CRYSTAL. Both Hebrew and Greek terms can be translated “ice.” More likely it means rock crystal or crystallized quartz. The reason for the meaning “ice” is that the ancients believed that crystal was formed by the process of intense cold (
CRYSTAL, a body bounded by surfaces, usually flat, arranged on a definite plan which is an expression of the internal arrangement of the atoms. Crystals are formed by the process of crystalization during which minerals are formed from the gaseous or liquid state, or from solution.
The occurrence of the mineral quartz (silicon dioxide) in forms having a characteristic shape, bounded by flat surfaces, was observed by the ancient Greeks. Because of the transparency of the mineral (
Quartz crystals are usually hexagonal prisms determined by forms giving the appearance of a pyramid. The purest and transparent form is known as rock crystal and is sometimes used in jewelry. The presence of small amounts of manganese, or possibly organic matter, results in a violet or purple transparent variety called amethyst (q.v.) which is used as a precious stone (jewels and precious stones q.v.).
H. H. Read, Rutley’s Elements of Mineralogy, 26th ed. (1970), 73, 438-441.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
See also STONES, PRECIOUS. F. K. Farr