402 THE MAGIC OF JEWELS AND CHARMS
would sell for as much as forty gold pieces. His statement that these
stones came from Carthage and Marseilles should not induce us to
prejudge the question as to their real character, as many articles of
Asiatic commerce were distributed from these parts, more especially
from the great Carthaginian seaport.44
variety of sapphire, having, to a certain extent, the coloration of the
ruby, was called by natives of Ceylon in the sixteenth century nilacandi;*5 this
might be rendered sapphire-ruby. These stones are purple-red by
daylight, but artificial light kills the blue and they appear red. They
are frequently called phenomenal sapphires or alexandrite sapphires.
Indian poetic fancy has connected the creation of sapphires in Ceylon with the fair maidens of that island.46
the young Cingalese maidens sway, with the tips of their fingers, the
stems of the lavali blossoms, then do the two dark blue eyes of the
Daitya fall, eyes with a sheen like that of the lotus in full bloom.
it is that this island, with its long sea-coast and its interminable
forests of ketskas, abounds in magnificent sapphires, which are its
following pretty bit of Oriental imagery occurs in a Cinghalese poem on
the deeds of Constantino de Sa, a Portuguese Captain-General. Here the
poet, writing of a river that flowed through the island, calls it "that
lovely stream, the Kaluganga, which meandered as a sapphire chain over
the shoulders of the maiden Lanka."47 Lanka is a Cingalese name for Ceylon.
The depth of the coloration of sapphires and other stones
uTheophrasti, "De lapidibus (Peri lithôn)," ed. by John Hill, London, 1746; cap. 31.
"Garcias ab Orta, "Aromatum Ustoria" (Lat. version by Clusius), Ant-verpise, 1579, lib. i, p. 175.
" Finot, " Les lapidaires indiens," Paris, 1896, p. 39, from the " Ratnapa-rikha " of Buddhabhatta.
« Eibeiro'e " History of Ceylon," tr. by P. E. Pieris, Galle, η. d., Pt. II, p. 317.