One of the stand-out events of 2023 was the coronation of King Charles III, and I became rather interested in the Crown Jewels used in the ceremony. Perhaps you have been to the Tower of London and queued up to view this collection of ceremonial objects, which includes crowns, swords, sceptres, orbs, trumpets, and even a spoon! Among the 23,578 gemstones in the collection, the Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, is the largest clear-cut diamond in the world. This 106g stone may sound impressive, but only until you turn to the end of the book of Revelation and find that God has made a huge city - the New Jerusalem - with twelve foundations, each made of a particular gemstone. The identity of these foundation gemstones is part of the information given to the Apostle John two thousand years ago by an angel, his extraterrestrial tour guide through his visions. They are the jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth and amethyst, Rev. 21. 19, 20.
Do you know that the choice of these gemstones is strong evidence that the scriptures are authored by God? There is something special about these twelve gemstones that John could not have known back then. Today, scientists can cut raw gemstones into very thin slices and view them through a microscope under cross-polarized light. This is very ‘pure’ light, rather than the usual jumble of wavelengths, and it is produced using two light filters like those found in polaroid sunglasses.
According to David Woodward, of the twenty-eight known gemstones with a Mohs hardness value of 7 or over, sixteen of them produce a burst of different colours when pure light is sent through them. Amazingly, all twelve foundation gemstones of the city are in this group. The others are simply black when viewed under the same conditions. Woodward suggests reasons why the other four of the sixteen are not on the list, for example, ruby produces a dangerous laser light under these conditions.
If John chose gemstones at random, the probability of getting these twelve is less than 1 chance in 30 million!
If John had chosen the stones without supernatural instruction, he would almost certainly have included diamond, one of the most valuable precious stones, yet it does not have the special property. These gemstones remind me that ‘all scripture is given by inspiration of God’, 2 Tim. 3. 16, and I am looking forward to the things that God has prepared for His new creation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Jewels_of_the_United_Kingdom (accessed 12/07/2023). David Woodward, Gems of the City, Emerald Charitable Foundation, 1984.
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