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Carbunculus, Ruby

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152 CARBUNCULUS.
Such a property, indeed, belongs to no other precious stone than the Diamond, and that only retains it for a few minutes after having been excited by exposure to the sunshine, and then immediately carried into a dark room. This singular phe­nomenon must often have attracted the notice of Orientals on entering their gloomy chambers after long exposure to their blazing sun, and thus have afforded ample foundation to the marvellous legends built upon this simple fact by their fertile imaginations. If the Diamond possessed this virtue, a fortiori-, reasoned they, it must also characterize the Ruby—a stone held by them then, as now, in so much higher estimation.3 Gesner, her contemporary, relates that our Catherine of Arragon used to wear a ring set with a stone luminous at night, which he conjec­tures was a Ruby. Fraught with historic associations to the minds of Englishmen beyond all other gems is the huge Ruby set in front of the great Crown of England, having been a pre­sent to the Black Prince from Pedro the Cruel, on the victory of Najera in 1367, and afterwards worn upon his helmet by Henry V. at the battle of Agincourt. It is an irregular oval, pierced through the middle, after the usual Indian fashion; and having this perforation filled up with a small stone of the same kind to conceal it.
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
     
Carbunculus, Ruby Page of 453 Ceraunia, Thunder-bolt
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King. Natural History of Precious Stones.