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      Gemstones of the Bible

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Gemstones of the Bible:

Throughout history, in every civilization, gemstones have been highly prized and sought after. The Bible makes numerous references to jewels and precious stones. Here are some of the gemstones mentioned in the bible with their history and meaning.

Beads of the Bible


Symbol: The presence and glory of God in judgement, purification and sanctification

Amber is an organic material made up of fossilized natural resigns and it ranges in color from golden yellow to orange-brown. The ancient greek term for Amber was elektron, a word referring to the sun. Amber is known to create electrical charge when rubbed, and out word ‘electricity’ derives from the ancient Greek term for Amber.

In the mythology of ancient Greece, Amber was created when Phaeton, son of the sun god Helios, was struck and killed by lightening. The grief of his sisters was so great that it turned them into poplar trees, and their tears were transformed to droplets of Amber.

Many stones help us to connect with Light, but Amber brings us to Warmth. The energies of Amber are very solar, and they have the quality of creating a comfortable sense of warmth, health and well-being in the wearer. Amber carries the vibration of organic life, perhaps because it came from living trees, and that makes it feel very friendly and familiar to us.

Amber is recommended to be worn or carried by anyone recovering from illness or injury, because its warm and nurturing energies put us in touch with our own essential strength and security.


Symbol: The royal priesthood, kingship and majestic

Amethyst is a variety of quartz that is best know for it's rich, violet-purple hue.

From prebiblical times in ancient Mesopotamia through European Middle Ages, amethyst was highly valued and prized for its unique beauty. Early Greek and Roman societies placed high value on Amethyst, and it has long been viewed as a stone of royalty and was associated with pharaohs, emperors, kings and cardinals. Amethyst was mostly utilized in crowns, scepters, and the rings of bishops.

Amethyst is said to have been the ninth stone in the breastplate of the high priest of Israel, and one of the ten stones upon which the names of the tribes if Israel were engraved. Amethyst’s name comes from a Greek word meaning ‘not drunken,’ and an ancient Greek myth explains its derivation: The god Bacchus, angry because of an insult, decreed that the first person he met would be eaten by his tigers. The unfortunate person happened to be Amethyst, on her way to worship at the shrine of Diana. When the tigers sprang, Diana transformed the girl into a clear transparent crystal. In remorse, Bacchus poured the juice of his grapes over the stone as an offering, thus giving then gem is beautiful purple color. The Greeks believed that Amethyst would prevent intoxication, calm anger and relieve frustrated passion.

Wear or carry Amethyst for spiritual protection, relieving anger and purification. Amethyst can also be an aid to giving up bad habits. It can be used to assist one in quitting smoking, drinking or drug use. It stimulates the crown chakra and is an aid to meditation, to still one’s thoughts and to clear one’s space of negative influences and attachments.


Symbol: Stability, brilliancy, virtuous and right standing with God

Diamond is a crystal of pure carbon with a hardness of 10 - the hardest of all substances.

Diamonds have long been valued for their magical properties, and Hindus over fifteen centuries ago believed the stones provided their owners with protection from evil spirits, fire, poison, snakes, illness and various dangers. In other cultures, Diamonds were believed to provide victory, courage, faithfulness, purity and enhancement of love.

Diamond encourages one to perceive how life’s trial and lessons can be put to positive use. It lends strength in high-pressure situations and enables one to respond to stressful experiences with grace. Diamonds can be worn anywhere on the body and will affect the entire energy system and auric field.


Symbol: Glories of God and His saints, fresh, flourishing, essence of life, growth, integrity, new life, increase and prosperity

Emeralds are the valuable and highly prized grassy-green variety of beryl. Emeralds were well known among the people of the Bible lands. One of the earliest known source of emerald were mines located near the Red Sea in Egypt. 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). 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. Emeralds were engraved with her likeness and given as gifts to her guests. 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. smaragdos) is the fourth stone of the New Jerusalem.

In ancient Rome, Emerald was viewed as a symbol of fertility and was associated with the goddess Venus. Christian legends speak of Emerald as the stone of resurrection. Other lore has maintained that Emerald cures a variety of diseases, assuages fear, improves memory, enhances persuasiveness, brings joy and even bestows the gift of prophecy. Ancient alchemy speaks of a sacred ‘Emerald Tablet’ upon which was inscribed the recipe for transformation and enlightenment.

Emerald is used by healers to help heal the heart. The power of the Emerald is highest at the full moon.

Some cultures thought the emerald would heal any disease of the eye. The emerald would be placed in a container of water overnight and the water would be poured on the eyes the next day.

Emerald is a stone of great harmony, wisdom and love. Giving your lover an Emerald will bring the lover closer if the giver's motives are pure love. The Emerald can be a bridge between 2 people. The Emerald vibrates with love.


Symbol: Glory of God, spendor, brightness, magnificence and beauty

Jasper is an opaque variety of chalcedony (quartz). It is most commonly red due to the presence of iron, but can also be found in yellow, brown and green.

Jasper comes from the Greek word iaspis which is a derivation of the Hebrew word yashepheh coming from a root word meaning “to polish”. In fact, one of the characteristics of jasper is that it is able to take a high polish and was used in ancient times as mantles, pillars, vases, and other interior decorations. Jasper is named as the 12th stone in Aaron’s breastpiece. Scholars think that the yashepheh here actually refers to a green form of Jasper - which was very rare, and highly prized. Jasper (iaspis) is mentioned in several places in Revelation, most noted being the 6th foundation stone of the New Jerusalem.

