The word emerald comes from the Greek word smaragdos by way of the French word for emerald esmeralde and simply means “green gemstone.” The emerald (Gr. Quartz crystal lenses were found in the ruins of Nineveh (3800 BC). In Exodus 28:21 the Lord ordains precious stones to be used in the making of the breastpiece of the High Priests’ garments. It is the Hebrew word hashmal. That describes lapis lazuli quite precisely. Each of the foundation stones was inscribed with a name of one of the 12 apostles. Pliny (AD 23-69) describes the hyacinthus as being very different from amethystus, "though partaking of a color that closely' borders upon it" and as being of a more diluted violet, It is held that the jacinth/hyacinth may actually be the sapphire of today. Carnelian is the modern word for the stone translated as sardius in the KJV. Curiously … The Hebrew word for amethyst, ahlamah, literally means “dream stone,” and it was thought that it induced pleasant dreams. Ezekeil 28:13 - Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Agate is named as the second stone in the third row of the High Priest’s breastplate. Rev 4:3, 21:11,18,19. One of the reasons that there are two versions of the Foundation Stones, as discussed above, is because the Hebrew names for minerals are not entirely clear to scholars today. Throughout history, in every civilization, gemstones have been highly prized and sought after. Anyone who is interested in the meaning of gemstones and who has an interest in history and legend has probably noticed that there are a number of precious and semi-precious gemstones mentioned in the Bible.. Bible Dictionary. They also have the distinction throughout history of often being mistaken for rubies. It’s color, which ranges from yellow-green to a deep bottle green comes from the presence of iron. The Elder Pliny (23-79 AD) described amber's magnetic attraction, how that when rubbed it would become electrically charged and attract such things as straw, hair, dry leaves and feathers. hyacinth), and hence a precious stone of that colour ( Revelation 21:20). Ex 28:18, 39:11, Jer 17:1, Ezek 28:13. To protect itself, the oyster begins to cover the irritant with sheets of nacre. And to those who study Biblical lore, these gemstones continue to hold great meaning and interest today. 36 Full PDFs related to this paper. Onyx has been very popular through the ages as the stone used for engraving cameos. It is soft and therefore easily shaped and polished. Lapis was one of the most sought after and prized stones of ancient times. Browse through our list of precious, semi-precious, and lab-created stones and learn about their value for jewelry. The term sapphire appears many times in the Bible (see references above), however, the stone we associate with sapphire today was not known in Bible lands until the Roman Empire (300 BC). See Beryl, Emerald, BERYL Chrysophrase is listed as the 10th stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem. Isaiah 39:2 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not. Onyx is chalcedony that has even, banded layers of various color (most typically black and white). Learn about healing gemstones with this chart of stone meanings. Curiously enough, the construction is described differently in the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB). Theophrastus (372-287 BC) appears to have been the first man to write about agates. In these cases it is most likely that some other red stone is the true identification (i.e. The Greek name for the stone, amethustos (from which we get “amethyst”), literally means “not drunken” and it was believed that the gem guarded one against intoxication. The foundations of the city walls of New Jerusalem are described in great detail, and contained twelve precious gemstones: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. Egyptians mined crystal as early as 3500 BC. It can be frustrating to Bible scholars to deal with the complex ambiguities which emerge from attempts to translate the original text, but these are nonetheless some of the best guesses currently available. Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline (having crystals so small they cannot even be seen with a microscope) variety of quartz. The word sardonyx comes from the Greek sardonux, and has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Amber is one of the oldest gemstones, having been found in archaeological digs of tombs dating to the Stone Age. Exodus 28:18 in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; Exodus 28:20 and in the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. Specimens that are called by the name chalcedony are generally milky white, light gray, blue and yellowish brown in color. List of Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones by Name (A-Z) Learn about stones — their color, price, and more. OVERVIEW OF THE PRECIOUS STONES mentioned in the Bible Ez 28:13-15 # Cherub STONE Ex 28:17-21 Breastplate Son of Man Rev 4:2-6 New Jerusalem Rev 21:19-20 1 Sardius (Ruby) Sardius (Ruby) Jasper Jasper 2 Topaz Topaz Sardius (Ruby) Sapphire 3 Diamond Emerald Emerald Chalcedony 4 Chrysolite Carbuncle Emerald 5 Onyx Sapphire Onyx 6 Jasper Diamond Proverbs 17:8 Context. Chrysoprase has been discovered in archaeological digs in ancient Egypt. The Hebrews obtained their precious stones from Arabia, India, and Egypt. Amber is the fossilized resin of pine trees. The Roman historian and writer, Elder Pliny (23-79 AD), describes the color and characteristics of the aquamarine