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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(χρυσόλιθος, golden stone), the precious stone which garnished the seventh foundation of the New Jerusalem in John's vision (Revelation 21:20); according to Schleusner, a gem of golden hue, or, rather, of yellow streaked with green and white (see Pliny 37:9, 42; Isidor. Orig. 16:14). It was called by some chrysophyllum (χρυσόφυλλον, Epiphan. De geminis, 10). It was a name applied by the ancients to all gems of a golden or yellow color, but it probably designated particularly the topaz of the moderns (see, however, Bellermann, Urim et Thummim, p. 62). In the Sept. the word is employed for תִּרְשַׁישׁ, tarshish', the "beryl" of our version (Exodus 28:20; Ezekiel 10:9). (See BERYL); (See TOPAZ).

What is usually termed chrysolite is a crystalline precious stone of the quartz kind, of a glossy fracture. In chemical composition it is a ferriferous silicate of magnesia. The prevailing color is yellowish-green, and pistachio-green of every variety and degree of shade, but always with a yellow and gold luster. There are two particular species of chrysolite: one, called the Oriental chrysolite, of a pistachio-green, transparent, and, when held up to the light in certain positions, often with a cherry-red shade; the other is the granulous chrysolite, of different shades of yellowish-green color, half transparent and nearly pellucid (see the Penny Cyclopedia, s.v.). (See GEM).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Chrysolite'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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