There are many different kinds of Jasper including: Red Jasper, Rainforest Jasper, Rainbow Jasper, Ocean Jasper, Yellow Jasper, etc. Each has its own metaphysical attributes. Please check out these links to find the one that suits you.


Symbol: God's truth, God's people formed through suffering, to endure, and a costly experience. Greek term for pearl "margaret" meaning lovely gem.

The pearl holds the distinction of being the only gem that is formed within a living organism. A pearl is made when an irritant, such as a grain of sand, finds its way into the soft tissue of the oyster. To protect itself, the oyster begins to cover the irritant with sheets of nacre. Nacre is the smooth lining material that these mollusks produce that covers the insides of their shells. Layer upon layer of nacre is applied to the irritant, producing, over a period of 1 - 3 years (or more), one pearl.

Pearls were considered among the most precious stones in the ancient world. In the Roman empire at the time of Christ pearls became quite the rage. Julius Caesar, who had a particular love for pearls, paid the equivalent of $1,000,000 for a single pearl. This gives significance to Jesus’ story about the “pearl of great price.” For many centuries the pearl was known as the “Margarite” from the Greek word for pearl, margarites, which is the name of the oyster that produces the pearl found in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, margaritafera vulgaris. It was not until the King James Version of the Bible that the term pearl was used.

In classical Rome, only persons above a certain rank were allowed to wear pearl jewelry. The Latin word for pearl literally means "unique", attesting to the fact that no two pearls are identical.

In the Americas, both the Incas and Aztecs prized pearls for their beauty and magical powers. Spanish explorers of the New World found the natives in possession of rich pearl fisheries. For many years, the New World was best known in European cities like Seville and Cadiz as the land where pearls came from.

Pearls stimulate spiritual transformation, promotes prosperity and success, encloses you with an aura of calm and beauty and eases emotional stress.


Symbol: preciousness, of great value, costly glories, wisdom, and prized treasure

Rubies are the red gem variety of the mineral corundum. Rubies get their red color from traces of chromium. All other colors of corundum are called sapphire. Rubies are the among the hardest of the gemstones with only the diamond being harder. Called “king of the gems” in some ancient cultures, rubies are considered the rarest and most precious gemstone in the world. They are generally not as large as some of the other gemstones. While sapphire, diamond and emerald gems weighing hundreds of carats exist, high quality rubies of even 20 carats are rare. The price of a gem-quality ruby will far exceed the price of a diamond of the same size.

Rubies did not come into use until the Roman Empire around 300 BC. There are several places in the Old Testament where ruby is the term used in the translation of various stones.

Ancient legend in Burma held that inserting a Ruby into one’s flesh would make one invulnerable. In European lore during the Middle Ages, Ruby was believed to convey good health, resolve disagreements and remove negative thoughts. It was long revered as a stone of royalty, and the Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan was said the have offered an entire city in exchange for a huge Ruby.

Rubies vibrate with an enthusiasm for life, instilling an openhearted willingness to make whatever leaps of faith are required to move forward. If one feels stuck in any sort of rut - in career, in relationships, or in one’s spiritual path - Ruby can provide the energy to get things moving.


Symbol: beauty, hardness, natural excellence, the flower Hyacinth

Revered as a stone of royalty, Sapphire was believed to keep kings safe from harm or envy. It was also purported to protect one from dishonesty, fraud, terror, poverty, and even stupidity and ill temper. The three crossed lines in Star Sapphire have been said to represent hope, faith and destiny, and in German lore it was considered a stone of victory.

The term “Sapphire” appears many times in the Bible, however, the stone we associate with sapphire today was not known in Bible lands until the Roman Empire (300 BC). Initially they were considered forms of jacinth. The sapphiros of the Bible is described by historian Elder Pliny as "refulgent with spots like gold. It is also of an azure color...the best kind being that which comes from Media. In no case, however, is this stone transparent." These characteristics describe more accurately the lapis lazuli, and not the sapphire of today.

Although people most often think of Sapphire as dark blue, it is found in a diversity of colors, including many shades of blue, violet, pink, white, green, black, yellow and orange and each have some energies in common, but also have their individual vibration signatures.


Symbol: beauty, worthiness, precious gem and seasonable

The Topaz of today is a mineral that is composed of aluminum, silicon, oxygen, and fluorine. It occurs in many colors, including deep golden-orange, yellow, brownish-yellow, pink, red, and various shades of blue. It may also be colorless.

In the Middle Ages in Europe, Topaz was believed to enhance mental powers and prevent insanity. It was also said to improve poor vision, promote favor with kings and civil authorities, increase wisdom and soothe anger.

The name Topaz may derive from Topazos, a word meaning ‘to seek,’ which was also the name of an obscure difficult to locate island in the Red Sea. However, the gemstone found on that island is actually Peridot. Thus the term topaz in the Bible actually refers to the Peridot. However when Pliny (the natural historian during the time when the book of Revelation was written) describes the Chrysolite (Gr. chrusolithos), he describes today’s topaz. The term chrusolithos literally means ” gold stone” and very likely refers to the golden topaz of today. Both the topaz and Chrysolite (today called Peridot) are stones in the foundation of the New Jerusalem.

The other possible derivation of the gemstone’s name is the Sanskrit word tapaz, which means ‘fire’. Topaz was used in ancient Egypt and Rome and in the jewelry of eighteenth century French and Spain royalty.

I hope the above gives you more insight and understanding of the history of the stones mentioned in the bible.

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Copyright 2011 This article may not be reprinted or published without permission from Emily Gems.

No claims are made. These alleged powers are gathered from writing, books, folklore and various sources.