A hard and tough translucent form of chalcedony (named in 1695) that usually occurs in a uniform colour of red, orange or red-brown. Known thousands of years before the birth of Christ, carnelian has been used extensively in jewellery ever since, particularly for signet rings, seals, cameos and scarabs because of its hardness and rich orange-red colour. Engraved with Arabic characters, it protected the wearer from tricks of the envious. Throughout the East, envy is feared, for it is believed that it will cause the envied to lose his possessions. It was the favourite stone of the prophet Mohammed and verses from the Koran have been found engraved on this stone. Carnelian is said to stimulate analytical capabilities and precision. It provides perceptiveness and awakens ones inherent talents and skills and also protects against fear and rage. It helps to alleviate sorrow and can also be used to dispel apathy and indolence. Carnelian has been used in the treatment of neuralgia and rheumatism, gall and kidney stones, pollen allergies and colds, and can aid in the relief of disorders of the spine, spleen and pancreas. It has also been effective in the treatment of infection, fever, blood poisoning and muscle spasms. Carnelian is the zodiac gem for Virgo (23 August to 22 September).