Black Women & Self Esteem: Sapphires & Other Precious Jewels

I have been reading this book called “Sapphires and Other Precious Jewels,” by Terri McFaddin. I like the book so far because it helps remind me where true beauty comes from. Terri McFaddin uses twelve jewels of Aaron’s breastplate (Exodus 39) to demonstrate all the virtures that truly make someone beautiful.

The beauty of virtue, peace, mercy, forgiveness and faith, along with many other beautiful qualities are all represented by an individual jewel. McFaddin teaches every reader to find their spiritual gift and use that gift to serve God. God is represented as the master jeweler who cares for each of the precious gems and molds them and shapes them into the sapphires, rubies, diamonds and other jewels that reflect all their true beauty.

This book teaches black women not to base our value and beauty on superficial beauty ideals like long hair, nice skin and thick bodies. This book teaches us that true beauty does indeed reflect from within a spirit that is ripe with God’s love. I am still reading this book, I am treasuring each chapter, but it helps keep me grounded.

In a world where I’m told constantly as a black woman that my beauty is not valued or wanted, it helps to understand that outward beauty fades, but true beauty…beauty that is ripe with God’s love endures forever and reflects in every aspect of life. I recommend this book.

Terri McFaddine writes:

“If any race of women should recognize that their value is far above rubies, pearls and sapphires, it is those of African ancestry…We have made tremendous progress in the struggle for racial equality. Yet many women of color do not fully understand their true worth and God-given potential. Exploring vital biblical truths, Sapphires and Other Precious Jewels empowers us to recognize and fully embrace the qualities that make us precious, valuable and strong– Sapphires of a great price”


By the way, the book title comes from the Sapphire Stereotype, which Terri McFaddin uses as a positive virtue throughout the book.

You can purchase the book on or visit Terri McFaddin’s website

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