Full Guide To Red Agate vs. Carnelian (This is the Difference)

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 red agate and carnelian 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.

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.

Also read: Tree Agate vs. Moss Agate: This Is The Difference

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Red Agate vs Carnelian – 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.

Chemical Composition

Both stones belong to the chalcedony crystal family, so red agate and carnelian are crystalline varieties of silica.


Both stones display the same color hue, but are very distinct in terms of color intensity. Red agate is redder, while carnelian is more orange. Carnelian also contains yellow, orange, reddish-brown, or white-colored spots. Red agates display an off-white to gray banding formation throughout the stone. Carnelian gets its color from the hematite content and the iron oxide concentration in its composition. Red agates do not have a noticeable color distribution as seen on a carnelian.

Pattern and Clarity

 A red agate may feature stripes and moss-like shapes. They are also transparent to semi-transparent in clarity. On the other hand, carnelian can be clear to translucent in clarity. Another difference between the two is the pattern of the stones. Red agates are more textured than carnelian stones. Red agates will display banding formations throughout the stone. The banding on the red agate is most likely darker or lighter in the shade compared to the gemstone’s color. Both stones will generally have no cleavage and break at a conchoidal fracture. They also have a waxy or dull luster and a white streak.


Red agate and carnelian are fairly hard stones. A red agate rates 6-7 while carnelian rates seven on the Mohs hardness scale.


Both stones should be cleansed and recharged regularly, depending on your use. Red agate is cleansed and restored effectively by placing it on hematite. Carnelian is cleansed and recharged with natural running water. 

Also read: Can Carnelian Go In Water? (Full Guide)


Red agates can be found in Uruguay and Brazil. Carnelian was first discovered in India, but can be found in Peru and Sri Lanka today.



 Both stones can be used as jewelry. This is one of the main ways to fully enjoy a gemstone’s benefits and properties. Wearing red agate jewelry allows free energy to flow within your auric fields. Carnelian jewelry enhances confidence and healing, especially for the lower chakras.

Home / Office

 The stones can be used as decor pieces in these spaces. Besides the aesthetic appearance, red agate will emit positive and passionate energies around the home/ office. When the stone is placed in designated areas of the home/ office, everyone enjoys its healing abilities.

Carnelian is believed to protect the home from theft. It also helps with self-expression and understanding other people’s needs. The gemstone is also associated with luck and wealth acquisition. Placing it in your office will ease stress, improve mental clarity and give you the strength to pursue your goals.

Also read: Can Carnelian Go In Salt? (Dry Salt, Saltwater, Himalayan Salt)


Red agate is believed to bring courage and protection and eliminate negative thoughts. It achieves this by encouraging motivation and getting rid of mental blockages. The stone also strengthens determination and willpower toward achieving one’s goals. The stone is also believed to relieve menstrual cramping, smooth pregnancy, and health for the mother and child. Red agate is also believed to help with epilepsy, fever, eye pain, clear skin, and alcoholism.

Carnelian also has immense healing properties for the mind, body, and soul. It is believed to fuel the energies to act towards their life’s purpose. It will also stimulate inner ambition and comfort the heart with warmth and joy. Furthermore, it also balances the energy levels of the body and stimulates the muscles. Carnelian is also believed to improve circulation and relieve stiff joints. It is also believed to boost fertility and stimulate sexual energies.

Also read: Can Agate Go In Water? (Blue Lace, Moss, Iris and More)

Chakra Association

 The two are associated with totally different energy points. Red agate is associated with the root chakra, while carnelian is linked to the sacral chakra. The root chakra is the chakra located at the base of the spine. The chakra represents grounding, balance, stability, and security. It is represented as red or black. Root chakra stones and crystals work to activate and balance this chakra, improving connection and grounding in actions and thoughts. The stones can be used to invite calmness and protection while navigating life.

Carnelian is linked to the sacral chakra. The chakra is located below the navel. It represents our sexuality, passion, and emotional stability. It is portrayed as vibrant orange color. Furthermore, it is a critical chakra for life balance, harmony, and passion. The stone is believed to be closely linked with the reproductive organs, improving sexual energies and fertility. Stones and crystals associated with this chakra improve sensuality, pleasure, and sexuality.


