Carbuncle (gemstone)

Carbuncle (gemstone)

A carbuncle is an archaic name given to any red cabachon cut gemstone. The name applied particularly to red garnet. [Shipley, Robert M. "Dictionary of Gems and Gemology," 5th edition, Gemological Institute of America, 1951, pp40] 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 colour 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 בָּרְקַת בָּרְקַת or bâreqath bâreqath (baw-reh'-keth, baw-rek-ath'); however, the Hebrew definition is less definite and the precise color of the gems is not known.

* and both refer to the carbuncle's use as the third stone in the breastplate of the Hoshen.
* refers to the carbuncle's presence in the Garden of Eden.
* uses carbuncle to convey the value of the Lord's blessing on His faithful servants:
*:"And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones."
* The gem is the stolen item in question in the Sherlock Holmes tale "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle."


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