phire would lose its virtue, to be entirely false.9 As the name carbuncle (or anthrax as
Albertus puts it) was given both to a boil and to ruby or garnet, we
have here an instance among many of the cures by antipathy, the blue
stone curing a red, inflamed tumor.
we need proof that in the Middle Ages rings were believed to have
remedial powers, this is offered by a passage in the statutes of the
Hôtel Dieu of Troyes, dated in 1263. Here it is decreed that the nuns
should not be permitted to wear rings set with precious stones, except in case of illness.10 Probably
in this event the appropriate stone was selected by those versed in
this branch of knowledge, after they had determined, as well as they
were able, the real nature of the disease.
the owner of a garnet ring who was not an expert in precious stones
wished to assure himself of the genuineness of his garnet, the
following rather troublesome experiment was at his disposal. He was to
disrobe, still wearing his ring, and then to have his body smeared
with honey. This done, he was to lie down where flies or wasps were
about. If in spite of the sweet temptation they failed to light on his
body, this was a proof that the garnet was genuine, an added proof
being that when he took off the garnet ring the insects would hasten to
make up for lost time and suck up the honey.11
Jacinth as a ring-setting was said to preserve a traveller from all perils on his journey and to make
8 Cited in Johannis de Cuba, "Ortus Sanitatis" (Strass-burg, ca 1483) ; " De lapidibus," cap. cix.
10 Havard, " Historie de l'orfèvrerie," Paris, 1896, p. 858.
11 Johannis de Cuba, " Ortus Sanitatis," " De lapidibus," cap. lx.