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Alabandicus, Almandine, Garnet

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ALABANDICUS.
being of little value (33), and which he distinguishes from the precious "Ανθραξ by giving them the lowering name Ανθράκων, must have been the Common Garnet. These were, that found at Orchomenus, darker than the Chian sort, and out of which mirrors were made ; the Trœzenian, red clouded with white ; and the Corinthian, still fainter in colour. The plane surface of a dark Garnet will reflect objects with con­siderable distinctness; the "mirrors" here mentioned were probably " table " Garnets of this kind : (the only gems employed in the Merovingian jewels of the 7th and 8th centuries are in fact Garnet tables neatly inlaid to form patterns in their fibulas of copper gilt).—Theophrastus thereupon remarks that the better sort were rare, and brought but from few places—Carthage, Massilia, Egypt, and Syene. Pliny divides his Carbunculi into male and female, the former of a brilliant, the latter of a duller lustre. In the males of the Carthaginian kind, as it were a blazing star shone within them, whereas the females diffused their entire lustre externally. These Carthaginian stones were smaller than those from India. It may be deduced from these characters that the male Carbunculi were our Eubies, the females our Garnets.
The precious varieties, according to Pliny, were the Indian, the Garamantic or Carthaginian, the Ethiopia, and the Alaban-dine. The last were so called because, though found in the Orthorian rocks, they were worked up (perficiuntur) at Ala-bandae. This was the sort called by Theophrastus the Milesian, both places being in the same province, Caria. The Alamandine of the moderns is the finest species of Garnet, of a beautiful crimson tinged with violet, and is brought from Suriam in Pegu, hence they are vulgarly called Syrian Garnets. These were the Amethystizontes of Pliny, then as now considered the best of the whole species, though it is probable he included the Spinel under the same designation. He notices how some amongst the males possessed a more liquid, others a darker fire ; how some were lighted up with a colour not their own, and shone more than others in the sunlight. The description he quotes from Archelaus of the Carthaginian sort exactly applies to our best Indian stones, " that it was of a darkish aspect, but
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King. Natural History of Precious Stones.