in his description of the berullos stone of his time. Julius Caesar, who had a particular love for pearls, paid the equivalent of $1,000,000 for a single pearl. Bible verses about Stones. A list of Precious and Semi Precious Gemstones and their Treatments . It is then mentioned 7 times in the Book of Exodus, where the Onyx is set in the ephod and the breastplate of the priests of Israel. Odem here could have been any one of several red stones known to the ancient Hebrews; the garnet or red jasper, as well as the sardius (carnelian). The Most Expensive Gemstones in the World – With Infographic. And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. Egyptian blue paint was made from finely ground lapis. Gem quality coral or precious coral is only found in a few places in the world, one being the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea which produces some of the very finest. Consequently, it is more difficult for us to see the material world as a revelation of the spiritual world. One of the earliest known source of emerald were mines located near the Red Sea in Egypt. Gen 2:12, Ex 28:20, Job 28:16, Ezek 28:13. One of the most prominent mentions of precious gemstones in the Bible is the foundation stones of New Jerusalem. Modified gemstones and organic substances Precious stones (5.41), gemstones (5.25), ornamental stones (5.39) and organic substances (5.38) are often modified (5.33) by various processes, before and/or after cutting, to improve their colour or clarity. There were distinguishing signs for each prince; each had a flag and a different color for every flag, corresponding to the precious stones on the breast of Aaron… Reuben’s stone was odem and the color of his flag was red; and embroidered thereon were mandrakes. No topaz as we understand it today has been found there. Great quantities of quality sardonyx came from India during this time. Ex 28:19, 39:12, Ezek 28:13, Job 28:19, A concretion of some species of earth, as lime, silex, clay and the like, usually in combination with some species of air or gas, with sulphur or with a metallic substance; a hard compact body, of any form and size. The Bible makes numerous references to jewels and precious stones. Rev 21:20. So, when it comes to understanding gemstones of the Bible and their colors. 12-28). The Revell Bible Dictionary says, "While the root meaning remains uncertain, all scholars agree that the image, used to describe the visible glory of God, conveys the sense of brilliance." Pretty much everyone has heard of a “birthstone.” Most people might even know what their birthstone is and the meaning. Ex 28:17, 39:10; Prov 8:11, 31:10, Job 28:18, Ezek 28:13, Rubies are the red gem variety of the mineral corundum. Sardonyx is the 5th foundation stone of the New Jerusalem. 21:20). Ancient peoples developed many uses for crystal. The first two instances are in Exodus 28:19 and 39:12 where the breastplate direction is given. The Greeks used garnets as signet rings with found artifacts dating around 400 BC. Sometimes you will see the word ‘sapphire’ used in English versions of the text, but this is a mistranslation. According to Postulate 2, they should be identical to the twelve breastplate stones, or at least be stones … 28:9-12). Though the word “garnet” is not found in any of the translations of the Bible, garnets were a common stone in Bible times. Precious Gems of Scripture. It was also used extensively for inlaying. The stones listed for the foundation include diamond, lapis lazuli, turquoise, crystal, agate, ruby, gold quartz, malachite, topaz, emerald, sapphire, and amethyst. Here is our guide to the most commonly used precious stones and semi-precious gemstones, crystals, and minerals and a list of their metaphysical symbolism, healing properties, powers, and spiritual meaning. EMERALD The two shoulder pieces with the two onyx stones and the breastplate with the twelve precious stones were bound, fastened, to the ephod (vv. It is thought that the color of the stone comes from small amounts of iron in the quartz. Learn about semi-precious stones and gemstones, their colors and meanings. Josephus the Jewish historian indicates this stone was used for the shoulder pieces of the ephod. Gems and precious stones from the Bible to the Liber Pontificalis. Scholars think that the yashepheh here actually refers to a green form of Jasper - which was very rare, and highly prized. chrusolithos), he describes today’s topaz. At that time, emeralds, though also beryl, were called by another name, smaragdos (this being the fourth stone in the New Jerusalem). Jasper is an opaque variety of chalcedony (quartz). In his work, Concerning Stones, he notes that agate is a “marvelously beautiful stone” and usually sold at high prices. ... a sapphire in the Bible was probably what we know today as lapis. Gems which are mentioned in the Bible include agate, amethyst, carnelian, coral, pearl, sapphire, and dozens of others. Large amounts of agate have been found in archaeological digs of Sumer, dating back to 3500 BC. In the Book of Exodus, the Bible and Torah both describe how God himself instructed people to make a breastplate with 12 different gemstones for a high priest to use in prayer. The green color comes from nickle. The ‘bridge’ element in the title reflects the aim of all Bridgeway books, which is to bridge two gaps at once – the gap between the word of the Bible and the world of today, and the gap between the technical reference works and the ordinary reader. It is the 11th foundation stone