Also read: What Chakra Is Carnelian? (Orange, Yellow, Red)

Zodiac Association

 Red agate is the modern birthstone for the Gemini zodiac sign. The stone offers grounding and stability for this non-committal and impulsive zodiac sign. The energies of this stone will soothe anxiety, impulses, and fear of commitment. When worn, the stone will act as a protective talisman against energetic blockages and negative entities and helps overcome adversity. The stone also helps in breaking negative patterns and encourages open-mindedness.

 Red agates are also helpful to Scorpios and Capricorns. The stone will help Scorpio in all aspects of their life. The zodiac tends to approach life with a lot of conviction. The stone is useful in helping them regain balance and passion when they fall short. On the other hand, Capricorn is a hardworking and self-motivated zodiac sign. The red agate works in helping them build self-confidence and a sense of security in their venture.

Carnelian is not assigned as a traditional or modern birthstone to any zodiac sign. However, the stone’s benefits are seen to favor the Virgo sign better than any other zodiac sign. The stone is symbolic of new beginnings for this zodiac. It’s a naturally creative and passionate sign. The carnelian will boost passion and creativity and offer protection of the sign’s energies.

Also read: Can Agate Be In The Sun? (Blue Lace, Moss, Iris And More)

Element Association

 Both stones are connected to the fire element. This element is associated with energy, passion, motivation, change, and sensuality. It is a masculine energy that encourages drive, willpower, and action to transform situations in one’s life. It is also the element that is mainly connected to our sexuality. The element is involved in transforming old habits, magical healing, and destroying ailments. Its energies are also used in spells, purification, and rituals.

 The fire element personalities are authoritative, creative, and passionate in what they do. They are also susceptible to irritability and impulsive habits. Fire can be destructive if not controlled. Crystals and gemstones of this element can help fuel drive and passion towards your goal.

Ruling Planet

Mars rules both stones. The planet has masculine energies associated with action, desire, and ambition. Its energies are evident in the Aries zodiac sign. The planet rules instincts like anger, survival, aggression, and sexual desires. The planet’s energies are more prominent in a person’s outward personality.

 Its placement on one’s birth chart explains their desires, energies, ambition, and ability to cope with anger. Spiritually, planet Mars represents the Roman god of war, the ruler that governs activity, vitality, and survival instincts in humans and animals.

Also read: Can Agate Go In Salt? (Blue Lace, Moss, Iris And More)

Numerical Vibration

 Red agate vibrates at the frequency of 5 while carnelian vibrates at 5 and 6. Number 5 in numerology represents our senses and the planet Mercury. This number influences strong characteristics like rebellion, adaptability, independence, and innovation. People associated with the number are social, fun-loving, freedom-seeking, and have a charismatic aura. The number is associated with the astrological sign of Leo. Its energies are responsible for the zodiac sign’s enthusiasm, confidence, and vibrant energies. Stones and crystals associated with this number are best used to improve confidence, adaptability, and flexibility to inevitable changes in life. The energies of the number are great in releasing fear and limiting beliefs.

Number 6 in numerology represents harmony, domestic happiness, and family. People associated with this number are caring, nurturing, and take family responsibilities very seriously. The essence of this number strives to maintain harmonious relations within the family and friendships. It encourages comfort, cooperation, and responsibility. Besides family, the energies of 6 lean towards self-sacrifice, compassion, protection, and sympathy. It’s best suited to careers associated with caregiving, teaching, and healing.

Best Combinations

Red agates are strongly associated with the base chakra, bringing protection and balance of emotions and energies. Its energies are also effective in attracting harmony and abundance. Carnelian, on the other hand, boosts physical energies and confidence. The combination of these stones encourages balance and inner strength.

Red agates are also paired with black tourmaline for amplified stability and grounding abilities. The pair can be used to acknowledge the areas of your life that need to be put in order. The pair also encourages mental clarity and the achievement of set goals.

Carnelian can be paired with ruby for an extra boost in strength, confidence, and passion. The pair is also effective in attracting prosperity and abundance. When used together, the stones’ energies will encourage action and boost courage in making decisions.

Carnelian can also be used together with citrine to attract abundance in your life. The pair encourages good Feng Shui in your space and dispels negative energies. The pair helps foster better relations and the flow of positive energies.

Neat Crystal

I am a Crystal & Gem Specialist with 20 years experience collecting and analyzing crystals and gems. My main focus is on crystal and gem abilities to influence our human experience through energy caused by visual and physical properties of each. I also love to dive into the formation, chemical makeup, and rare impurities found within crystals - a Geologist in training. I started Neat Crystal as a place to jot down my thoughts, notes, and share my knowledge to help others.

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