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References

As we have seen so far, crystals and gemstones have played a part in all cultures and religions. Thus, we can only naturally expect them to be mentioned quite a lot in each religion’s holy book. We have found passages describing gemstone usage in the Bible, the Koran, as well as many other religious texts. For example, the High Priest’s breastplate’s description found in Exodus 28:15-20 is very representative for a number of reasons. The breastplate thus contained 12 gems, each with the name of the original 12 Hebrew tribes inscribed on it, as follows: Sardium, Topaz, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond, Opal, Agate, Amethyst, Beryl, Onyx and Jasper. Zodiac-related gems were later based on the above mentioned stones. As we all know, the Bible contains quite a few translation challenges, which make the identification of the exact stones used in the breastplate impossible. Different versions of the Bible all state different gems. For example, Sapphire was not known in that age and area of the world, thus we believe that this term was used to describe lapis lazuli. Sardium surely refers to Sardonyx while Ruby could mean Carneol. Diamond could also lead to a transparent Quartz.

New Jerusalem is another vision found in the Bible, where mankind returns to God’s grace. Its description can be found in Revelations 21:18-21, where the number 12 is omnipresent once again: 12 gates guarded by 12 angels, and 12 foundations corresponding to the original 12 tribes of Israel. Gemstones are present here once again, with the foundations made of Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Chalcedony, Emerald, Sardonyx, Carnelian, Peridot, Beryl, Topaz, Chrysoprase, Zircon and Amethyst. Gemstones are also present in other beliefs – for example, the Seven Heavens of Islam are said to be made of precious crystals and metals. While the first heavens are made of pure silver, gold or polished steel, the next ones have precious stones used in their making. The sixth heaven, for example, is made of Garnet and Ruby, while the seventh is nothing but Crystal and Divine Light. Buddhism has its own stones as well. Diamond is the most popular crystal in various Buddhist beliefs, since it is said that Buddha was sitting on a diamond throne when he attained enlightenment. Carnelian is another widely-used stone which brings joy and peace, and Jade is commonly known as sacred.