One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: a mineral substance composed chiefly of sepiolite coloured pink by organic pigments, found in limestone, chalcedony, and opal. Later also: a variety of common opal coloured pink by this substance; (more widely) any pink opal.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Shepard (1804–1886). From French quincyte from name of Quincy, a locality in Cher, France, where the mineral was discovered + -ite.
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