in the New Jerusalem. “The Catholic Encyclopedia” also notes confusion about the names of gemstones in the Bible, saying that “the ancients did not classify their precious stones by analyzing their composition and crystalline forms: names were given them from their color, their use or the country from which they came. Here is our guide to the most commonly used precious stones and semi-precious gemstones, crystals, and minerals and a list of their metaphysical symbolism, healing properties, powers, and spiritual meaning. Rubies are the among the hardest of the gemstones with only the diamond being harder. red coral, pink pearl, carnelian, garnet), SAPPHIRE Turquoise is not mentioned in the KJV of the Bible, but it can be found in references in some of the newer translations. DIAMOND Of course, this description could also be based off of the writer’s own best guess as to the stones contained in the breastplate and may not lend additional veracity to the interpretation. The Breastplate was folded double to form an inside pocket. Even Julius Caesar, the Roman general, became an avid collector of engraved sardonyx. This is where we get the word electricity. It was not until the King James Version of the Bible that the term pearl was used. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one who was condemned for crime held the stone in his mouth he would escape the just punishment of his crime. See Peridot (Chrysolite), TURQUOISE STONE, n. Gr. Initially they were considered forms of jacinth. The Hebrews obtained gemstones from the Middle East, India, and Egypt. In Exodus 24: 9-10, the foot of God’s throne is described as follows: Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. There are other gemstones that appear in the Bible, but these references are certainly the most prominent of them. A string of expertly carved carnelian beads was found in Egypt dating back to 3100 BC. History. The most valued amber (even today) is that which contains an inclusion of an insect. The most esteemed beryls are those which in color resemble the pure green of the sea.” This would seem to indicate the aquamarine as being the beryl of choice in that time. gallery of stones . home . 28:19) and the twelfth stone listed in the foundation of the New Jerusalem (Rev. A necklace which included chrysoprase beads was found on a mummy dating back to 1500 BC. Though obviously there is no merit to this belief, it is a delightful picture of the redemptive work of Jesus (our Rock) and the scripture that says, “it is with our mouths that we confess and are saved,” escaping our just punishment. Many of these gemstones are mentioned in ritualistic contexts. Most scholars agree that it was some kind of blue stone, taking it’s color from the flower. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all ... Gold Precious Stones. It was fashioned into beads, pins, brooches, signet rings, goblets, cups, bottles, bowls, and carved figurines. Stones. According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, the Hebrew word for emerald is most likely bareqet, which is the third stone in the first row of the High Priests’ breastplate. There is evidence that these mines were in operation as early as 1650 BC (the time that the Hebrew people would have been in Egypt). It has only been since the mid-1800’s that we have begun to identify stones according to their mineral content. This list appears to be based off of the priestly breastplate, and may shed some additional light on the stones it contained. All of the twelve Greek stone names are essentially identical to names still used today to describe semi-precious stones, so they are much better understood than the ancient Hebrew names. The garnet, however, has been found as early as the Bronze Age, in Egyptian jewelry, dating back to 3100 BC. The city wall was comprised of iaspis, sapphiros, chalcedon, smaragdos, sardonyx, sardion, chrysolithos, beryllos, topazion, chrysoprason, yacinthos, amethystos (in the original Koine Greek). Later these mines became known as Cleopatra’s Mines, who was quite fond of emeralds and was reported to wear them to enhance her beauty. 6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Mount these stones in gold filigree settings. The Greek word for crystal is krustallos or “ice” because they believed that it was formed from water exposed to extreme cold. Both of these stones were well known in Bible times, the aquamarine being the most common. The word “garnet” comes from the Latin “granatum” (the pomegranate) having to do with the red color of the stone. The price of a gem-quality ruby will far exceed the price of a diamond of the same size. In the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, a different gemstone is listed for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. From here the identification of Bible stones gets very interesting.  or choshen. Coral is mentioned several places in the Bible (scripture references vary according to version). The sapphiros of the Bible is described by historian Elder Pliny as "refulgent with spots like gold. There has been a lot of question about whether the shoham stone is indeed the onyx, however, Josephus (Jewish historian AD 37-100) who had personal access to the breastpiece in his time, clearly identifies the shoham stone as the onyx. In Exodus 28:21 the Lord ordains precious stones to be used in the making of the breastpiece of the High Priests’ garments. Job 28:17, Isa 54:12, Rev 4:6; 21:11; 22:1. 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