Carnelian is a reddish-orange variety of chalcedony that has been used in jewelry since Antiquity. Collections such as Bouton d'Or® and Alhambra® feature carnelian in delicate color harmonies, set off by pink or yellow gold. The stone also adorns the Maison’s High Jewelry creations, imbuing them with a radiant vibrancy.
Prized for millennia in Crete, Central Asia, and the Far East, carnelian has inspired myriad beliefs and legends. The ancient Egyptians saw the stone as a symbol of life, endowed with the power to facilitate the soul’s journey to the next world.
With its warm nuances, carnelian also denotes joy and happiness. Van Cleef & Arpels mainly uses Brazilian carnelian in its creations, a variety of stones remarkable for their translucency and their deep, uniform color, as well as their gleam. Lapidaries often strive to harmonize the colors of carnelian gems; each expert has his or her own techniques to achieve the perfect hue.
To protect the stones from damage or scratching, the Maison recommends storing carnelian pieces in a fabric-lined box separate from other jewelry.