One of the precious stones in the breastplate of the high priest (Exodus 28:19; 39:12), and in the foundation of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:20). The ancients thought that this stone had the power of dispelling drunkenness in all who wore or touched it, and hence its Greek name formed from
A_, "privative," and _methuo
, "To get drunk." Its Jewish name,
, Was derived by the rabbins from the Hebrew word
Halam , "to dream," from its supposed power of causing the wearer to dream.
It is a pale-blue crystallized quartz, varying to a dark purple blue. It is found in Persia and India, also in different parts of Europe.