A precious stone with occult virtues. According to Camillus
Leonardus (sixteenth century), it is ‘‘of a purple or rosy color,
and by some is called the placidus or pleasant. Some think it
is the carbuncle diminished in its color and virtue; just as the
virtue of the female differs from that of the male. It is often
found that the external part of one and the same stone appears
a balasius, and the internal a carbuncle, from whence comes the
saying that the balasius is the carbuncle’s house. The virtue of
the balasius is to overcome and repress vain thoughts and luxury;
to reconcile quarrels among friends; and it befriends the
human body with a good habit of health. Being bruised and
drunk with water, it relieves infirmities in the eyes, and gives
help in disorders of the liver; and what is still more surprising,
if you touch the four corners of a house, garden or vineyard,
with the balasius, it will preserve them from lightning, tempest,
and worms.’’