian is a quartz so it will test as quartz on a gem tester.
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  6. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Indeed? Good to know. Guess I don't really look at that much jewellery that isn't antique. Certainly agate is readily dyed. In my field of cameos, most that are described as sardonyx have had the background layer dyed.

    Segment a of this geode slice shows the natural coloration; the other wedges have each been given a dye treatment.

    Agate dyed .jpg
    You have posted the selection from yesdirt faster than I could finish this.

    Quartz can be macrocrystalline (like amethyst) or micro/cryptocrystalline. If a microcrystalline quartz is translucent, it is called chalcedony; if it is opaque, it is called jasper. When chalcedony is a shade of orange, it is called carnelian (cornelian). When chalcedony develops into certain formations it is called agate. Layered/banded/ribbon agate is the main one, but there are also things like moss agate that have been given that designation. Agates are not a different mineral than carnelian. It is all chalcedony. Green chrysoprase is another example.

    I should have said chalcedony is so plentiful there is no reason to use some other mineral to mimic carnelian. The Romans already knew how to change the color. What I suppose you could politely call 'enhancement' has been so routine for so long, it is no longer considered necessary to disclose it. As the yesdirt article says, you should assume a carnelian has been treated unless proved otherwise.

    I think as long as you do not represent the beads as mined/natural, you are on firm ground.

    These must feel heavy around the neck, no?
  7. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    Natural carnelian....

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  8. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that helpful information. I suppose the beads would feel heavy around the neck...I've never tried them on.
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  9. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

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  10. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Beatiful necklace, Joan.
    I would call it carnelian. I don't think I've ever seen carnelian necklaces marketed as natural carnelian.
    We get a lot of old carnelian here btw, since carnelian necklaces were worn with some Dutch regional costumes. Here they are always just called 'carneool' or 'cornalijn', both Dutch for carnelian.
    So does agate.;) Both agate and carnelian are types of chalcedony, and all are members of the quartz group.
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  11. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you AJ, I will take your advice and call it carnelian--not natural carnelian. I found hundreds of "natural carnelian" necklaces listed on eBay and only a few dozen that sold -- and the prices were quite low unless they included gold or silver. The prices were similar for necklaces that didn't include the word "natural" and were just beads alone, so I think I overpaid for my necklace, although I didn't see any as heavy as mine.
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  12. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Weight also counts. And the pleasure you got out of wearing them or even looking at them is worth more than money can buy.
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  13. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your kind words, but in reality they've just been sitting in a tray of other necklaces since I bought them, waiting for the day when I can sell them at a profit
    Bronwen and Any Jewelry like this.
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