Carnelians (cornelians) – red, semi-transparent chalcedony variety. Its name derives from Latin “carnis” – flesh, meat.
In the Middle Ages similarly colored stones were not recognized as strictly as today, o carnelian could be often mistaken for, or at least described as a ruby (a red stone). All red stones were revered as symbols of life and love (red being the color of blood.) Since antiquity all red stones belonged to the goddess Venus.
Medieval crusaders looted a lot of red stones; around that time Europeans have first heard about various “magical” abilities of garnets, rubies and also carnelians. They were thought to make people kind and righteous, while at the same time helping them in their struggles for titles and land. It was believed that red stones protect from all kinds of “plague” and warn their owner of danger by changing their color.
In Middle Ages this stone was used to stop bleeding. When put to the wound it was supposed to accelerate healing. It was also worn to avoid infections and help with fevers. Tey were also thought to calm rages and soothe anger, to protect the warrior and give him strength and courage. Because of that warriors going to battle often had these stones with them. Carnelians were also given to the dead to protect them on their way to afterlife.