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touchstoneIn English definitionsIn English definitions
n. 1. (Min.) Lydian stone; basanite; — so called because used to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak which is left upon the stone when it is rubbed by the metal. See Basanite. 
2. Fig.: Any test or criterion by which the qualities of a thing are tried. Hooker. “The foregoing doctrine affords us also a touchstone for the trial of spirits.” South. Irish touchstone (Min.), basalt, the stone which composes the Giant’s Causeway.
quartzIn English definitionsIn English definitions
n. [G. quarz.] (Min.) A form of silica, or silicon dioxide (SiO2), occurring in hexagonal crystals, which are commonly colorless and transparent, but sometimes also yellow, brown, purple, green, and of other colors; also in cryptocrystalline massive forms varying in color and degree of transparency, being sometimes opaque. The crystalline varieties include: amethyst, violet; citrine and false topaz, pale yellow; rock crystal, transparent and colorless or nearly so; rose quartz, rosecolored; smoky quartz, smoky brown. The chief crypto-crystalline varieties are: agate, a chalcedony in layers or clouded with different colors, including the onyx and sardonyx; carnelian and sard, red or flesh- colored chalcedony; chalcedony, nearly white, and waxy in luster; chrysoprase, an apple-green chalcedony; flint, hornstone, basanite, or touchstone, brown to black in color and compact in texture; heliotrope, green dotted with red; jasper, opaque, red yellow, or brown, colored by iron or ferruginous clay; prase, translucent and dull leek-green. Quartz is an essential constituent of granite, and abounds in rocks of all ages. It forms the rocks quartzite (quartz rock) and sandstone, and makes most of the sand of the seashore.
lydianIn English definitionsIn English definitions
a. [L. Lydius, fr. Lydia, Gr. .] Of or pertaining to Lydia, a country of Asia Minor, or to its inhabitants; hence, soft; effeminate; — said especially of one of the ancient Greek modes or keys, the music in which was of a soft, pathetic, or voluptuous character. “Softly sweet in Lydian measures,
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.” Dryden. Lydian stone, a flint slate used by the ancients to try gold and silver; a touchstone. See Basanite.
flintyIn English definitionsIn English definitions
a. [Compar. Flintier superl. Flintiest.] Consisting of, composed of, abounding in, or resembling, flint; as a flinty rock; flinty ground; a flinty heart. Flinty rock, or Flinty state, a siliceous slate; — basanite is here included. See Basanite.
basaniteIn English definitionsIn English definitions
n. [L. basanites lapis, Gr. ba•sanos the touchstone: cf. F. basanite.] (Min.) Lydian stone, or black jasper, a variety of siliceous or flinty slate, of a grayish or bluish black color. It is employed to test the purity of gold, the amount of alloy being indicated by the color left on the stone when rubbed by the metal.
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