Select your language

Eurojade - Le Spécialiste du Jade - The Jade Specialist


carbuncle is a term used in English for any red gemstone, though most often for the red garnet. The word occurs in four places in many English translations of the Bible. The English translation is a rendering of the Vulgate's Latin carbunculus, a word used for a small coal (or charcoal), and also for any of a number of precious or semi-precious stones, especially those of a red color.

Jerome apparently chose the term because of its similarity in meaning to the Septuagint's ἄνθραξ (anthrax meaning coal), which was in turn used by the Greek to translate the Hebrew נֹפֶךְ (nōphek) in two of its four occurrences in the Old Testament. The etymology of the Hebrew term is uncertain, though Koehler-Baumgartner suggests a connection to פּוּךְ (phook), used in the Old Testament as a term for eye makup, and probably implying a colored powder most likely made from a crushed mineral. For ]r נֹפֶךְ (nōphek) itself they suggest the gloss "semi-precious stone" (of uncertain color).