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Ch. 9: Smaragdus, Emerald

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SMARAGDUS.                               287
time be discovered, until the gems in the eyes were changed." Curiously enough a marble lion was recently brought to the British Museum from Cnidos, the pupils of whose eyes were deeply hollowed out, as if for the reception of some gem of an appropriate colour. Democritus seems to have had in view the Turquois when he " classed in this family (as Pliny guardedly expresses it) the Hermiaean* and the Persian kinds : the former, globose and fatty (ex tumescentes pinguiter) ; the Persian not indeed transparent, but of an agreeable equal colour, filling the sight, though not suffering it to penetrate them, like the eyes of cats and panthers, for they, too, shine, but are not transparent. These same Persian stones look dull in the sunshine, but grow bright in the shade, and show themselves from a greater distance than the other sorts." Their great defect, and one common to all the latter class, was their exhibiting a tinge of the colour of gall or of fresh oil (acris olei). In the sunshine they were bright and pure, but not green. Again he remarks (what can only apply to the Turquois) a peculiar defect in this class, that their green hue fades away with time, and that they are injured by exposure to the sun (which latter agent speedily blanches the Turquois, even that " de la vieille roche "). As for his Median kind, there can be no doubt it was nothing but Malachite, for " these stones exhibit a very deep degree of green, and sometimes of the Lapis-lazuli colour. They are of a wavy pattern, and contain images of different objects, as, for instance, of poppies or birds, whelps, feathers, hairs, and such like things. Such as are not perfectly green are im­proved by steeping in wine and oil."t This species
Ch. 9: Smaragdus, Emerald Page of 377 Ch. 9: Smaragdus, Emerald
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