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At the very head of the white stones is pæderos;1 though it may still be questionable to which of the colours it in reality belongs. As to the name, it has been so much bandied about among other precious stones of conspicuous beauty, that it has quite assumed the privilege of being a synonymous term2 for all that is charming to the eye. Still, however, there is one3 stone in particular which fully merits all the commendation that might be expected for a stone with so prepossessing a name: for in itself it reunites the transparency of crystal, the peculiar green of the sky, the deep tints of purple, and a sort of bright reflex, like that of a golden-coloured wine; a reflex, indeed, that is always the last to meet the eye, but is always crowned with the lustrous hues of purple. The stone, in fact, has all the appearance of having been bathed in each of these tints, individually, and yet in the whole of them at once. There is no precious stone either that has a clearer water than this, or that presents a more pleasing sweetness to the eye.

Pæderos of the finest quality comes from India, where it is known as "sangenon;" the next best being that of Egypt, called "tenites." That of third-rate quality is found in Arabia, but it is rough upon the surface. Next, we have the stone of Pontus, the radiance of which is softer than in that of Thasos, which, in its turn, is of a more mellowed colour than the stones of Galatia, Thrace, and Cyprus. The defects com- monly found in these stones are, a want of brilliancy, a confusion with colours which do not properly belong to them, and the other imperfections which are found in stones in general.4

1 "Lovely youth." See Chapter 22, where it has been already mentioned. He here reverts to the Opals.

2 See Chapter 40, for example, where it is given to a variety of the Amethyst.

3 The Opal, which he is about to describe.

4 See Chapter 18 of this Book.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), THRA´CIA
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