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Red gemstones - four of my favourites

Updated: May 30, 2021

Unlike green gemstones, red gemstones are not as easy to find and a true red is difficult to identify unless you want to spend a small fortune on rubies or red diamonds. They do exist though and below is a list of some of the ones I use in my jewellery.


Carnelian is a type of Chalcedony Quartz and is found all around the World, but mainly in Brazil, India, Siberia and Germany. Its browish red colour is the result of the iron oxide it contains.

People have used Carnelian for a very long time and there is evidence of it being used in Neolithic Bulgaria some 6000 years ago. In Roman times it was commonly used to make signet rings. From Roman times, until the 19th Century, it was a common choice to use as seals due it having the unusual quality of not sticking to molten wax.

Some people believe Carnelian can bring with it financial success and prosperity - alas this is not something I have particularly noticed! Some also believe that Carnelian improves the voice and gives confidence to those performing in public.

To see all Carnelian earrings click here.

Red Jasper

Jasper forms part of the Quartz/Chalcedony family of gemstones and this variety of Jasper gets its dark reddish colour due its iron content.

Jasper gets its name from the Greek "iasper" meaning "spotted one" and Minoan artefacts made of Jasper - dating back some 4000 years - have been uncovered. The ancient Egyptians associated Jasper with the Goddess Isis and used this stone to make figurines and amulets for the dead. It can be found in numerous places around the World, but the main producers are Russia, India, Madegascar, Australia, the U.S.A and Brazil.

Jasper is considered by some to be a powerful healing stone. It is also believed, by some, to be a powerful grounding stone offering both protection and promoting passion.

To see all Jasper earrings click here.


Garnet gemstone
Garnet gemstone

Garnet is the traditional birthstone for the month of January and ranges from pink to a deep burgundy colour. It can be found in many places around the World but mainly comes from Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Switzerland, Scotland and Tanzania.

It was highly prized by our ancestors and many artefacts made of Garnet have been discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs. It was also beloved by the Anglo-Saxons, who used it extensively in their gold inlay jewellery.

Garnet is traditionally said to bring positive charm to those who wear it. It is also said to bring happiness and promote self control. Many have also said that Garnet is effective at stopping gossip, but I can't say I have seen any convincing evidence of this!

Anglo-Saxon garnet inlaid jewellery

Sea Bamboo

Of the red gemstones I have listed, Sea Bamboo is the only one which is a true red...... but it isn't actually a gemstone at all! For a long time, people used coral if they wanted jewellery that was pink or red. Coral, however, is under huge threat due to global warming and marine acidification.

Sea Bamboo is not a gemstone or Coral, but a variety of sea kelp which grows freely in the temperate, shallow seas around the Southern Ocean. Once dried and dyed, it make a lovely, vibrant material which is better than Coral as you do not need to feel the guilt.

To see all Sea Bamboo earrings click here.

What is your favourite red gemstone? Do you agree with my choices?

Fortunaearrings is a handmade jewellery store featuring a wide range of unique earrings made of gemstones and sterling silver. As well as gemstone earrings which will appeal to the gemstone collector, you will also find a range of earrings made of Venetian glass lampworked at my Devon workshop. See my full handmade jewellery portfolio by clicking the shop link at the top of this page.

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