What are the 7 precious stones in the Bible?

The Bible references seven specific gemstones that have special meaning and symbolism. These gemstones are referred to as the Seven Precious Stones in the Bible. They are: gold, silver, bronze, iron, sapphire, agate, and amethyst. Each of these gemstones has spiritual and symbolic significance that enriches our understanding of scripture.

Quick Summary

The 7 precious stones in the Bible are:

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Bronze
  4. Iron
  5. Sapphire
  6. Agate
  7. Amethyst


Gold is mentioned in the Bible more frequently than any of the other precious stones. The radiance, brilliance, and untarnishable nature of gold are used to describe God’s divine nature. Gold symbolizes purity, sacredness, divinity, and God’s majesty. Here are some key references to gold in the Bible:

  • The mercy seat, Ark of the Covenant, lampstands, utensils, and other furnishings in the tabernacle were made of pure gold (Exodus 25:11–40).
  • The temple in Jerusalem had gold overlaying its walls, doors, and decorations to signify the presence and glory of God (1 Kings 6:20–22).
  • Streets of heaven are described as “transparent gold, like clear glass” (Revelation 21:21).
  • Crowns and jewelry are often made of gold to symbolize kingship, victory, and glory (Zechariah 6:11).


Silver is the second most frequently mentioned precious metal in scripture after gold. Like gold, it symbolizes wealth, splendor, purification, incorruptibility, and redemption. Some key biblical references to silver include:

  • Idols were often plated with silver to portray their supposed divinity (Jeremiah 10:9).
  • Wealth is measured in silver in the story of Abraham (Genesis 13:2) and the patriarchs (Genesis 44:2).
  • Silver smiths used the metal to craft dishware, goblets, and utensils for the tabernacle and temple (Exodus 26:19).
  • Yahweh instructs Moses to collect a ransom tax of silver from the Israelites (Exodus 30:11-16).
  • Judas is bribed with 30 silver coins to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-15).


Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin that was commonly used during biblical times to craft tools, weapons, altars, and other objects. Here are some notable bronze references in scripture:

  • Moses used a bronze snake staff during plague and rebellion (Numbers 21:9).
  • Samson broke the ropes that bound him which were made of bronze (Judges 16:21).
  • Goliath wore bronze armor before fighting David (1 Samuel 17:4-7).
  • The Sea of Bronze in Solomon’s temple was a large basin used by priests for ritual cleansing (1 Kings 7:23-26).
  • Bronze is seen as strong and durable but prone to corrosion without maintenance.


Iron was utilized during Bible times for tools, weapons, fetters, and building materials. It symbolizes human strength, war, and earthly kingdoms. Here are some ways iron is used in the Bible:

  • The Book of Genesis mentions Tubal-cain as an instructor of iron workers (Genesis 4:22).
  • The Book of Numbers speaks of iron chariots used in warfare (Numbers 31:22).
  • Job sees iron as a base metal gouged from the earth (Job 28:2).
  • Revelation describes Jesus ruling ironrodded nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27).
  • Iron fetters like handcuffs and shackles are used to imprison people (Psalms 105:18).


Sapphires are lustrous blue gemstones that were believed to be the pavement under God’s feet (Exodus 24:10). They represent divine favor, heavenly attributes, and the throne of God. Here are some important biblical references:

  • The Israelites saw a vision of sapphire stones under Yahweh’s feet (Exodus 24:10).
  • Job speaks of sapphire as surpassing glass in value (Job 28:16).
  • Ezekiel envisioned God’s majestic throne amidst gleaming sapphire (Ezekiel 1:26).
  • St. John described New Jerusalem’s crystal clear foundations as made of sapphire


Agates are a form of chalcedony quartz that appear in banded patterns. The agate was the middle stone in the third row of the priest’s breastplate. Let’s look at how agate is used symbolically:

  • Agates were used by the priest Aaron as one of the 12 gemstones on the breastplate he wore for discerning God’s will (Exodus 28:19).
  • Isaiah 54:12 describes New Jerusalem’s walls decorated with beautiful agate stones.
  • Ezekiel 27:16 references agate stones being traded between the Phoenicians and the people of Edom.
  • Agates come in many colors from white to brown, yellow, pink, red, gray and blue.


Amethyst is a popular purple variety of quartz. It was the third stone embedded in the foundation of New Jerusalem. Here are key passages about amethyst:

  • Aaron wore an ephod decorated with gold and amethyst for beauty and glory (Exodus 28:15-21).
  • Amethyst adorned the foundation of New Jerusalem’s wall showing beauty and royalty (Revelation 21:19-20).
  • The amethyst signifies piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and trust in God.
  • In antiquity, many believed amethyst could prevent intoxication.

