The precious stone amethyst correlates with Issachar -
the ninth son of the biblical patriarch Jacob. This gem completes the third
row of precious stones adorning the gown of the chief priest Aaron. The
following are the mineralogical properties of this stone: the amethyst
is a violet or lilac variety of quartz. A real tint of amethyst intersects
under sunlight. The so-called “oriental amethyst” is a violet corundum
and even a violet spinel. According to traditional definition, the name
of this stone means “preventing intoxication” or “intoxication-proof”.
In ancient times, opinion prevailed that a person carrying this stone did
not get drunk and did not possess evil intentions. That was the reason
that wine vessels were often decorated with amethysts. It was believed
that the amethyst could make wrinkles disappear. This gem was not worn
very frequently, however, because people believed that if the amethyst
was worn every day, this would reduce its mystical powers.
This stone was often used to decorate Christian ecclesiastical items and the Catholic ecclesiastics used to wear rings bearing amethysts.
According to widespread opinion, at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries, people of high spirituality deserved to bear amethysts.
The amethyst is the main gem of Pisces (February 19 - March 20) and Simon is the apostle of this Zodiac. Like other precious stones, it safeguards its owner from the evil eye, cures alcoholism, epilepsy, rheumatism, infertility and positively impacts on the nervous system (Z. Kokrashvili).
According to St. Epiphanies of Cyprus, the garnet
belongs to the family of chrysolite and carsedone. In ancient Georgian,
garnet is the same as coral. This is testified by Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani's
Lexicon (XVIIIc). The colors of this stone are red and purple as well as
similar to that of the pomegranate flower.
The tenth gem adorning Aaron's gown and the garnet of St. Epiphanies of Cyprus is the chrysolite, which matches Jacob's tenth son Zebulun. It was believed in the Middle Ages that the chrysolite conjured out demons, endowed its owner with calmness, attracted the sympathy of people surrounding him and provided success in his deeds; it was also thought to strengthen the spiritual forces of man and grant him the skill of foretelling. The chrysolite dissolved in water is deemed a remedy against stomachache.
According to contemporary mineralogy, the chrysolite is a precious stone of a golden-green and olive color. Jewelers often refer to chrysolite as “the evening emerald”.
The chrysolite is the main gem of Libra (September 23 - October 22) and Peter is the apostle of this Zodiac (as noted by Z. Kokrashvili). The chrysolite protects its owner from the evil eye, cures a stutter, the gastrointestinal tract, eye maladies, strengthens the nervous and cardiovascular systems, cleanses the body and sharpens eyesight.
The emerald (smaragd) and a deep blue-greenish stone, the
aquamarine, belong to the beryl family - that of the precious stone corresponding
to Jacob's eleventh son Joseph. The beryl is a light green colored stone,
although one also encounters beryl of a yellow color, which was discovered
in the southern part of Africa and the word “heliodor” (the gift of the
sun) is used to denote it.
Writing about the beryl family of stones, Pliny the Elder says that the gems belonging to this family do not overburden the eyesight. Even when one's eyes are overtired by looking at other objects, concentrating on this stone helps them to relax. It was believed in the east that the stones of the beryl family blinded snakes.
The beryl was used in medieval medicine: beryl powder was utilized in the preparation of an ointment, which was then applied to the eye to treat eye diseases, leprosy and old injuries. Travelers used to wear yellow or greenish beryls. From the mystical properties of this gem, its linkage with the process of thinking is singled out. It was considered an aid to scholars and philosophers.
According to St. Epiphanies of Cyprus, the beryl is a gem, which usually adorns the royal crowns and garments of grandees and the women who shared bread with Jesus. We read in the “Life of St. Nino” (IVc) that when St. Nino subverted the pagan Armazi idol by her prayers, it was this very stone that fell out of her eye. European legend has it that when Lucifer fell down, he dropped a smaragd-beryl gem, from which the angels made the Holy Grail. Therefore, the beryl-smaragd stone points to the pre-Christian understanding of truth.
According to the Bible, the beryl is the main stone of the zodiac sign Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) and, from Christ's twelve disciples, Paul is the apostle of the Scorpio
The beryl is known to strengthen teeth if put into the mouth along with silver; it also regulates the nervous system and pulse and enhances the memory.
The onyx (“prtskhili” in Georgian) is the last precious
stone among the gems decorating Aaron's gown. It is a red colored stone,
which was used as decoration by grandees, whereas kings and the wealthy
made goblets from it. Onyxes of honey color shades also exist. According
to the explanation of St. Epiphanies of Cyprus, this stone was termed “prtskhili”,
because the fingernail (“prchkhili” in Georgian = “prtskhili”) of a man
resembles marble, while blood renders it reddish.
In the New Testament, and more specifically in the “Apocalypse”, the gem named “sardonyx” matches the one referred to as the “onyx” in the Old Testament. According to A. Fersman's clarification, “sardonyx” is a member of a multicolored chalcedony, i.e. the agate family. As for the sardonyx - the apocalyptic match of the onyx - it is a chestnut-brown colored striped stone. It is the brownish-red striped onyx, which is called sardonyx or “the onyx of Sardinia” that is the stone originating from Sardinia.
This stone had Benjamin's name written on it. Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob. Even though he was the youngest among Jacob's sons, he had ruled over Israel much earlier than any of his relatives, because Saul - the first King of Israel - was a descendant of the tribe of Benjamin whose kinsmen became the judges. It is worthwhile noting that the apostle Paul, earlier known as Savel, was from Benjamin's family branch and that part of the Jews, who came and settled in Georgia twenty-six centuries ago, were the descendants of Benjamin's tribe (Moktsevai Kartlisai, IV c).
The onyx-sardonyx conjures away evil spirits, protects a man from treachery and deceit, endows him with courage and stops bleeding. It is generally believed that all varieties of onyx possess pain-relieving properties and can stop inflammatory processes. It sharpens the ear of those who are tone-deaf. In ancient times, sardonyx was associated with the magic of sounds. In this respect it is noteworthy that images of musical instruments, particularly those of the lyre, are often encountered on antique sardonyx cameos.
According to the Bible, sardonyx is the main stone of Leo (July 23 - August 22) and Jacob Zebedee is the apostle of this Zodiac (Z. Kokrashvili).
Onyx and sardonyx restore the bone tissue of fractures, help cure neurosis, tumors and diminished hearing, enhance wound healing, regulate sexual harmony and cure the nervous and cardiovascular system.