Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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         Precious stone used in jewelry and engraving. It is the hardest mineral known, formed of pure carbon crystals. Two Hebrew words stand behind English, "diamond." Yahelom is a stone on the high priest's breastplate (Exodus 28:18; NIV, "emerald"; NRSV, "moonstone") and among the jewels of the king of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:13). Shamir is the stone used on the point of an engraving tool to cut into stone surfaces (Jeremiah 17:1; NIV, "flint"; others suggest "emery"). The term also appears in Ezekiel 3:9; Zechariah 7:12 as the hardest stone known.
        Apparently Alexander the Great around 330 B.C. first discovered diamonds for the western world in India. This would indicate "diamonds" are not meant in the Old Testament references. Emery stones or adamant stones were widely used for engraving. Emery was a variety of corundum and was composed of aluminum oxide.
Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'diamond' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

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