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The hit song “Diamond” by Martina McBride and Keith Urban was written to honor women exclaiming they are, “priceless as they come.” Throughout history, women have often been referred to in poetry, song, literature, and terms of endearment as precious stones. Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, MacBeth, and his other works comparing women to precious stones such as rubies, pearls, and diamonds. Even religious texts often refer to women as these valuable gemstones. 

The King James Bible version of Proverbs 31:10 we find, “Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies.” Similarly the same verse reads, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies,” in more modern versions of the text. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein from Jewish Values Center says the original Hebrew included pearls as the gem instead of rubies. And the recently updated Universal Bible print of the Old Testament includes both rubies and pearls in the verse. 

Jiya Mughal recently published at the University of Punjab The Pearl of Islam in which the dignity of women in Islamic culture is compared to the precious status of a pearl being protected in an oyster. In Pagan and Wicca texts, women are also compared to gemstones as each precious stone is allotted female energies. 

So I ask, what is the significance of this universal description for women? As a woman I feel honored to be compared to things of such worth. Does it not tell of the pricelessness and exquisite value of womanhood?

When determining the value of a precious stone, experts use this simple guide:

  1. Is it Rare? Rarity is valuable. No one wants the same-old thing everyone else has. Rarity increases the value because there are so few. Being short in supply makes a precious stone high in demand. You are rare! There is and can only be one YOU! 
  1. What is its Provenance? The place of origin for a stone can increase or decrease its value. I believe humankind to be spirit children of God who are divinely created in His image. Is there a better or more valuable provenance than that? Your worth as a woman, as a daughter of God, is far greater than diamonds, emeralds, pearls, and rubies. 
  1. Authenticity; Is it Unique? Dale Robertson Jewelry says a diamond’s “complex characteristics” (and don’t we all have those?) cannot be duplicated. No two diamonds are ever nor can ever be the same. Every diamond has a personality all its own just as every woman is her own. No cloning, not even having an identical twin will ever be able to make you the exact same. You cannot be duplicated, there’s nothing more naturally authentic than that!

The pearl is even more unique as it is the only gem formed in a living creature. Are we not all formed and developed in the wombs of our mothers? Each child is a preciously created pearl. Yet another comparison of pearls to womanhood is in their natural presentation. According to Cutting Jewelers in the UK, a pearl requires no cutting or polishing to make it beautiful, instead it is “simply stunning the way they naturally form,” just as we as women are polished and refined by the challenges of our daily lives. Women naturally become beautiful pearls. 

We’ve expertly proven the worth of women to far exceed that of the stones we are compared to. We are precious; we are irreplaceable. I love that we are each unique! I think life would be pretty boring if we were cookie-cutter people living in a cookie-cutter world. Who wants to eat flower shaped sugar cookies the rest of their lives? No one! Our differences make us desirable. They help us to need one another, to serve each other, to rely on our sisterhood and to be a powerhouse of strength! The most beautiful crowns are adorned with an arrangement of precious stones, just as this world is decorated with the abundant vibrant beauty of its women. 

References:

A. (2017, September 25). Why are Pearls so Precious. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://cuttingsjewellers.co.uk/blog/why-are-pearls-so-precious/#:~:text=Though%20classified%20as%20a%20gemstone,the%20way%20they%20naturally%20form

Eckstein, R. (2016, March 6). More Precious than Pearls. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from http://jewishvaluescenter.org/jvoblog/more-precious 

Gemstone Magic and Meaning – Kryzia Kreations -Kryzia Kreations Jewelry. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.kryziakreationsstudio.com/gemstone-magic-lore 

Huff, D., & Chapman, N. (2016, April 29). Martina McBride (Ft. Keith Urban) – Diamond. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://genius.com/Martina-mcbride-diamond-lyrics 

King James Bible Online. (2007, November). Proverbs 31:10. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Proverbs-31-10/ 

Mughal, J. (n.d.). The Pearl of Islam: Women Dignity and Status in an Islamic Society. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340413614_THE_PEARL_OF_ISLAM_WOMEN_DIGNITY_AND_STATUS_IN_AN_ISLAMIC_SOCIETY 

Ruby: The gemstone Ruby information and pictures. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.minerals.net/gemstone/ruby_gemstone.aspx#:~:text=Ruby%20is%20distinguished%20for%20its,variety%20of%20the%20mineral%20Corundum

What Makes a Diamond Special? (2019, April 17). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://dalerobertsonjewelry.com/diamonds/what-makes-a-diamond-special/#:~:text=Each%20diamond’s%20complex%20characteristics%20cannot,making%20it%20resistant%20to%20deterioration