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Callais, Turquois

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CALLAIS AND CALLAINA.                          137
All these particulars indicate a pale-green and transparent stone ; an inferior Peridot, in short, or rather the Peridot itself, as distinguished from the Chrysolite, to which it yields consider­ably in hardness. The expression "full of holes and of dross" is quite repugnant to the idea of an opaque solid body like the modern Turquois, the general characteristic of which would cer­tainly not be described as a pale-green. The Peridot also exhibits the " singular magnitude," as compared to other gems, and, from its softness, is extremely difficult to polish. Its colour, too, evaporates by exposure to the light. De Boot conjectured that the Aquamarine was intended under this name, but the superior hardness of that stone is sufficient to overthrow such a hypothesis. The notice of the Callais (or Callaica) in Solinus is to the same effect as the above, except the addition " that it comes next to the Emerald in price and estimation," which further supports my idea.
There seems very good reason for the conjecture of Salmasius (adopted in Jan's edition) that Callaina was the original reading in this chapter of Pliny; a name derived from a peculiar green dye, the Callaicum. Amongst the Indian exports mentioned in the Periplus of the Eed Sea are " pepper, the gem Callainos, Lapis-lazuli, indigo." If this be correct, Pliny's Callaina would be a variety of the Topazion, but derived from India and Persia; whilst the original and best kind was considered peculiar to the island of the Eed Sea where it was first discovered.3
But the Callais entered in the alphabetical list of gems (c. 56), and therefore distinct from the callaina, has much better claims to represent our Turquois, for "it resembled the Lapis-lazuli, but was whiter (candidior), and like the colour of the sea where shallow."
The older mineralogists, like De Boot, took the Jaspis aerizusa, " sky-blue Jasper," to be the true Turquois, but without reason, that stone being indubitably the Sapphirine Calcedony. Our
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King. Natural History of Precious Stones.