– Legend has it that the mysterious stone was given to a Knights Templar and handed from one generation to the next. It has been missing for over 1,000 years and it seems it has finally been found.
The Sardonyx stone is believed to be a form of divine communication and was worn in the sacred breastplate of a high priest.
The stone is thought to be one of two that were set in gold on each shoulder of the breastplate was discovered in South Africa.
According to the owner the stone was given to a distant ancestor as a reward from the High Priest in 1189 and has been passed from one generation to another.
Biblical text describes a sacred breastplate worn by the High Priest of Jerusalem that was fitted with 12 stones and used to determine God’s will. The sardonyx could be one of two additional stones worn on the shoulders.
What makes this sardonyx so unique is it has a tiny Hebrew inscription, which is believed to be an ancient script that dates back to 1000 BC, burned or engraved in the heart of the stone. The letters in the stone appear to be similar to those found on archaeological finds dating from 1300 to 300 BC.
The mysterious stone was originally discovered in 2000 and examined by Professor Moshe Sharon, an ancient Hebrew expert at the University of Witwatersrand who described the script as the equivalent to our ‘B’ and ‘K’.
rofessor Sharon was baffled to find there are no markings on the stone’s surface to suggest it has been cut open to add the letters.
‘Due to the clarity of the letters and their fine definition it would be incredible if they are a coincidental natural formation in the stone,’ Professor Sharon stated in a notarized report at the time.
‘The lack of any apparent sign of interference with the surface makes the existence of the letters inside the stone a real enigma.’
Now an expert who laid eyes on the mysterious gem 16 years ago is calling for a new appraisal in the hope of revealing its true history.
Dr. James Strange, a professor in religious studies and archaeology at Samford University in Alabama who traveled to South Africa to look at the artifact thinks the stone deserves to be re-examined.
‘I think this object needs a new appraisal and as many scientific tests as possible to determine whether it is genuine.
If it turns out to be an artifact important to the history of the Jewish people, then that is truly wonderful.
If it turns out to be a masterful fraud, then I will be pained that I was duped. There is no modern or ancient technology known to me by which an artisan could produce the inscription, as it is not cut into the surface of the stone, “Dr. James Strange said.
Because this stone was one-of-a-kind, he appraised its value between $175 million to $225 million.
The present owner is in contract with a South African businessman who is now searching for investors who are willing to purchase the stone and take it back to Israel – both parties wish to stay anonymous.