In order to work with our crystals effectively, we need to understand their properties. With crystals that look similar or have similar uses, such as carnelian and red jasper, it can be difficult to determine which one to work with. The answer should always be; the one that you are drawn to the most. However, if you are looking to find the difference in physical appearance as well as metaphysical properties, you’ll find your answer here.
Both stones are formed the same way, making them very similar. Red jasper is a red, often speckled stone, whereas carnelian is more orangy-brown. Carnelian is also more translucent, while red jasper is opaque with sometimes translucent edges. Red jasper is used for endurance and personal power, whereas carnelian is used for motivation and courage.
Continue reading if you want to know more about the (physical) qualities of these stones, as well as how you can use them in your spiritual practice.
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Carnelian vs Red Jasper – How To Tell The Difference?
In order to understand the difference between these two stones, we can look at the color, shape, pattern, clarity, and more. Below we’ll describe all these aspects in detail.
Carnelian has almost the same properties as the red jasper. They are both members of the chalcedony, which are really just compact quartz stones. They are both composed of silicon dioxide and are formed as a result of magma bubbling up to the earth’s crust. When this cools, gas bubbles form, which later escape, leaving pockets in the rock. These pockets give other fluids, like silica, a chance to enter the rock.
Red jasper is a silicate that belongs to the chalcedony class of quartz minerals. The stones’ chemical formula is silicon dioxide, which forms from volcanic ash on the earth’s crust. This ends up forming different crystals, depending on the combination of minerals present. In carnelian’s case, there are iron impurities, causing the orange color. For red jasper, there is also iron present, as well as ash, causing the speckled effect.
Also read: Can Carnelian Be In The Sun? (Full Guide)
Both stones look very similar in color as a result of the way in which they are formed. However, red jasper has a brick-red shade while carnelian looks more orange/brownish. Carnelian can also be pink or yellowish.
Pattern and Clarity
Another way to distinguish these stones from each other is by looking at their transparency. Carnelian is often translucent, but can also seem opaque. Red jasper, on the other hand, is opaque, perhaps with some translucent edges.
Additionally, red jasper often has speckles as a result of the ash that is present when it is formed. Carnelian can also have spots as a result of its inclusions, but these decrease the stone’s value. The speckles in red jasper are seen as an addition and thus increase the value.
Both stones have a glass-like shine, also called a vitreous luster.
Hardness and Fracture
Because these stones have a very similar chemical makeup and are formed the same way, they also have a similar hardness. Carnelian is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, whereas jasper rates 6.5-7. If you’re unfamiliar, the Mohs scale of hardness determines a stone’s hardness by measuring how scratch-resistant it is. According to this scale, a stone can scratch any other mineral with a lower score. For reference, talc is a 1, whereas diamond is a 10.
Additionally, carnelian is considered a more stable and resilient stone and is more porous, which means it is more likely to absorb moisture. Red jasper, on the other hand, is impermeable and less porous, hence harder to work with.
We can also look at the way these stones break, or their fracture, in order to distinguish them. Carnelian has an uneven fracture, which means that it leaves a rough or irregular surface when broken off. Jasper has a relatively unique conchoidal fracture. With this type of fracture, you can see smooth, curved lines when the stone is broken.
Both stones are found in different countries all over the world. However, carnelian is mostly found in Brazil, Slovakia, Germany, and Egypt. Red jasper is mostly found in Russia, Canada, Madagascar, and Egypt.
We recommend cleaning your stones by either running them under tap water or cleaning them with a damp cloth. If you’d like, you can use some detergent as well. Make sure to dry the stones afterward. Although it won’t cause immediate problems, we never recommend leaving stones to soak, as this can turn them dull or brittle.
Apart from physically cleaning the stones, you might want to clear them for negative energies. This is highly recommended if you used them for their metaphysical properties.
The reason for this is that these stones absorb low vibrations, thus protecting you from them. Every month or so, you want to remove these energies from the stone so you can continue to use it. after cleansing, it is recommended you also recharge the stones, to make sure they are full of positive energy to share with you. Below you’ll find some ways to do this.
Both stones can be cleansed and recharged under running water. Running water cleanses off the negative energies accumulated on the stone and fills it with new ones.
Sound cleansing is done to restore the vibrations of the stone after use. This can be done using bells and singing bowls or any other form of music. If this is your preferred method of cleansing, you can use the video below; just let the sound fill the room. You might also want to meditate or visualize at this time.
Both stones can be cleansed and recharged using the sun or the moonlight. Do not expose the stones to direct sunlight for prolonged hours to prevent damage. We also do not recommend leaving these out during midday. A better option would be the morning sun.
Clear Quartz or Selenite Cleansing and Charging
Clear quartz and selenite are some of the best self-cleansing crystals. Leaving the crystals in the presence of clear quartz or selenite for a day will both cleanse and fill the stone with positive energies.
Also read: Can Carnelian Go In Water? (Full Guide)
There are many different ways to use these high vibrational stones. Below we’ll outline a few options for you.
