Specimen of Alabaster.
Specimen of Alabaster.

Alabaster is a name used for gypsum and calcite but has also been used to indicate selenite. These minerals are easily worked due to their low hardness and have been used to craft all sorts of things since antiquity. Think of sculptures, household items, and, of course, jewelry.

Cameos composed of alabaster carvings set on onyx backings are regularly encountered in vintage jewelry.

Gemological Information for Alabaster

Color:Dark Brown, Light to Dark Green, Yellow & Black
Crystal Structure:Monoclinic
Refractive Index:1.520 - 1.529
Hardness:2 to 2.5
Similar Stones:Calcite Marble
Treatments:Dyeing, Heat in Preparation for Dyeing, Bleaching
Country of Origin: U.S., Canada, Italy, United Kingdom, Mexico

Alabaster Care

Ultrasonic Cleaning:Never
Steam Cleaning:Never
Warm Soapy Water:Safe but no Abrasives
Chemical Attack:Dissolves in Acid
Light Sensitivity:Stable
Heat Sensitivity:Dehydrates and Crumbles
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