Deeper Meaning of the Seven Precious Stones

In addition to the literal references and attributes of these gemstones, they also have symbolic significance that enriches scripture. Here are some of the deeper meanings behind the seven precious stones:

  • Divinity and Heaven – Many of the stones like gold, sapphire, and amethyst are associated with the brilliance, majesty, and sanctity of God, His throne, and the heavenlies.
  • Beauty and Perfection – Precious stones depict the perfect righteousness, glory, and loveliness of God and the New Jerusalem in passages like Revelation 21.
  • Judgment – The breastplate stones worn by Aaron during judgments of the Israelites reflect God’s discerning omniscience and justice.
  • Protection and Favor – Stones like the jasper were believed to have protective powers and brought God’s favor to His people.
  • Wealth and Kingship – Many Old Testament passages use precious stones to signify earthly wealth, influence, and royal kingdoms.

Precious Stones in Prophetic Visions

Precious stones frequently appear in the prophetic visions found in scripture. The radiance, colors, and details of gemstones contributed to the divine images prophets saw. Here are a few examples:

  • New Jerusalem – John’s vision describes the holy city adorned with all kinds of precious stones like jasper, sapphire, and amethyst (Revelation 21:9-21).
  • Judgment – Ezekiel describes God’s fiery judgment like glowing amber and flashing lightning (Ezekiel 1:4,13).
  • God’s Glory – The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of sapphire stones under God’s throne (Ezekiel 1:26).
  • Covenant – Moses and Aaron’s vision of God’s glory included pavement of sapphire stones (Exodus 24:9-10).

Overall, prophetic imagery uses precious stones to portray the heavenly realm and God’s glory.

Precious Stones in Priestly Garments

There are several key references to precious stones being used in the garments of the Jewish high priest, especially the ephod and breastpiece:

  • The ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet yarn included emerald, sapphire, and diamond stones (Exodus 28:17-20).
  • The breastpiece of judgment included 12 gemstones like carnelian, peridot, and amethyst (Exodus 28:15-21).
  • The Urim and Thummim stones on the breastpiece were used for discerning God’s will (Exodus 28:30).
  • The rich colors and stones symbolized glory, beauty, judgment and wisdom.

Overall, these sparkling gemstones embedded in priestly garments reflected human adornment of the divine to offer holy service to God.

Association of Stones with the 12 Tribes

In Exodus 28, the 12 gemstones of the breastpiece are associated with the 12 tribes of Israel:

Gemstone Tribe
Ruby/Carnelian Reuben
Topaz Simeon
Carbuncle/Emerald Levi
Turquoise Judah
Sapphire/Lapis Lazuli Issachar
Diamond Zebulun
Jacinth/Zircon Dan
Agate Naphtali
Amethyst Gad
Chrysolite Asher
Beryl Joseph
Jasper/Onyx Benjamin

Scholars believe this reflects tribal birth order or the division of tribes in the wilderness encampment. The dazzling gems remind the tribes of God’s blessings and their unified glory as God’s chosen people.

Modern Symbolism

The seven precious stones have continued to hold symbolic meaning in modern times. Some examples include:

  • High Value – Precious stones remain associated with rarity, beauty, and intrinsic worth.
  • Power – The stones denote authority, influence, and hierarchy when used in crowns, jewelry of nobles and royalty.
  • Accomplishment – Championship rings in sports are often designed with precious stones to commemorate victory.
  • Virtue – Stones like amethyst and emerald are linked with traits like wisdom, patience, purity, and compassion.

While derived from biblical contexts, the stones convey value and meaning across cultures even today.


In summary, here are some key points about the 7 precious stones in the Bible:

  • They are gold, silver, bronze, iron, sapphire, agate, and amethyst.
  • Each stone has symbolic meaning relating to God, prophecy, judgment, tribes, virtue, and more.
  • Precious stones depict the beauty and perfection of God’s holy presence.
  • The stones adorn priestly garments and temple decorations.
  • Prophetic visions use the colors and radiance of gems to portray divine glory.
  • The stones retain symbolic significance even in modern contexts.

Overall, the 7 precious stones reflect the majesty and brilliance of God’s being. They reveal His glory and righteousness. The varied colors and properties of these gems contribute to the profound imagery that reveals God’s purposes and plans to humanity across scripture.

Leave a Comment