Carnelian and red jasper in feng shui utilize fire energies, which represents passion, energy, and transformation. Either stone can be worn as jewelry for personal energy or the home. The stones invite truth, humor, protection, and grounding. In the bedroom, the stones increase spiritual connections and sexual activity in relationships.
Carnelian jewelry is worn not only for beauty but also as protective talismans. In ancient times, the stone was worn by kings and warriors for longer life and inner strength.
When worn as a talisman or amulet, red jasper acts as a cloak of protection. Wearing this stone is also the best way to tap into the healing, grounding, and passion energies of the stone.
Both carnelian and red jasper can be carved into ornaments and décor pieces. Raw pieces of these stones are also often displayed by themselves as decoration.
Beware that crystals are never a replacement for professional medical help. If you have any issues, see a doctor first and follow their advice.
Now we know the physical differences between these stones, lets see what they can mean for your spiritual practice.
Both stones are useful in healing lower chakras, which we’ll have a closer look at a little further down and increasing one’s power.
Carnelian is believed to give power and life energies to the wearer. The stone is also believed to bring creativity, enhance psychic abilities, and restore passion and intimacy in relationships. Lastly, it is used for better decision-making, motivation, and success.
Red jasper is also referred to as “The Stone of Endurance” as it is believed to release power to its wearer as well as courage. With its darker color, red jasper is more grounding than carnelian, making you feel more stable and calm.
Chakras are the different energy points in our body. There are 7, each of them linked to a certain aspect of our lives. We can link each chakra to crystals or gemstones by color.
Carnelian is associated with the sacral and base chakra. Judging from its colors, the more orangy colors are more closely associated with the sacral chakra, while the red variety resonates more with the root chakra. The sacral chakra represents and governs creativity, confidence, and sexuality. The root chakra represents security, grounding, and safety.
Red jasper is mainly connected to the root chakra, owing to its protective and grounding abilities. The stone is good to use when you want to restore balance or are going through a period of stagnancy in your life.
Zodiac Association & Birthstones
Carnelian is not officially a birthstone but is often attributed to the month of July, and thus Cancers and Leos born in this month. Its planetary association links it to Aries, giving them the courage to pursue their dreams, stay motivated and embrace change. You’ll find more on the ruling planets further down.
Red jasper specifically is not a birthstone, but jasper, in general, is a mystical (Tibetan) birthstone of October, and therefore Libras and Scorpios born in this month. Its planet links it to Scorpio as well.
When we talk about a ruling planet, we most often use them in the context of zodiac signs. The ruling planet of a sign is the planet that has more influence over the sign than the other planets. Crystals are also associated with the planets based on their properties.
Carnelian is ruled by the planet Mars, which governs desire, energy, and action. The energy of Mars is seen in our outward behaviors and reaction to what happens in our lives. Some traits associated with this planet are aggressive behavior, survival, anger, etc. Mars also represents our sexual desires.
Red jasper is ruled by Pluto, which represents transformation, rebirth, and beginnings. Pluto’s energy is seen in how you deal with change, as well as our shadow side.
Carnelian vibrates at the frequency of 5 and 6. Number 5 in numerology represents action, passion, and progression. The number is also associated with the planet Mercury, which represents our communication. People who resonate with the number are cheerful and daring. This number does not conform to the normal way of doing things. Carnelian enhances personal power and courage to do things differently.
A red jasper also vibrates at the frequency of 6. Number 6 is a sun number that represents responsibility, harmony, and happiness. The number 6 personalities are nurturing, peacemakers, and love sharing.
Many cultures have developed the idea of elements to explain nature. In the west, this idea was created by the ancient Greeks and consisted of 4 elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. In India, another element is added: Akasha, representing the foundation of the other elements.
Both stones are associated with the fire element. The element is powerful and the most physically active of the five elements of nature. The energies of this element result in transformation, destruction, passion, and activation.
Crystals of this element will activate passion, reproduction, change, and sex drive. People who resonate with this element love control and are also creative and passionate in what they do. Some negative traits are tendencies to be irritable and authoritative. The crystals of this element are used to channel good energies in these people and highlight the areas that need change.
To get the most out of our work with crystals, it can be incredibly beneficial to pair and combine crystals with similar properties. This way, they can strengthen and enhance each other. Below you’ll find some interesting options.
- Combine your red jasper with the tiger’s eye, hematite, or obsidian for healing and grounding energies.
- Moldavite and green serpentine can be paired with red jasper to raise kundalini energies. Kundalini is believed to be a spiritual awakening and life-giving energy that sit at the base of the spine like a serpent.
- Red jasper is used together with carnelian or moonstone for smooth pregnancy till birth.
- Carnelian can be used together with citrine for positivity, creativity, and success. The combination can also be used as an energy booster and to invite joy into your life.
- Carnelian also works well with red garnets and rubies for strength, courage, and passion. The pair is also used to manifest wealth and abundance.