Gemstones in the Holy Bible 

There are a multitude of gemstones that are mentioned in the Holy Bible.


Even though there are 22 gemstones listed in the Scriptures, it is interesting to note that these precious stones mentioned or identified can be grouped together in basically four categories.

Those basic four categories are the use of these gemstones as part of the construction of the high priest’s breastplate as seen in the Old Testament, the color of the gemstone as it relates to the describing what was occurring, a description of the New Jerusalem and the comparison of the quality of the gemstone as it relates to virtue and value of spirituality.

First of all, in Exodus 28:15-31, God gives instruction on how the breastplate for the high priest should be constructed.  In verse 17 there are specific instructions on the use of gemstones or precious stones that are to be mounted on the breastplate.  There are to be four rows containing three gemstones for each row.

The first row is to be comprised of the sardius, topaz and carbuncle. The second row is to contain a diamond, emerald and sapphire.  The third row is to be comprised of a ligure, agate and amethyst.  Finally, the fourth row is to include a jasper, onyx and beryl.

sapphire jewelry

Additionally, in Exodus 28:29-30, we have God’s reasoning for this breastplate, but not necessarily why those specific gemstones were chosen.  However, we know that the 12 stones represent the 12 tribes of Israel and is called the breastplate of judgment.

The symbolism is that the breastplate covers the heart of the high priest.  In this case the first breastplate was worn by Aaron, the brother of Moses.  His role was to be the high priest, chosen by God, and to enter the Holy Place.  The Scripture further defines the High Priest’s spiritual role as “bearing the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart…” (Exodus 28:30 KJV)

Consequently, for us as believers today, the spiritual lesson is that we have a high priest who also has taken upon Himself the breastplate of judgment.  In Hebrews 4:15, the Scripture comforts our hearts by saying, “for we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Therefore, we have such a great High Priest who not only sits at the right hand of the Father, but intercedes for us because he has taken upon Himself the breastplate of judgment.  He is The High Priest as well as our sacrifice who has atoned for our sins.

Another instance of a gemstone being mentioned is found in Ezekiel 1:4, 27; 8:2.  These verses reflect Ezekiel’s endeavor to define the color of the whirlwind, a cloud in the fire, he was experiencing.  In Ezekiel 1:4, he informs us that “I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire enfolding itself, and brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof is the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.”  This description, using the gemstone amber, reveals the enflamed quality of the four creatures in the midst.  A true testament of the Holiness of God and His Purity likened unto fire.  Later in the same chapter, Ezekiel also describes the vision of the throne of God as an “appearance of a sapphire stone” (1:26).

aquamarine jewelry

This experience of Ezekiel can be likened unto the same experience that Isaiah had as reflected in Isaiah 6:1-6.

An additional mention of gemstones can be found in the book of Revelation 21:1-27.  These verses describe a new heaven and a new earth and the New Jerusalem.  The gemstones that are used include the jasper stone to describe the light and everything being as clear as crystal.

In addition, the foundations of the wall of the city are constructed from the same stones that the breastplate of judgment is comprised of, indicated that the Old Testament Saints will, of course, be in the heavenly city.  Furthermore pearls are mentioned as being the material used to construct the 12 gates.  Also, the Scripture shares that the streets of the city are made of pure gold.

Finally, precious gemstones are utilized to compare, in earthly terms, the value of embracing eternal qualities.  This is clearly evidenced as in Proverbs the 31st chapter; the writer poses the question of “Who can find a virtuous woman?  for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10 (KJV)

Additionally, our Lord talks about an individual who found a pearl of great price “went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”  Matthew 13:46.

peridot jewelry

Precious stones found in The Bible:

Agate Exodus 28:19, 39:12

Amber Ezekiel 1:4, 27; 8:2

Amethyst Exodus 28:19, 39:12, Revelation 21:20

Aquamarine Revelation 21:20

Beryl Exodus 28:19, 39:12, Ezekiel 28:13, Revelation 21:20

Carnelian (Sardius) Exodus 28:19, 39:10; Revelation 4:3, 21:20

Chalcedony Revelation 21:19

Chrysoprase Revelation 21:20

Crystal Job 28:17, Isaiah 54:12, Revelation 4:6; 21:11; 22:1

Coral Job 28:18, Ezekiel  27:16

Diamond Exodus 28:18, 39:11, Jeremiah 17:1, Ezekiel 28:13

Emerald Exodus 28:20, 39:13, Ezekiel 28:13, Revelation 4:3, 21:18

Hyacinth Revelation 21:20

Jasper Exodus 28:20, 39:13, Job 28:18, Ezekiel 28:13, Revelation 4:3, 21:11, 18, 19

Onyx Genesis 2:12, Exodus 28:20, Job 28:16, Ezekiel 28:13

Pearl Matthew 13:46, Revelation 21:21

Peridot (Chrysolite) Revelation 21:19, 20

Ruby space Exodus 28:17, 39:10, Proverbs 8:11, 31:10, Job 28:18, Ezekiel 28:13

Sapphire Exodus 24:10; 28:18; 39:11; Job 28:6, 16; song of Solomon 5:14; Isaiah 54:11; Ezekiel 1:26; 10:1; 28:13, Revelation 21:20

Sardonyx Revelation 21:20

Topaz Exodus 28:19, 39:12, Ezekiel 28:13, Job 28:19, Revelation 21:20

Turquoise Exodus 28:18; 39:11; Ezekiel 28:13


Category: Birthstone Jewelry, Gemstone Jewelry, Gemstone Rings, Jewelry History, Jewelry in the Bible

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