A transparent or translucent, yellow or green semiprecious stone composed of silicates of magnesium and iron. It generally occurs in volcanic rocks (also, in dolomite and some types of limestone) in solid, crystalline, or granular form. “Chrysolite” is from the Greek word khry·soʹli·thos, meaning “gold stone,” and it seems that at least some ancients applied this name to various yellow-colored gems. Fine-quality chrysolite crystals are found in Egypt.
In compliance with Jehovah’s instructions, a chrysolite (Heb., tar·shishʹ; LXX, khry·soʹli·thos) was placed in the first position in the fourth row on Aaron’s “breastpiece of judgment” to represent one of the 12 tribes of Israel. (Ex 28:2, 15, 20, 21; 39:13) Chrysolite was also included among the precious stones that served as a “covering” for the king of Tyre.—Eze 28:12, 13.
When Ezekiel received two separate visions involving four wheels, he noted that the appearance of the wheels was “like the glow of chrysolite.” (Eze 1:15-21; 10:9) The Shulammite girl likened the hands of her shepherd lover to “cylinders of gold, filled with chrysolite.” Perhaps the gold cylinders designate the fingers and the fillings of chrysolite refer to the fingernails. (Ca 5:14) Similarly, Daniel used chrysolite to describe the body of “a certain man clothed in linen” who came to tell the prophet what would befall his people “in the final part of the days.” (Da 10:5, 6, 14) In his vision of New Jerusalem, the apostle John observed that the seventh foundation of the city’s wall was chrysolite and engraved upon it was the name of one of “the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”—Re 21:2, 10, 14, 20; see JEWELS AND PRECIOUS STONES.