Does anybody know any thing about....
the lastname Goldstein ? Thanks!
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I'll venture a guess ...I'd bet it entered the language in the Jewish communities in Germany and neighboring countries. Again, I'll guess it's derived from "Gold" obviously meaning the precious mineral gold and "stein" which means stone in most Germanic languages, but may represent something more specific like a single-stone piece of jewelry ... I think many Jewish communities in Europe were involve early in the jewelry trade ...
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GOLDSTEINYes, Goldstein means "stone of gold", if you translate it literally. The vocabulary word "Goldstein" obviously wasn't in use any more 100 years ago (> Deutsches Wörterbuch von Wilhelm und Jacob Grimm).
In the late Middle Ages it was used as a synomyme for a gem in general. Later the meaning was reduced to gemstones that looked like gold, such as topas or chrysolith.
But the widest spread meaning of the word was "testing stone for gold". You would take a piece of gold mixed with stone and rub it against the goldstein (usually a piece of slate or basalt) to see how much gold there was in it.
The first proof of the name GOLDSTEIN goes back to the 12th cent.
There is also a place-name Goldstein in Hessia and Bavaria.
(This is from: Rosa und Volker Kohlheim, Das große Vornamenlexikon, Mannheim 2003)
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