When I was growing up, my Dad was an avid rock-hound. Both he and my mom enjoyed doing lapidary work. They did beautiful work and won many prizes at shows and competitions. At that time, I was not at all interested in rocks, although as an adult I earned my living preparing Petrographic Thin Sections of rocks and minerals.

My interest in fossils and sedimentary rocks developed as a consequence of visiting the amazing Bonnechere Caves in the Ottawa Valley of Eastern Ontario, Canada. The caves are located alongside the Bonnechere River between the charming villages of Douglas and Eganville, Ontario.

The following picture from the 1970’s is of the original owner of the Bonnechere Caves, Tom Woodward with visitors emerging from the original entrance to the caves.

The little boy in the picture eventually became a guide at the Caves during his high school years. He is now the father of a teenager and 3 other children who are daily growing closer to that ‘farewell to childhood’ age. And yes, they too have visited the Caves!

The image below shows a sample of a thin section displaying an amazing array of colours as they appear when viewed through a polarizing light microscope. (Thin section colours are unique to each different type of rock or mineral.)

Geologists use petrographic thin sections to determine the mineral content of the rock. Colors and textures vary according to each type of rock.

I find it amazing that rocks have such beautiful colours when cut and mounted on a glass slide, then ground to exactly the precise thickness of 30 μm. (30 Micrometres/30 Microns) and viewed through a polarized light microscope.

Some rocks display a beautiful array of colours. Other rocks are not very colourful at all. It depends on the composition of each rock or mineral.

The second method for making thin-sections is the preparation of polished thin sections. With polished sections, minute mineral grains are analyzed by bombarding them with a focused beam of electrons which generate x-rays of the elements within the sample. X-rays are used to identify and quantify the composition of minerals in the sample.

The discovery of polarized light is a relatively recent discovery. (Early to Mid 1800’s). Polarized light is used in the field of Optical Mineralogy.

In the last book of the Bible (Revelation) only 12 of the 16 stones we designate as ‘precious’ today, are used in the making of the new Temple in the New Jerusalem.

“The walls of Temple in the new Jerusalem were decorated with precious stones. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth, turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth, amethyst.” However, four stones which we call ‘precious’ today are left out because those four stones do not reflect light.

The following video talk briefly explains how polarized light works and why four of the stones that we consider precious today were left out.



As David Pawson (the man on the left in the beige jacket) points out, the passage in Revelation 21:19 was written long before humans discovered polarized or bi-polarized light. Or developed polarizing light microscopes. Yet the effects of polarized light are clearly delineated in the choice of stones used to build the temple in the New Jerusalem.

David Pawson explains why the four stones that we consider valuable today are not included in the building of the new temple in the new Jerusalem. Can you guess which ones are missing? You will know once you watch this video.

NOTE: Our Bibles carry the title of the last book of the Bible as “The Revelation of John,” or “The Revelation to John” which means it is a revelation given to the Apostle John. However, the proper name is found in the first words of verse 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Revelation is from the Greek word apokalupsis meaning “a disclosure, an unveiling.” The name “revelation” (note that it is singular) is derived from its use in verse 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

It is a fact that some thinly cut rock specimens display an amazing array of beautiful colours when viewed using a polarizing light microscope, while others do not. The four stones that are rejected in the building of the new temple do not display the beautiful colours as there is no light in them!

The first chapter of the first book of the Bible, tells us that light is the first thing God commanded to appear when the world was created.

It is awesome to consider how little we know about light.

Or rocks. For example, did you know that rocks are major contributors to atmospheric CO2?

Or what about minerals?
Or the creation of the world we live in.

Or the amazing God of the Bible.
We know only what has been revealed to us.

It is even more awesome to consider what we and future generations have yet to discover!

What we do know is that scripture tells us that Jesus is the Light of the World.

Scripture also tells us that Jesus is the Rock of Our Salvation.

How little we know about rocks. Or minerals. Or light. Or the love, power and majesty of the God of the Bible!

How thankful I am that when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him.

Jesus is the solid rock on which we stand, the rock that anchors our souls both now and for all eternity! All other ground is sinking sand!

Petrographic Thin Sections
Bonnechere Caves
Douglas, Ontario
Eganville, Ontario
Tom & Ruth Woodward
Polarizing Light Microscope
Optical Mineralogy
David Pawson
The New Jerusalem
Genesis 1:1
The God of the Bible.
Light Of The World.
Rock Of Our Salvation.