Carbuncle (gemstone)

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A carbuncle /ˈkɑrbʌŋkəl/ is an archaic name given to any red cabochon cut gemstone. The name applied particularly to red garnet.[1] The word occurs in four places in most English translations of the Bible. Each use originates from the Vulgate's Latin translation of the Septuagint's Greek term Anthrax – meaning coal, in reference to the color of burning coal; in this sense, a carbuncle is usually taken to mean a gem, particularly a deep-red garnet, unfaceted and convex. In the same place in the masoretic text is the Hebrew word נופח or nofech (no'-fekh); however, the Hebrew definition is less definite and the precise color of the gems is not known.[citation needed]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Exodus 28:17 and 39:10 both refer to the carbuncle's use as the third stone in the breastplate of the Hoshen.
  • Ezekiel 28:13 refers to the carbuncle's presence in the Garden of Eden.
  • Isaiah 54:12 uses carbuncle to convey the value of the Lord's blessing [and promise to] His faithful barren woman servant: (KJV Is 54:1) "Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child;") Her husband and Maker is God, "Thy Maker is thine husband." (Is 54:5 KJV)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shipley, Robert M. Dictionary of Gems and Gemology, 5th edition, Gemological Institute of America, 1951, pp40