diamond Summary and Overview
diamond in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) A precious gem (Heb. yahalom', in allusion to its hardness), otherwise unknown, the sixth, i.e., the third in the second row, in the breastplate of the high priest, with the name of Naphtali engraven on it (Ex. 28:18; 39:11; R.V. marg., "sardonyx.") (2.) A precious stone (Heb. shamir', a sharp point) mentioned in Jer. 17:1. From its hardness it was used for cutting and perforating other minerals. It is rendered "adamant" (q.v.) in Ezek. 3:9, Zech. 7:12. It is the hardest and most valuable of precious stones.
diamond in Smith's Bible Dictionary
(Heb. yahalom), a gem crystallized carbon, the most valued and brilliant of precious stones, remarkable for its hardness, the third precious stone in the second row on the breastplate of the high priest, #Ex 28:18; 39:11| and mentioned by Ezekiel, #Eze 28:13| among the precious stones of the king of Tyre. Some suppose yahalom to be the "emerald." Respecting shamir, which is translated "Diamond" in #Jer 17:1| see under ADAMANT.
diamond in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
DI'AMOND . Ex 28:18; Eze 28:13. "There is no trace of evidence that the ancients ever acquired the skill to engrave on the diamond, or even that they were acquainted with the stone." -- Canon Cook. The claims of jasper, onyx, chalcedony, emerald, and rock-crystal to be the diamond of the Bible have all been urged. Its diversity from any other stone in the high priest's breast-plate will incline some minds to advocate rock-crystal. For Jer 17:1, see Adamant.
diamond in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
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.