The Israelites were asked to contribute raw materials for the construction of the Sanctuary and the Torah in our parasha lists the thirteen materials that were donated. But why were the Shoham stones listed second to last if they were one of the more expensive materials? If they were so precious surely they should have been mentioned higher up on the list.
The classical commentator the Ohr HaChaim quotes the Talmud in Yoma 75b which says that the Shoham stones were brought miraculously by the clouds, without any physical or monetary effort on the part of the Jews. Therefore, the Shoham stones are listed towards the end, since the materials that were brought with effort and hard work were considered more important even though they were worth less. Hashem’s reward for spiritual matters is not in proportion to the degree of one’s success, but to the amount and quality of effort that one puts into it.