Gemstones in the Bible

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Even though diamonds were likely not in the High Priest's breastplate (see our section on rock crystals), this did not preclude the use of this precious gemstone for other Biblical purposes such as adorning a newly created Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:13). Though quite rare, diamonds are not mentioned as one of the many precious minerals God will use to create the twelve foundations needed for the New Jerusalem (see Revelation 21:19 - 21).

God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, uses diamonds and their well known hardness as an analogy to show how entrenched were the sins committed by the Kingdom of Judah.

The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond (Hebrew shamiyr, Strong's Concordance #H8068); it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars . . . (Jeremiah 17:1, HBFV)

The Hebrew word, from which we get the English word for diamonds, denotes something that can prick (like a thorn or thorn bush) or something that is sharp (Strong's and BDB lexicon).

When did the devil fall from heaven?
WEIRD Bible Trivia!
Are diamond wedding rings Biblical?

Diamonds are the hardest mineral known to man, possessing a Mohs hardness scale rating of ten. Engagement rings made of this rare gemstone have been popular from at least the 15th century. According to a 2013 USGS minerals yearbook report, world natural diamond production stood at 130 million carats. The biggest producers of such stones (in decreasing order) were Russia, Botswana, Congo, Australia and Canada, which together generated 76% of the world's supply.

Diamond in Kimberlite
Diamond in Kimberlite
Courtesy of Smithsonian GeoGallery

Diamond Folklore

Because of this gemstone's many desirable characteristics (clarity, purity, hardness, rarity, etc.) it had many powers and abilities attributed to it.

This gemstone was considered an emblem of invincibility and fearlessness. It gave the wearer courage, extra strength and the stamina to be victorious. It could drive away nighttime evil spirits and ghosts, bring good luck to a person, and even make someone invisible! This gem was also believed to have reproductive powers. Diamonds were associated with lightning and believed to be products of electrical strikes.

Like the turquoise, diamonds were thought to lose their talisman-like powers if they were bought. Only stones received as a gift, it was believed, would retain their supernatural abilities (Curious Lore of Precious Stones, pages 69 - 73).

Fun fact

Where is the ONLY place in the entire world where you can hunt for diamonds for a small fee and KEEP what you find?

In the United States, the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is the world's eighth largest diamond-bearing volcanic crater. The park offers the public a chance to search for this valuable precious stone and even offers free identification and certification of the raw gems that are found. From 1972, (the year the area became a state park) to 2013, 30,891 rough diamonds have been discovered with a total weight of about 6,173 carats (USGS 2013 Minerals Yearbook for Gemstones).

Additional Study Materials
Mythical Animals in Scripture
Does Satan sit on God's left hand?
What does the Bible say about gold?

Gemstones in the Bible

1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
Curious Lore of Precious Stones, 1913 ed.
Diamonds, Pearls and Precious Stones, 1913 ed.
Gemstones in the Breastplate, 2008 ed.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
United States Geological Survey - - Wikipedia

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