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."
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