There are three main lists of gems in the Bible, and one of them takes us back to Eden where we thought the only clothes worn were animal skins. But there is a lot we do not know about going on in the Heavenly realm at that time. It seems that the Cherub Angel Lucifer was rebelling against God in pride, and was cast out of Heaven before he came to deceive Eve through the serpent. This was before he was ever an enemy of our soul. What is amazing is the beauty of this Servant of God. Satan is the first being that we have any record of who was clothed with precious stones. In Ezek. 28, he is described as the model of perfection in beauty. Then in 28:13 we read, "You were in Eden the Garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared."This verse makes it clear that gems and jewelry was not man's invention at all. God was making jewelry of great beauty, with gold and precious stones, before man was ever created. He made satan a fabulous garment of jewelry when he was created, which was long before man was created. So the study of gemstones is not only prehistoric, but preexistence of the universe. In other words, jewels existed in God's realm of existence in eternity before God created what we know as the universe. Jewels are Heavenly elements that existed before the universe, and will be a part of Heaven when the universe, as we know it, is no more. God was a jeweler before He created our world, and thus we see from the start, God is a great lover of jewels. This explains why He is so extravagant with them in the walls of the New Jerusalem. If artists and architects got together to plan the New Jerusalem, they may have thought that a crown of diamonds and rubies over each of the twelve gates would give an elaborate and luxurious look to it. Who would ever dream of twelve strings of precious stones circling the entire 5,600 miles of the city walls. I have calculated that this is equivalent to a necklace which is 67,200 miles long. You don't have to get out your Guinness Book of Records. I can assure you that this is the longest piece of jewelry ever created. It would stretch over two and one half times around the world.
So let's face this fact, God is fanatical about jewels. If you think it is a waste of time to study jewels, you are mistaken. God LOVES THEM!
God made jewels play a major role in the life of His Old Testament people, in the second great list we see this. The high priest was to wear a special breast piece when he came into the presence of God. It was to be a marvelous work of art made of gold and fine linen. Then we read this in Ex. 28:17-21, "Then mount four row of precious stones on it. In the first row there shall be a ruby, a topaz and a beryl; in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald; in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst; in the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. Mount them in gold filigree settings. There are to be 12 stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the 12 tribes."
Jewels are universal symbols of beauty and wealth. God considers His people His jewels, and His goal is to beautify them that they might shine as jewels, and be as durable as jewels. The prophet Zechariah describes the day of God's coming to rescue His people in Zech. 9:16-17, "The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of His people. They will sparkle in His land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be!" I don't know how beautiful the crowns of kings were in Bible times, but the crowns of royalty in modern times are awesome in their beauty. Imagine the glory of God's people, when they are finally saved from all that hinders them from being fully the reflections of God's image. They will be the crown jewels of the King of Kings.
All of this is introduction to our look at the Jewels of Heaven. In the light of what we have seen, it ought not to be a surprise that God would lavish the Bride of His beloved Son with more jewelry than all mankind combined has ever processed. I always thought Heaven was depicted with gold and jewels, because these are great values to man, but the more I study, the more I see it is full of gold and jewels, because these are of great value to God. Man came to value these things, because God valued them first, and made them scarce. Even today we see the Jewels from Heaven are scarce and are highly valued. The beauty of Heaven is not just for us, God loves jewels and He uses it to glorify all that He exalts and honors.
Precious stones are symbolic of the precious grace of God, His virtues, the Bride of Christ is endowed with infinite grace and virtue, making her worthy to be the everlasting Bride of the New Heaven and earth. When God wanted to convey to His people Israel that His love, as her husband, would never cease, He used jewelry to convey this idea of permanence. In Is. 54:11-12 God says, "I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels and all your walls of precious stones."
But again, the question comes, is there any practical value in all of this and does it come from God? God says we are to live by every word that proceeds out of His mouth. If He has given us hundreds of words dealing with jewels, we can count on it, there is practical value in the study of jewels. Paul urges us in Phil 4:8, to think on things that are pure, lovely, and admirable. Why? Because the Christian who focuses on the beautiful things of God will be a better reflection of the beauty of Heaven, on earth. Show me the happiest Christians, and I'll show you people who think about lovely things. So, the first practical value of jewels is their psychological effect. They are examples of order and beauty that motivate us to live a life of greater order and beauty. The more you look at the things of God, the more you adore the God who loves such loveliness.