of sardion, which is translucent and of a redder color, is called the female, and the other, which is translucent and darker, is called
31 the male. And it is the same with the varieties of the lyngourion, for the female is more transparent and yellow than the other. Also, one kind of \yanos30 is called male and the other female, and the male is the darker of the two. The onychion31 is mixed in color, with white and dark alternating; the amethyst is wine-colored. The achates32 is also a beautiful stone; it comes from the river Achates in Sicily and is sold at a high price.
32 In the gold mines at Lampsakos a wonderful stone was once found, from which a seal was cut after it had been taken up to Astyra,33 and this was then sent to the King because of its unusual nature.
33 These stones are rare as well as beautiful, but those that come from Greece are of less value, such as the anthrahjon from Orchomenos in Arcadia. This is darker than the stone from Chios, and mirrors are made from it. There is also the stone from Troezen, and this is variegated with purple and white. The Corinthian stone is also variegated with the same colors, except that it is paler.
34 In general there are many stones of this kind, but the remarkable ones are rare and come from a few places only, such as Carthage, the country around Massalia, Egypt near the First Cataract, Syene
35 near the city of Elephantine, and the region called Psepho.3* In addition, the smaragdos and the iaspis are found in Cyprus.
The stones which are used for mosaics come from Bactriana near the desert. They are collected by horsemen who go out at the time of the etesian winds; for they are visible then, since the violence of the winds disturbs the sand. But they are small in size and not large.
36 Among choice stones there is also the one called the pearl; this is translucent by nature, and valuable necklaces are made from it. It is produced in an oyster, which is similar to the pinna [except
30 A variety of lapis lazuli. This same word also denoted certain blue pigments. See Commentary, sees. 31 and 55.
31 A broader term than onyx. See Commentary.
32 A name given to certain variegated stones, including some varieties of agate.
33 This translates "Αστυρα instead of στφάν. If Pliny is right, the king was Alexander the Great.
34 Possibly Psebo.