#63 - Carob Seeds

Posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2020 at 9:14 am by LaLonde Jewelers

I have a small package of 9 carob seeds, they supposedly come from the Middle East somewhere. They are very uniform in size and amazingly each weigh close to a carat each. Carats are how we measure the weight of gemstones. So back in the day of Biblical times carob seeds were used for weighing gemstones. The word Carats come from the word Carob.

Now of my 9 carob seeds, they weigh 9.11 carats which is an average of 1.01 carats each. Pretty close. Thing is that 2 of them weigh exactly 1.00 carat, another weighs .89 and another 1.10. So, you see there is a slight discrepancy.

Now back in the day supposingly Christ and his apostles were pretty honest people, maybe except for Judas, 11 out of 12 ain’t bad. But the merchants of the time I might have a little problem with. You see if a merchant was going to purchase some gems from someone, he just might use all his .89 carat carob seeds so that the package didn’t weight so much. So, when the purchase was over, and it is time to sell them he might pull out all the seeds that weight 1.10 carat each. He has just increased his parcel’s weight by 20 %.

I don’t know how vigilant those Romans were, I don’t think they had a Federal Trade Commission.

From my upbringing I thought they were busy looking for Christians, not merchants skimping on the gem weights.

Now to put your mind at ease we don’t use carob seeds anymore, we use very accurate electronic scales. I even have equipment with just computerized cameras that can weight a gemstone with complete accuracy. So, in today’s world no one cheats on the weight of a gemstone or they shouldn’t.

Anyone can purchase one of these scales and weight their gemstone. It’s too easy to get caught.

I do know we have our share of dishonest merchants but when I think back, I think even in the time of Christ they had their share also.

Written by Dan LaLonde, G.G., G.I.A.
Lalonde Jewelers & Gemologists
The Gem Expert