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Gem Quiz

Cleopatra Loved Me As Eye Shadow, And I’m Found At My Best In Afghan Mines

Just don’t call me “sapphire.”

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stone image for Gem Quiz October

I SUSPECT I WOULD have featured in Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection in only a minor way if at all. Regardless, she remains one of my favorite actresses. Few women since Cleopatra have made me look so good when applied as eye shadow. The Egyptians weren’t the first to be enamored with me. The Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians all loved me as well for my heavenly blue (although it must be said, they didn’t have the sharpest eyes — they couldn’t distinguish me from sapphire). Back then it was in Afghan mines where I was found in my best form, and 5,000 years later that is still the case. Although today I am more likely to end up in a men’s ring than decorating a royal scarab. My name simply means “blue stone” but it sounds like a five-syllable poem within a word.

Who am I?

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.

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