to points 1 and 2 in the 'King James Version' is the
subject of expense. On this matter, the 16th Century Jesuit
priest and philosopher Cornelis Cornelissen Van Den
Steen, surmised that the price of gems
such as these would have been in excess of 100,000 gold
crowns. Cornelis bids the question: " Whence could
the poor Hebrews have obtained such a sum of money,
and where could they have found such a diamond?"
Cornelis gives another possible reason as to why such
as these did not fit the circumstances: The tribes assigned
such rare gems
as diamond, ruby and sapphire in these sizes would have
been the center of envy of the other tribes assigned
less valuable gems
This he says may have caused dispute and dissension
among the newly unified tribes.
However, of all the above it's point 3 that is the
clincher to the misnomer of Topaz.
Before the more exacting influences of modern science,
were not classed by specific properties like gravity,
refractive indexes etc., but by their color. Therefore,
the term Topaz
was generic, used at the time to denote many different
In addition to this, there is the fact that the official
gem type of today wasn't recognized by that name until
the 1700's. From these points alone, the 'King James'
translation of Topaz
being one of the 12 gems of the breastplate can be
largely refuted as conjecture.